Living as we do in West Sussex, we have few opportunities of meeting and getting to know people of other races and faiths. So, a recent visit to the Worthing Mosque by 12 members of our group was a very informative and worthwhile experience.
From the start we were all captivated by Imam Idris who, despite his very busy schedule, gave us his undivided attention for upwards of an hour and half. Beginning with his personal journey as an Islamic scholar, he went on to explain the historical and Biblical context that Islam shares, or shared, with Judaism and Christianity until the 7th century, when the prophet Mohamed received what Muslims consider to be divine revelations from God. Now the basis of the Quran, it has, unlike other religious texts, been passed, unadulterated, down the generations.
The Imam was very candid and open about how world events have contributed to the negative way that Muslims are portrayed by the media and [how this has] contributed to misunderstandings surrounding [the faith]. We rounded off with a Q&A session which ranged far and wide and in which Imam Idris was happy to partake without reservation.
Our visit made a deep impression on all of us and conversation over lunch, -taken in a nearby Turkish Restaurant – was buzzing. We all felt privileged to have had the opportunity of meeting this deeply spiritual man who, we discovered, is, at the same time, so in touch with the community in which he lives.
West Chiltington Area NWR