Lines and Other Markings: Organization of Space

In the front of the room, before the prayer rugs, is a wooden seat covered by another ornate rug, where the imam sits to deliver his Friday sermon at midday jumu’ah prayers. Next to this, on the wall, hangs a digital prayer clock, which shows the current time and the current daily times for each of the five prayers. A bookshelf of holy books—Qur’ans and books of hadith, or sayings of the Prophet—also stands at the front of this room.

Ritual prayer, or salat, is not limited to designated prayer spaces. Bashir, a Somali liaison to the Faribault schools who also helps with education at the masjid, commented:

I can pray [in the women’s prayer space], if women aren’t here, I can pray upstairs, I can pray anywhere that I want. There’s no sacred space that I would say I should pray. Except I cannot pray with the women when they are here; I just give them their privacy.

The masjid includes more than just space for prayer. Rooms on both floors function as classrooms for a variety of ages, from very young children to adults. There are also two kitchens, one on each floor, where women make food for Friday midday prayers and special events; bathrooms, where people make wudu before prayers; and office space for the imams.

 For more on religious education, see Religious Education and Authority.