|Foto: Steffen Pletl, via http://www.morgenpost.de/|
On the website of the mosque (and also here) you can also find out more information about visits.
They list the following reasons for wanting people to visit:
- Islamische Architekturkunst aufzeigen und erläutern [show and explain Islamic architecture]
- Muslimisches Leben im Berliner Alltag vorstellen [introduce Muslim everyday life in Berlin]
- sich gegenseitig kennenlernen [get to know one another]
- Vorurteile abbauen und Gemeinsamkeiten entdecken [break down stereotypes and discover commonalities]
- Steigerung gegenseitiger Wertschätzung [increase appreciation of one another]
- Fragen (auch kritische) zum Islam authentisch beantworten [answer (also critical) questions about Islam in an authentic way]
- Perspektivwechsel ermöglichen [make possible the exchange of perspectives]
- Dialoge und Freundschaften fördern [promote dialogue and friendships]
|Foto: picture-alliance/ dpa (welt.de)|
This mosque is very new: finished in 2005. It was built to resemble Ottoman mosques in Turkey from the 16th and 17th centuries, with the minarets. This mosque was built on a piece of ground that actually belongs to Turkey. Back in the days of Prussia and the Ottoman empire, the Prussians gave the Turks this piece of ground for a cemetery, and the mosque is built on this piece of land.
In this particular mosque, the prayer is read in Turkish (sometimes also Arabic), but the Friday sermon is read in German. We got to sit in and listen/watch a prayer service. It lasted about 10 minutes and the prayer was more sung than read. The men and women were separated, the women prayed in the balcony (where we also sat). The men prayed with the imam below. It's a very physical way of praying. They kneel down, sit on their heels and touch their forehead to the ground, and repeat this motion. Their bodies are very close, and at the end of the ceremony they all moved towards the front, and made sure everyone in each row was touching, so no one stood alone. Our guide explained that for this reason men and women are also separated, because when you bow down your head is very close to the rear of the person in front of you.
It's not only a place of prayer, but a community center. While we were there, there were constantly children running around. I noticed a few men holding cups of tea when we came in, and women sitting around in the courtyard talking. Michael also pointed out to me they have a Reisebüro, travel agency. The woman from the board of the mosque as well as the imam came to us and introduced themselves.