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Join Janna on her exciting first pilgrimage to Umrah with her cousin Malaika and brother Deen! From London to the heart of Makkah, follow their journey as they explore the sacred Ka’bah, drink from the miraculous Zamzam Well, and run between the historic hills of Al Safa and Al Marwa. Experience the magic of midnight prayers, the beauty of Madinah, and the awe-inspiring Prophet’s Mosque. A heartfelt and inspiring adventure of faith, family, and unforgettable memories awaits.

My First Pilgrimage

Janna:     Hi, my name is Janna and I'm going on my first trip to Umrah, we're at the airport.

Shazia:    And who are you going with?

Janna:     Malaika.

Shazia:    Who is Malaika?

Janna:     She's my cousin and Deen, he's my brother.

Shazia:    Say hi.

Malaika: Hi!

Janna:     A pilgrimage is a journey to a special place and all Muslims should do a pilgrimage called Hajj once in their life. Which is when we go to a city called Makkah in Saudi Arabia. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, which are five things that all Muslims have to do. Hajj is always done at a special time of the year. We can also do Umrah, which is a shorter pilgrimage that can be done at any time of the year. First step of Umrah is to make my Niyyah, which is when I say out loud that I intend to perform Umrah and get into this state of Ihram. Ihram is when we are in a state of purity and holiness. We wash and put on special clothes and we can't cut our hair or nails until we finished Umrah. We were flying from London, so I made my Niyyah and got changed on the plane. When we were close to landing at the airport in Jeddah.

Janna:     We have landed in Jeddah. And I am wearing my Hijab and my Abaya.

Janna:     Because you need to be modest to visit

Janna:     Allah's subhanahu wa ta'ala house. I also got changed into my Abaya and hijab for Umrah.

Janna:     I got changed in the aeroplane too. I'm wearing an Ihram, that is two white cloths.

Janna:     Now I'm ready for Umrah. Let's go.

Janna:     Then we travel to Makkah. I'm about to start my Umrah. We're about to see the Ka'bah. It's very beautiful. Makkah is where the Ka'bah is a cube shaped building covered in black cloth. Wherever we are in the world, Muslims always turn to face the Ka'bah whenever we pray. And I was right there. This is where we did Tawaf, which means to walk around the Ka'bah seven times anti-clockwise. We do this because that's what Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, did. After Tawaf, I stopped to pray. Then we went to drink some water from the Zamzam Well, which is right beside the Ka'bah.

Shazia:    What are you having here, Janna?

Janna:     We're going to have some Zamzam water. And it's very yummy.

Janna:     Back when this was all a desert, we believe that Allah made this well appear so that Ibrahim's wife Hajar and the son Ismail wouldn't die of thirst. The next step is to perform Sa'y. This is walking or running between the two hills called Al Safa and Al Marwa seven times. We do this because that's what Hajar did when she was searching for water in the desert. There's a section that's lit up and green and men are supposed to run or jog this bit, women can run if they want to. So I did. I enjoyed running over with my dad and granddad.

Shazia:    How are you feeling?

Janna:     Good and excited.

Shazia:    And exhausted!

Janna:     Yeah and exhausted.

Janna:     The final step of Umrah was to cut my hair. I only needed to cut off a small amount about a third of the length of my finger. This was to show that I wasn't in the state of Ihram anymore and my Umrah was finished. We did our Umrah in the middle of the night, even though it was very, very magical. It was still very tiring. Now I've had a few days to rest. I feel much better and I have lots of energy. Saying the five daily prayers is another one of the five pillars of Islam.

Janna:     Even though we have completed our Umrah. We still need to pray five times a day. The prayers are Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha. While we were in Saudi Arabia, we also went to Madinah, which is where the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, lived for a while and where he is now buried.

Janna:     We traveled from Makkah to Madinah. It was a very long journey. We had lots of fun.

Shazia:    What do you think of the Masjid?

Janna:     It's very beautiful, the umbrella things go down and up. They're over there.

Janna:     The reason why we visit Madinah is because it's the Prophet's sallallahu alayhi wa sallam city. And we are here to say salaam and pray at the Prophet's masjid.

Janna:     Madinah was the first Muslim city, and the Prophet's Mosque or masjid is built where Prophet Muhammad used to live and where the first ever much smaller mosque was built. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him Tomb is also here, so it's a very, very special place for us.

Janna:     We've just prayed our last Maghrib here in Madinah. It's been amazing and wonderful time and I'm looking forward to doing it again with Malaika and Deen. Bye!

 

My First Pilgrimage

Video length - 06.28
Published date - Jun 2024
Keystage(s) - 2 and 3

This clip comes from the BBC series: Pilgrimage – The Road to the Scottish Isles.

At the end of Will’s first day on the Pilgrimage, he is invited to share his personal beliefs with the group after dinner. Will opens up about his journey away from church attendance after his grandfather’s death, and his own battle with non-Hodgkin’s blood cancer as a child. He fondly recalls the comforting prayers he received during his hospital stay, highlighting the role of faith during times of hardship.

The discussion moves on to experiences of faith, not only during life’s trials but also during moments of joy and contentment.

Monty challenges Laurence about his lack of faith, despite his remarkable knowledge of religion. Laurence defends his position, saying he is happy with his “mechanical universe”, but willing to take part in religious ceremonies for his own non-religious reasons.

Shazia also reflects on her upbringing as the only Muslim and person of colour in a Roman Catholic school.

Together, these conversations help the Pilgrims to deepen their respect for each other’s faiths and personal beliefs.

Watch full episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Pilgrimage Moments: The Lack of Faith

Narrator:  Over dinner. The group are keen to learn more about their newest pilgrim.

 

Laurence: Will, you've been parachuted in to join us, and it's wonderful to have you here, but we have all declared where we stand in terms of our personal beliefs, our faiths. Which religious fence do you sit on?

 

Will:        I'm pretty much on the fence. When my grandad died, my mum moved away and then we never went to church or anything. It was like one extreme to the other.

 

Shazia:    If you were drowning, would you pray to God?

 

Will:        Probably. I've never been in that position. You know where I've literally been fighting for my life or anything like that, apart from when I was like seven years old. And it's different when you're at that age, isn't it? You don't really know what's going on.

 

Louisa:    What happened when you were seven years old?

 

Will:        Well, I had non-Hodgkin's blood cancer. I was in Great Ormond Street, so that's when I had people in coming in praying and stuff like that. It was kind of comforting to know that they were like, they cared so much for me, and I'd like that.

 

Shazia:    Did they work?

 

Will:        Well? Yeah, I'm still here. So I guess it's strange, isn't it? Like when you're in desperate need you. I think you do need a faith. Or you need something like a god like. Because without sounding too morbid. But when you're when someone your son's on death's door or something, you want to hope that they go somewhere or that it's not the end.

 

Shazia:    Yeah.

 

Louisa:    I've never been in a situation where I've had to pray to God for something negative. I have only ever like, thank you for what, you know.

 

Laurence: That's so powerful because so many people don't do that. When it goes well, they just take it for granted. Mhm.

 

Monty:    Yeah. But Lawrence, I wanted to ask you a question. Since you've been here, you've been very theoretical. Right. Whenever I'm speaking to you about faith it doesn't come from your heart. It doesn't, it comes from the mind.

 

Laurence: But I completely get that. You intellectualise everything.

 

Monty:    I do intellucatualise everything. It's all coming from the books. It's not coming from your personal experience and heart. When you had a successful time, did you ever pray to God? Did you ever say to God, thank you for that great deal or something like that?

 

Laurence: Uh, no.

 

Monty:    I think you can have a very great understanding of faith without having faith.

 

Laurence: Absolutely, absolutely.

 

Laurence: I think you can read as many books as you like, and I'm sure that Lawrence has read most of them, but he hasn't got faith.

 

Monty:    No, I think you have strong faith within you, but you just don't know it.

 

Laurence: Monty, Monty. But the thing is that, you know, as I said right from the outset, I'm really happy with my mechanical universe.

 

Louisa:    Tell me something. You christened your children. Yes. For the purpose that it would be easy for them to. Administratively much easier. Okay. You got married yourself in a church. I did, yes. You did. Why?

 

Laurence: You know, the the mise en scene of getting married, the, you know, the kind of the art direction of getting married for me had to happen in the church.

 

Nick:       I think your your Christianity really is sort of the English middle class is a prayer.

 

Laurence: It is rather.

 

Nick:       It's a social thing.

 

Laurence: It is. We know absolutely everybody in our village and we meet at church. I mean, not every Sunday.

 

Monty:    So why do you go to church?

 

Laurence: Because we are all there together.

 

Louisa:    We are all together.

 

Louisa:    A certain type of religion is, as I said.

 

Laurence: Community.

 

Laurence: It's community.

 

Monty:    I don't believe that. I believe you have inside you. You have strong faith. As we stripping away the hat, the scarf and everything.

 

Laurence: You can't lose the scarf.

 

Shazia:    What he says. He's really happy the way he is. And I think you.

 

Laurence: Need to watch out slightly. I mean, I'm so fond of you, but one of the big things that we've almost really, really, you know, decided on as a family now is that we all respect each other's faiths, but we're not evangelizing. No one is trying to sell their faith to anybody else, I think. So, I mean, I love you to death, but you're not going to find a faith in me.

 

Laurence: I think there's a difference. And I think Monty grew up with a distinct community, and so did you.

 

Shazia:    But the thing is, I went to a Roman Catholic school. I was the only Muslim in the whole school.

 

Laurence: But you stuck to the culture that you grew up.

 

Louisa:    Can I ask you something? Were you the only person of color?

 

Shazia:    Yeah.

 

Louisa:    So there was no Hindus? There was no. No, I was the only Muslim.

 

Shazia:    And I was the only brown girl in the whole school. And I had to go up every Friday and do mass, take Holy Communion. Did you feel different? Yeah.

 

Laurence: Did you feel different? Is it?

 

Shazia:    And the thing with me is I'm used to being an outsider. Yeah, yeah.

 

Laurence: Um. Well, welcome to the merry band.

 

Will:        Cheers, guys. Thanks for having me.

 

Laurence Very good. Well.

 

Pilgrimage Moments: The Lack of Faith

Video length - 05.02
Published date - Mar 2024
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

This clip comes from the BBC series: Pilgrimage – The Road to Istanbul.

The Pilgrims visit a cultural centre dedicated to Sufism – an ancient mystical form of worship that embraces all forms of Islam. Once banned by Turkish authorities, the centre now warmly welcomes people of all backgrounds, regardless of their religious beliefs.

The Pilgrims enjoy a communal meal featuring dishes from different regions of Turkey. Amar is blind, so Dom describes the various dishes on his plate.

After the meal they join the evening dhikr prayers where participants dress in traditional clothing, play music and chant in devotion to God. Men stand in a circle, and move in unison as they sing, creating an impressive spectacle. The Pilgrims find the experience incredibly moving, describing it as transcendent, extraordinary and profoundly spiritual. Even staunch atheist Dom calls it, “the powerful religious thing I’ve ever seen”.

Watch full episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Pilgrimage Moments: A Sufi Experience

Narrator:  The other pilgrims are visiting a cultural center dedicated to Sufism. An ancient mystical form of worship that embraces all forms of Islam. Local guide. Bushra greets them.

 

Local Guide:  Welcome. Hi there. Hello.

 

Dom:        How are you? Nice to meet you. Here you go.

 

Narrator:  Once banned by Turkish authorities, interest in Sufism has grown in recent years.

 

Dom:        You've got everything here like a school and a place to eat. It's like a center.

 

Local Guide:  Yes, exactly. It's like a community center. It's called Khulia. In Arabic. We have like, a place to eat. We have a library. We have a place where students go and learn, and we have Jahamey, you know, the center to pray.

 

Adrian:     And it's for Sufi Muslims?

 

Local Guide:  Yeah. Uh, actually, no, it's open to everybody.

 

Amar:       As long as you believe in God.

 

Local Guide:  If you don't believe in God, you can also come in. Everybody is welcome. Yeah. Everybody is welcome.

 

Narrator:  As guests of honor. The pilgrims are invited to a communal meal before evening prayers.

 

Local Guide:  So we're going to go this place. This is actually the men's dining room and the women's are over there. But we're going to do it together this time. Oh that's nice. Normally we are separated during the meals.

 

Dom:        And that's not a problem ladies.

 

Local Guide:  No because you're the guests.

 

Adrian:     Oh, that looks amazing. Oh, it looks wonderful.

 

Dom:        Let me just tell you, our things are really looking up. Really? Yeah.

 

Local Guide:  So our dervish ladies have prepared for your traditional Turkish food from all over the countries, actually, from the east, from, like the, like sea region, from the middle. So you will see pastry, you will see like the green, like the leaves and soft. Yeah. Meatballs and everything. Uh, you have like a special soup.

 

Amar:       I hope you don't have a rule that says you must eat everything.

 

Local Guide:  You have to finish your plate. Turkish mother said this.

 

Adrian:     This is the best meal we've had.

 

Dom:        It is incredible. The way to your heart is from your stomach.

 

Dom:        Definitely with me. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Edwina:    Come this. This is good. Yes.

 

Dom:        This is wonderful. It is. This is magic.

 

Dom:        What you got there. Fried pickles.

 

Dom:        Fried pickles.

 

Dom:        Think I am a Sufi? I really, genuinely think you were.

 

Dom:        Born to be.

 

Dom:        If I enjoy the show.

 

Dom:        Then I'm in. Then. Then I'm in.

 

Dom:        See, this is absolutely fabulous. Proper food.

 

Amar:       Oh my goodness. I don't know what. Sweet. What's not. Is this.

 

Dom:        Random? Okay, these two are sweet. This is the spicy kofta okay. That's a sort of chickpea. Okay. That's vine leaves. Yeah. And these are stuffed peppers. Thank you. Okay.

 

Dom:        Oh, it's that good?

 

Dom:        I'm telling you right now that you can tell the Sufi religion has gone absolutely to the top of the charts. I mean, in the pilgrim state.

 

Narrator:  Evening prayers are about to begin. Known as the Zika worshipers dress in traditional clothing, play music, and chant in devotion to God.

 

Local Guide:  So what you're going to watch is this in Quran, God says, repeat my name hundreds of times, and when you repeat my name, I will repeat your name. So you watch. You're going to watch is like a man all in circles, and they're going to chant the names of Allah loudly with music. And when you repeat it, it's like sending the armies of Allah to your heart in order to cleanse it from the evil things. That's nice and get closer to him.

 

Dom:        And what would we do as visitor? Do we watch? We can't watch. We don't partake.

 

Local Guide:  If you want to participate, you can do. But just try to, uh. Be careful not to just, um.

 

Dom:        Get in the way.

 

Local Guide:  Right? Yeah, get in a way.

 

Dom:        Oh.

 

Local Guide:  That be a good imitator?

 

Amar:       Imitator?

 

Dom:        Okay, good. Yeah. Okay.

 

Local Guide:  So if you want to follow me. Lovely. Upstairs.

 

Dom:        Thank you so much.

 

Pauline:    When you pray.

 

Dom:        Catholics often pray. You know, what do you do? And Jesus, it's this. Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

 

Dom:        I am genuinely quite excited. It's literally like. It's like a gig's about to kick off. I really like this. Here we go. Ready?

 

Dom:        Now they're really going for it.

 

Adrian:     Really bending down a long way.

 

Pauline:    I can see how somebody partaking in that would leave in a state of bliss, because it's transcendent when they all move and sing and chant together. It was just head and shoulders above anything else that we have experienced.

 

Adrian:     I thought it was an extraordinary, you know, if I live near here, I'd just come all the time. I just thought it was such a great spectacle, apart from the the spiritual aspect of it, which I thought was profound. I mean, I can just imagine the release and, you know, whatever was on your mind, you know, you just by going through all that and knowing all that, you just get so much peace out of it. It was all worth it to see the mask of cynicism slide from Don Jolies face, as he was absolutely entranced by it.

 

Dom:        I thought that was the most powerful religious thing I've ever seen. It was incredible. It was like a heartbeat.

 

Local Guide:  Exactly.

 

Local Guide:  You coordinated with your heart.

 

Dom:        I was going, I was like, well, the breath like that.

 

Local Guide:  It's like natural.

 

Dom:        And because they're all wearing the same clothes, it's all in unison like that. It was amazing. It was just brilliant. We're probably a bit more cynical than other things. And the fact that we both love that.

 

Dom:        Yeah.

 

Dom:        You've done well.

 

Edwina:    You really have cracked two.

 

Dom:        You've cracked two hard nuts. That was probably the most extraordinarily powerful religious thing I've ever been to, but it kind of didn't make me feel religious. But just as a religious experience and service, that was absolutely 100% the best thing I've ever been to, you know? And I've come away thinking Sufism, you know what? If I had to, probably the one I'd go for.

 

Pilgrimage Moments: A Sufi Experience

Video length - 08.56
Published date - Mar 2024
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

This clip comes from the BBC Series: Pilgrimage – The Road to Istanbul.

Mim finds a moment of solitude during the pilgrimage to perform morning prayer. He finds it a challenge to say the five daily prayers of the Muslim religion, but tries to pray at least once a day, before leaving home in the mornings. It not only calms him, but also allows him to express gratitude and thanks. He affectionately describes the prayer mat that has been with him through thick and thin for ten years.

Watch full episodes on BBC iPlayer.

Pilgrimage Moments: Morning Prayer

Narrator: Mim too takes time to connect with his faith.

Mim:       You know, within Islam, everybody says, you know, you got to pray five times a day and I'll put my hands up and I say, I don't pray five times a day. I sometimes don't have time. But what what gives me peace of mind and what I've been doing as a regular occurrence since I was young is at least praying once before I leave my house. It levels me out a little bit, you know. It calms me down. It makes me more peaceful. It's just a way of expressing thanks and gratitude as well. This prayer matt I've used for about ten years of my life. This definitely, probably still got some of my tears in there, but also can't really capture like smiles and what not. But it's definitely shared moments like that. So this has been there through thick and thin.

 

Pilgrimage Moments: Morning Prayer

Video length - 01.25
Published date - Mar 2024
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Climate change is a global pressing issue. It affects everyone, irrespective of their religious beliefs. In this film, viewpoints on the climate crisis are explored and we hear about how different faith communities are coming together and focusing on what binds them together to help combat some of the problems the world is facing. The film features representatives from Faith for the Climate, Islamic Relief and Christian Aid.

Check out our other Climate Change films from the series:

https://www.truetube.co.uk/resource/climate-anxiety

https://www.truetube.co.uk/resource/climate-change-buddhism

Climate Change: Multi-Faith Views

 

Shanon:  Today we have set up an interfaith stall in lower marsh in London in front of the offices of Islamic Relief UK and Christian Aid, who are both members of Faith for the Climate. They are part of the network with the support of our other members as well, from Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh and other Christian backgrounds and Muslim backgrounds. And we're trying to get people to understand that rich governments and big polluters in the world need to do more to support the communities in the worlds that are suffering from the worst impacts of climate change, especially since they've done the least to cause it. So this campaign is called Make Polluters Pay, and it's about paying up for the loss and damage that's suffered in these other communities in the world. And so often in the news headlines, we see how faith can become a divisive force in the world. But what we know is a network that's doing work on the climate emergency is that there are people of every single faith who want to come together for purposes like this to save the planet for environmental justice. And they come based on different teachings in their faith traditions. So the Buddhists in our network talk about their belief in the interconnectedness of all life. The Hindu based traditions talk about non-violence. The Muslims will talk about the need to respect balance or misran in creation or the trusteeship of God's creation. The Christians will talk about good stewardship. The Jews will talk about tikkun olam or the need to repair the world. And lots of pagans in our network will basically worship nature. When everyone comes together and shares these different teachings, they realize that even though we come from quite different backgrounds, we do have a common purpose. I actually used to work with an oil and gas company in Malaysia, and this is how I saw firsthand how the fossil fuel industry causes environmental damage and then tries to wash its hands off it. There is a concept in Islam that's really important for me personally, which is torba repentance, and there's always hope if you repent. So actually doing climate justice and human rights work, for me, it's now a kind of repentance from having been part of the fossil fuel industry. There is a tradition about the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him in Islam, and it's when a companion of his comes to him a little bit distress and asks him, Please help me to think about sin and righteousness. I want to know the difference. And the prophet jabs him in the heart three times and says, Ask yourself, ask your heart three times. The prophet says that he explains, Sin is that which disturbs your heart. Even though other people say something might be lawful and righteousness is you acting on that, even though other people tell you you don't need to act on it. And this is known as the fatwa or the ruling of the heart. And that is something I hold very close to me. If my heart tells me something is wrong, I know that the prophet says I should listen to it. How could you possibly love God if you don't love your fellow human beings? It's as simple as that. And what does love mean? Love means helping people when they need your help. In the Abrahamic faiths, it's about caring for the stranger, the visitor, the poor person, the orphan, the person in need. That's love. How can you love God if you don't do that? And if we think about what the climate crisis does, it actually makes people lose their homes, lose their jobs, lose their families, lose their health. If you think about how they have to deal with extreme heat and drought and floods and the illness that comes with that, if they're facing that, how could we possibly love God if we don't love them and help them? So one quote that I've come across in my line of work really inspires me. It's from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, who was an American rabbi who actually supported the civil rights movement there. He marched alongside Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. So this was in itself is a beautiful example of interfaith friendship. But what Rabbi Heschel said and he was talking in the context of racism and the Holocaust was few are guilty, but all are responsible. And I think that is the way we need to think of what we can do in the climate crisis as well. We all have a role to play. If you know that you are in a position where you have more power and privilege, how can you use more of that power and more of that privilege for climate justice, especially to help people who have less power and less privilege and are suffering more from the climate crisis than you are? So this is why whatever we do, whatever choices we make, won't just affect people on the other side of the world. In the global South, we will be affected to all of us together. If not today, then at some point in the very near future. And this is why it's important for all of us to take action together.

 

Alaa:       As a muslim or those who follow the Muslim faith. We strongly believe in environmentalism. We believe that it's rooted in our tradition. It's rooted in scripture. We looked at the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him as a guiding source for for us in terms of emulating his characters and his attitude to things. And he really valued the environment. And so it's very important for us as Muslims to act on that. We believe that God places on his earth as stewards to look after his green planet. And so that is what inspires me in this role. As I work for Islamic Relief, it inspires me as a muslim and as a worker to do more in this space, because I believe that is something that it serves my religion but also the greater good for the planet.

 

Lydia:     So I think it's important as a Christian to look after the planet because God gave it to us as part of a creation and gave us a role to be a steward over this. It's part about also about showing love to each other and to all elements of nature. And that's part of our faith. We are called Jesus showed us that example to show love to everyone, every neighbor, every individual, everything in the world, every living creature. I think it's everyone's responsibility to look after the planet. And we each can do it in our own individual lives and our own actions. But also it's really important to recognize that governments and companies which have larger power have a larger responsibility. They're global and international. They're big organizations with lots of power, and they can change the structures of our whole world.

 

Alaa:       I think working with other faiths is a fantastic way of bringing people together in a neutral space. For many people, we come from all walks of life. We may believe different things. We might we may feel, you know, follow different deities. But actually, at the heart of it, we believe in some very fundamental principles. It's wonderful to be here today on the sunny, really bright day, working with colleagues across faiths to come together around a combined message. It's great to feel that we're doing something to combat the climate crisis in our own way, as well as just come together around positive action.

 

 

Shanon:  And I wake up in the morning and I come across news about some climate disaster in the world or another, you know, the damage that private jets are causing or the Arctic sea ice melting or wildfires somewhere and people dying. I get really hopeless and terrified and helpless. But when I come out and do things like this and I realize that there are people around me, even people of different faith traditions, but we connect so well because we are so passionate about this issue. I feel inspired and I feel energized. I feel like it's going to be a challenge, but we can do this if we do this together. If you are anxious about climate change, talk about it. There is actually value in making your feelings known and talking to people who feel the same way that you do and finding support with them. And then you realize that it doesn't stop there. You can do things together. You can talk about this with more people and then you can start talking to anyone your local MP, local councillors, local faith leaders, schools, businesses. There are so many charities like Friends of the Earth or Christian Aid or Cafod that have local chapters as well that you could get involved in. And then we realise that when we get together we can do things from very small local actions to the really big stuff that's about changing the system at large and we can do it together.

 

Climate Change: Multi-Faith Views

Video length - 08.13
Published date - Sep 2023
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Azeen welcomes TrueTube to the East London Mosque and we’re given the full tour. Azeen talks about the features of a traditional mosque and shows us how Muslims pray.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices – Beliefs and teachings - Islam - Salah and its significance: how and why Muslims pray including times, directions, ablution (wudu), movements (rak’ahs) and recitations; salah in the home and mosque and elsewhere; Friday prayer: Jummah; key differences in the practice of salah in Sunni and Shi’a Islam, and different Muslim views about the importance of prayer. Hajj: the role and significance of the pilgrimage to Makkah including origins, including the Ka’aba at Makkah,

Area of Study 3 – Islam - Section 1: Muslim Beliefs -Salah as one of the Five Pillars, including reference to Surah 15: 98–99 and 29:45: the nature, history, significance and purpose of Salah for Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, including different ways of understanding them; how Salah is performed including ablution, times, directions, movements and recitations, in the home and mosque and Jummah prayer.

Component Group 1–Practices - Islam - Public acts of worship - Salah as direct communication with Allah. The importance of practices - Islam as a way of life, lived in total submission to Allah • The importance of the Five Pillars of Islam to Sunni Muslims • The meaning of the Five Pillars: •• Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith •• Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day •• Zakat/Zakah: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy •• Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan •• Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca • The analogy of the house and pillars

2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Part A Islam - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices - The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam -Prayer/ Salat  Adhan call to prayer, praying at mosque and Friday Jummah prayer (Qur'an 15:9899, 29:45)  Praying at home, private prayer (Du'ah)  The preparations and intention for prayer: wudu and niyyah  The significance and symbolism of the different prayer positions that make a rakat (sequence of prayer) Obligatory Acts  Shahadah: the Muslim profession of faith in Allah and the prophet Muhammad; occasions when the Shahadah is recited, e.g. aqiqah ceremony, conversion to Islam  Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit others, what zakat tax may be used for, and additional charity (saddaqah)  Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan. How and why Muslims fast during Ramadan and rules about halal and haram diet (Qur'an 2:183)

2.3 Component 3 (Route A) - Option 3: Islam - The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam: practices in Britain and elsewhere - Salah: the practices of prayer in Islam in the mosque and at home, including Jummah prayer: Qur'an 15:98-99, Qur'an 29:45

Holy Cribs – Mosque

Azeen:    Welcome to the East London Mosque. My name is Azeen. I'm a Muslim. My religion is called Islam. This is where I come to worship Allah, which is what we call God. Come on in. I'll show you around. The inside of the building is always kept clean as a sign of respect to Allah. So the first thing I do is take off my shoes and leave them in these racks here. Girls and women should also cover their heads with a scarf called a hijab inside the mosque. A lot of boys and men like to wear a little cap like this, called a topi. As well as keeping the building clean, we like to keep ourselves clean too. So before I pray, I come in here to do a special wash called wudu. So I sit in front of one of these taps and I wash my hands, face and feet three times. Now I'm ready to go into the main prayer hall. The first thing you notice, there isn't much in here. This building is called a mosque or masjid, which both mean a place of prostration. Prostration is when someone bows down with their forehead right on the floor. And all Muslims do this when we pray, as a sign of complete obedience to Allah. So a prayer hall just needs to be a big open space where lots of people can sit on the floor to say their prayers.

 

There's nice thick carpet so we're comfortable when praying and there's these lines across it, which we stand on in rows. This gives us enough space to prostrate so we don't bump into the people in front. Wherever we are in the world, all Muslims face the city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia when we pray. That's because the first ever building used to worship Allah, called the Ka'bah, is in Makkah. It's a symbol of togetherness that all Muslims everywhere are concentrating on the same holy place and praying to Allah. The direction of the Ka'bah in Makkah is called the qibla and you can work out using the compass. But here in the mosque there's an easier way. This archway is called the mihrab and it's always in the wall facing the qibla. The person who leads the prayers in a mosque is called an imam, and he'll stand in front of the mihrab to say the prayers out loud. The mihrab reflects his voice back into the room so that everyone can hear him, because, of course, he'll be facing Makkah too. Muslims pray five times a day just before sunrise, just after midday, mid-afternoon, just after sunset and at night before going to bed. I could do that anywhere, as long as I'm in a clean place or have somewhere to lay down a prayer mat. But lots of people like to come here to pray with other people. About quarter of an hour before the prayer is due to start, a man called a muezzin will call people to prayer by reciting the adhan.

 

In Muslim countries, this could be heard from loudspeakers outside so the local people know to stop what they're doing and get over to the mosque. Traditionally, and it's still done in some places, the muezzin will climb the stairs to the top of a tower called a minaret to give the call. Minarets are still a common feature of mosques, even though the muezzin often uses a microphone these days. In the UK, you usually only hear the adhan inside the building. But here at East London Mosque, the daytime calls are broadcasted outside as well. Just before the prayer starts, there's another call which is called the iqamah. On Fridays, people make a special effort to come to the midday prayers because the imam does a special talk called a khutbah, and he'll do it from this platform here, which is called a minbar. Above the prayer hall, traditional mosques have a dome. This helps the imam's voice carry to all parts of the room and in hot countries allows the hot air to rise to keep everyone else cool. And some say that the dome is a reminder of heaven above us, and they are often most beautifully decorated. You won't see any pictures of people or animals inside the mosque, because when Islam started in Arabia hundreds of years ago, most people worshipped statues and pictures. So Muslims wanted to show they were different because they worshipped Allah who couldn't be seen. So instead, mosques are often decorated with passages from the Qur'an, which is a holy book, is written in a very old form of Arabic, which looks beautiful when written out like this. The art of beautiful writing is called calligraphy, and some of the oldest and most beautiful calligraphy in the world is in Arabic. You might also see geometrical patterns like geometry in maths. These are amazingly complicated designs made up of different shapes, and they are often symmetrical. Or there are sometimes patterns that look like leaves and branches twining around each other and over the building. That sort of design is called arabesque. Men and women pray separately in the mosque, so they are concentrating on Allah and not on each other. Sometimes the women will have an area at the back of the main prayer hall or a gallery, or like we've got here: the women have their own separate room. Education and learning are very important to Muslims. So we have a classroom here where I come to a madrassah, that's school in Arabic. I'm learning Arabic so that I can read the Qur'an in its original form and not just a translation. And that's my mosque, out here you can see the dome and minaret standing proudly as part of our community. Thanks for coming, bye.

Holy Cribs: The Mosque

Video length - 07.33
Published date - Mar 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Watch Azeen practise and describe a rak’ah – the positions that Muslims perform during prayer.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices – Beliefs and teachings - Islam - Salah and its significance: how and why Muslims pray including times, directions, ablution (wudu), movements (rak’ahs) and recitations; salah in the home and mosque and elsewhere; Friday prayer: Jummah; key differences in the practice of salah in Sunni and Shi’a Islam, and different Muslim views about the importance of prayer.

Area of Study 3 – Islam Section 1: Muslim Beliefs - Salah as one of the Five Pillars, including reference to Surah 15: 98–99 and 29: 45: the nature, history, significance and purpose of Salah for Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, including different ways of understanding them; how Salah is performed including ablution, times, directions, movements and recitations, in the home and mosque and Jummah prayer."

Component Group 1–Practices - Islam - Public acts of worship - Salah as direct communication with Allah - Component Group 1–Practices - Islam - Public acts of worship - Salah as direct communication with Allah. The importance of practices - Islam as a way of life, lived in total submission to Allah • The importance of the Five Pillars of Islam to Sunni Muslims • The meaning of the Five Pillars: •• Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith •• Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day •• Zakat/Zakah: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy •• Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan •• Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca • The analogy of the house and pillars

2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Part A Islam - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices - The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam -Prayer/ Salat  Adhan call to prayer, praying at mosque and Friday Jummah prayer (Qur'an 15:9899, 29:45)  Praying at home, private prayer (Du'ah)  The preparations and intention for prayer: wudu and niyyah  The significance and symbolism of the different prayer positions that make a rakat (sequence of prayer) Obligatory Acts  Shahadah: the Muslim profession of faith in Allah and the prophet Muhammad; occasions when the Shahadah is recited, e.g. aqiqah ceremony, conversion to Islam  Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit others, what zakat tax may be used for, and additional charity (saddaqah)  Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan. How and why Muslims fast during Ramadan and rules about halal and haram diet (Qur'an 2:183)

2.3 Component 3 (Route A) - Option 3: Islam - The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam: practices in Britain and elsewhere - Salah: the practices of prayer in Islam in the mosque and at home, including Jummah prayer: Qur'an 15:98-99, Qur'an 29:45

Holy Cribs – Prayer Positions

Azeen:    Salah the duty to pray five times a day. We could do it anywhere as long as we've done a wudu and the place we're in is clean and we've got the space to do the movements I'm about to show you. In the prayer hall of a mosque. The carpet is often marked with rectangles for people to stand in or lines across a floor, so everyone has enough space to pray and do the movements without bumping into the people around them. At home I just use a prayer mat. When we pray, we must face the direction of the Ka'bah, which is a cube shaped holy building in the center Makkah in Saudi Arabia. This direction is called the qibla and in a mosque you could tell the qibla by facing the mihrab, which is an archway in the wall at the front of the prayer hall. We pray five times a day. And as well as saying the words in Arabic, we also show our devotion to Allah. First, I should have the intention to pray, which is called the niyyah. So I focus and get myself into the right frame of mind. Then I say Bismillah and the prayer begins. I raised my hands and then lowered them while I say Allahu Akbar. This is called takbir. I'll stand and this is called qiyam. Then I bow from the waist. This is called ruku. Then comes sujud or sajdah, when I kneel down and put my forehead on the floor. This is called prostration in English. I return to the kneeling position called jalsa. Then I prostrate again. And finish in the kneeling position. And that series of movements is called a raka'ah. I'll stand and do more rak'ah's and the number depends on which prayer I'm saying. Each of the positions goes a bit further in showing total submission to Allah. When the prayer is finished and I'm kneeling at the end of the final rak'ah I turn to my right and then my left to say, salam. Peace be with you. After the prayer in Arabic. I can also say my personal prayers in English. And this is called du'a.

 

Islam: Prayer Positions

Video length - 02.55
Published date - Mar 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Before Muslims pray, they should always perform a special wash called wudu. Watch Azeen as he demonstrates and describes how he does it.

Component 1: The study of religions: beliefs, teaching and practices – Beliefs and teachings - Islam - Salah and its significance: how and why Muslims pray including times, directions, ablution (wudu), movements (rak’ahs) and recitations; salah in the home and mosque and elsewhere; Friday prayer: Jummah; key differences in the practice of salah in Sunni and Shi’a Islam, and different Muslim views about the importance of prayer.

Area of Study 3 – Islam - Section 1: Muslim Beliefs - Salah as one of the Five Pillars, including reference to Surah 15: 98–99 and 29:45: the nature, history, significance and purpose of Salah for Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, including different ways of understanding them; how Salah is performed including ablution, times, directions, movements and recitations, in the home and mosque and Jummah prayer."

Component Group 1–Practices - Islam - Public acts of worship - Salah as direct communication with Allah. The importance of practices - Islam as a way of life, lived in total submission to Allah • The importance of the Five Pillars of Islam to Sunni Muslims • The meaning of the Five Pillars: •• Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith •• Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day •• Zakat/Zakah: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy •• Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan •• Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca • The analogy of the house and pillars

2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Part A Islam - Core beliefs, teachings and practices - Practices - The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam -Prayer/ Salat  Adhan call to prayer, praying at mosque and Friday Jummah prayer (Qur'an 15:9899, 29:45)  Praying at home, private prayer (Du'ah)  The preparations and intention for prayer: wudu and niyyah  The significance and symbolism of the different prayer positions that make a rakat (sequence of prayer) Obligatory Acts  Shahadah: the Muslim profession of faith in Allah and the prophet Muhammad; occasions when the Shahadah is recited, e.g. aqiqah ceremony, conversion to Islam  Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit others, what zakat tax may be used for, and additional charity (saddaqah)  Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan. How and why Muslims fast during Ramadan and rules about halal and haram diet (Qur'an 2:183)

2.3 Component 3 (Route A) - Option 3: Islam - The Five Pillars of Sunni Islam: practices in Britain and elsewhere - Salah: the practices of prayer in Islam in the mosque and at home, including Jummah prayer: Qur'an 15:98-99, Qur'an 29:45

Holy Cribs - Wudu

Azeen:    When Muslims pray, we do a special wash called wudu as a symbol that we are pure and ready to speak to Allah. We wash our hands, face and feet three times, but it's done in a particular way, in a particular order. We sit here in front of one of these taps because if possible, we prefer to do our wudu using running water so we're not washing ourselves in water that someone else might have washed in. First I say Bismillah, which is a short prayer in Arabic. In English it goes in the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful. I'll wash my hands thoroughly. First, the right three times. Then the left three times. I rinse out my mouth three times. I rinse my nose by snuffing water into my nostrils and blowing out three times. I wash my face three times, all of it from the bottom of my chin to my hairline. Starting with my right arm. I wash from the wrist to the elbow three times. And then I'll do the same with my left arm. I run my wet hands over my hair. Then wipe my ears inside and out. And then the back of my neck. Then I wash my right foot three times up to the ankle. And my left foot three times. Finally, I say the Shahadah, which is another short prayer in Arabic. In English it goes. I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And now I'm ready to pray.

Islam: Preparing to Pray

Video length - 02.49
Published date - Mar 2023
Keystage(s) - 2, 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

Holy Books: The Qur’an – An imam, a student and a calligrapher who works in Arabic share their thoughts about the Qur’an – where it came from, why it’s important and how they use it in their everyday lives.

A film by Kim Roden

Created in collaboration with the Advocacy Academy

Holy Books: The Qur’an

Video length - 10.04
Published date - Apr 2018
Keystage(s) - 3 and 4
Downloadable resources

A Day in the Life of a Muslim Imam – What is an imam, and what does he do all day? Say, “Salaam alaikum” to Naveed and watch as TrueTube follows him around with a camera.

A Day in the Life of a Muslim Imam

Video length - 08.20
Published date - Dec 2017
Keystage(s) - 3
Downloadable resources