The Denver Islamic Society regularly gives out presentations about Islam and receives visitors at its center.
The Outreach Committee of the Denver Islamic Society arranges presentations and visits to the mosque for schools, churches, and individuals interested in learning about Islam and the Muslim community. Please contact us to set up a visitation time for yourself or your group.
We are glad that you have decided to visit our mosque, which is a place of worship for all Muslims. We welcome anyone who would like to visit and observe the daily prayers and participate in the activities at the Denver Islamic Society. The mosque is wheelchair-accessible. Here are frequently asked questions about visiting a mosque.
What is a mosque?
A mosque (or masjid in Arabic) is literally any place where Muslims make salat, the prayer performed in the direction of Mecca; it needn’t be a building.
What should I wear?
It is most appropriate to wear modest, loose-fitting clothes. For men, it is better to wear long pants, and for women to wear pants or full-length skirts or dresses, with long sleeves. Muslim women typically wear a headscarf as well. A female visitor may cover her head if she wishes to show respect to other worshipers or to enrich her own experience.
Why do you take your shoes off?
A mosque is free of statues and utilizes rugs instead of pews. It is appropriate to remove one’s shoes before entering the prayer area in a mosque, so that the floors and carpets aren’t covered with dirt—after all, that is where people pray.
Can I take photos?
Yes. Picture taking is permitted inside the mosque including in both prayer areas. Please, be considerate to other’s privacy if they do not wish to be photographed.
Where are the women praying?
Women offer daily prayers in a room catty-cornered to the main prayer hall. The separate room provides women with privacy and modesty. The physical separation helps men and women maintain focus on prayer instead of one another.
What are the foot-sinks in the bathroom for?
A Muslim must be in a state of physical purification before making his or her prayer. That includes washing the feet. Our restrooms are equipped with bidets and other modern amenities for wudu, the self-purification process performed prior to prayers.
What happens when people join the prayer late?
They will join the prayer already in progress, and after the Imam (leader of the prayer) has finished, they will complete what they missed.
How do Friday prayers work?
Friday is the day of congregational prayers for Muslims—so a short sermon followed by a short prayer at the mosque in congregation is substituted for the regular noon-time prayer. The service begins with the call to prayer, followed by a lecture (rather, two short lectures with a brief pause in the middle). After the lecture (called a Khutbah), another call to prayer is made and the congregation stands to follow the Imam in the prayer. At Denver Islamic Society, there are two Friday prayer sessions: the first begins with the Khutba at 12:15 p.m. and the second Khutba begins at 1:15 p.m.
Are mosques new to America?
Mosques have been here since the colonial era. One of the first mosques in North American history was on Kent Island, Md.: Between 1731 and 1733, African American Muslim slave and Islamic scholar Job Ben Solomon, a cattle driver, would regularly steal away to the woods there for his prayers — in spite of a boy who threw dirt on him as he made his prostrations. Today, there are more than 2,000 places of Muslim prayer, most of them mosques, in the United States.
What’s the difference between a mosque and masjid?
They are the same. Masjid is the Arabic word for mosque.
How often do your members pray at the mosque?
The Denver Islamic Society parallels national statistics on mosque attendance. According to Pew and Gallup polls in 2010, about 40 percent of Muslim Americans say they pray in a mosque at least once a week, nearly the same percentage of American Christians who attend church weekly. About a third of all U.S. Muslims say they seldom or never go to mosques. Also, contrary to stereotypes of mosques as male-only spaces, Gallup finds that women are as likely as men to attend.
Do mosques promote homegrown terrorism?
To the contrary, mosques are typical American religious institutions. In addition to worship services, most U.S. mosques hold weekend classes for children, offer charity to the poor, provide counseling services and conduct interfaith programs. There have been unfortunate exceptions, and that has led to a renewed commitment among mosque leaders to confront extremism. We hope you will visit us, and find that we are a premier site of American assimilation and community involvement.
A few more guidelines …
A ringing cell phone is a distraction to any service at the mosque—please silence or power-off phones when entering the building.
Talking during prayer
If you need to talk to someone during the prayer (while you are not praying, of course,) please take the conversation outside the prayer hall into the lobby so as to not distract those who are praying.
Not standing/walking in front of someone praying
If you are walking through the prayer area and come across someone who is praying, please walk behind, instead of in front of him.
Shaking hands with opposite gender
Please be aware that many Muslims do not shake hands with anyone of the opposite gender. That is, men do not shake hands with women, and women do not shake hands with men. Unless he/she extends his/her hand first, it is better to not extend yours.