Exploring the Religious Practices of Muslims in St. Louis, Missouri

Islam is a popular religion that is practiced around the world, including in St. Louis. Muslims around the world are connected by their faith, and the Muslim faith is an integral part of St. Louis' religious background.

According to recent estimates by the Religious Data Archives Association, there are more than ten Muslims for every 1000 residents in the city of St. Louis and nearly two Muslims for every 1,000 residents of St. Since Muslims constitute a sizable demographic group in St. Louis, it's important to take the time to learn something about Islam and mosques to better understand people who follow this religion. The mosque is an essential part of the life of all devout Muslims.

This is a sacred place where Muslims gather to pray and connect with each other through their religion. The traditional mosque is a place of maximum collectivity and religious authority in a community; it is an academy for effective learning in all aspects of life and religious meaning. The current urban mosque includes all aspects of a traditional mosque with a greater emphasis on social and community aspects (Kahera).Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabaah was founded in 1974 and is a perfect example of an urban mosque. It is most important, a meeting and worship center for St.

Louis Muslims, but also a health center, provides social and educational services for children and adults. A devout Muslim will center his life around the mosque. The mosque provides a space to center men and women of faith and serves as a designated place to connect people in the community. Masjid Bilal provides a community circle where members can encourage each other. Like all mosques, Masjid Bilal's prayer rooms (see below) face east, toward Mecca, symbolizing the meaning of the place of origin of their religion.

Since the building now occupied by Masjid Bilal was not built with the intention of ever being a mosque, the prayer rooms for men and women have been divided into two levels. The men pray in an upstairs room with the imam, or prayer leader, at the front of the room. Women and children pray in a very similar room on the ground floor, with the imam broadcasting live on television. Mamun helped us to better understand the importance of mosques and Masjid Bilal in general. He explained that Muslims around the world believe that it is much more rewarding to pray together, as a community. Being able to pray in a community allows the faithful to feel more connected to each other and to God.

Masjid Bilal is no exception to this. Mamun explained that for many immigrants and SLU students, Masjid Bilal offers them a community and a place of worship that is located at the gates of the campus. Although the mosque is not part of the SLU, its location inside the campus gates allows Muslims in the SLU community to feel at home at Saint Louis University in general. This specific mosque is also the oldest in Saint Louis. That's why it has a history of helping people feel connected and welcome in Saint Louis in general.

Louis is a diverse city with different faiths, races, and ethnicities mixed together to form a community.

The Muslim population

, which represents about 1% of the metro's total adult population, mixes and thrives with other people in the city (Pew Research Center).The Muslim community was not always as influential as it is today. The city struggled with population loss and urban decline in the late 1980s and early 1990s. According to the city's 1950 federal census, there were 856,756 people living in the city.

Soon after, due to the flight of whites, suburban expansion and the transfer of people to more industrialized cities in the United States, by 1990 the population had plummeted to 396,685 people. This decline of more than 50% of the population left areas of the city abandoned and in disrepair. However, this was an important moment for the Muslim population of St. Louis because he was about to get much bigger (Rice). Currently, the Muslim community of St.

Louis has grown significantly since then. Faith members can be strong and support each other in times of need because they have a community that shares the same values and religious faith as them. You can have this community thanks to the community center, mosque, temple, church, or any other religious community center. Masjid Bilal is a great example of a community that surrounds people of the same faith because it is a religious center that is both a place of worship and a place of community full of accepting people. Without a central place of worship, people of faith would struggle to form a strong community where they can talk and practice their faith in the company of others. As such, Masjid Bilal serves as an important gathering place for members of St.

Louis' Muslim community. Up to 1000 Muslims from St. Louis women wear headscarves in public outside mosques according to rough estimates by Abdullah Lubabah Abdullah - West County attorney who wraps her head in brightly colored handkerchiefs to show modesty - has returned almost two years ago after years living far from St. Louis for university studies abroad and marriage. Nowadays only rarely do strangers stare at his headscarf as Louisianans are more tolerant than they were before; except when visiting mosques most Muslim women don't wear headscarves or facial veils nor do they cover their clothes with burqas or chadors as The Quran does not require them to be hidden but only modestly dressed. The Quran requires that women dress modestly; Afridi teaches religion classes at Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabaah which serves as an important gathering place for members of St. Louis' Muslim community where they can talk pray be in presence others Allah or God.

Raúl Mathiasen
Raúl Mathiasen

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