Information on these pages has been used with permission from Scottish Inter Faith Council.
Local contact information
The local contact information below has been compiled by the Chaplaincy at the University of St Andrews.
In Mansefield, opposite the Students Union, there is a dedicated Muslim prayer room, with a much larger room used for Friday prayers.
University of St Andrews
Dundee Islamic Centre and Hilltop Mosque
Telephone: 01382 228374
18 Park Place
Telephone: 01382 69950
Jamia Masjid Tajdare - Madina
96 Victoria Street
Telephone: 013825 24817
Victoria Road Mosque
2 Wellington Street
Tayside Dundee Central Mosque
6 Miln Street
Al-Noor Middle Eastern Food Store
202 Blackness Road
Telephone: 01382 522558
Mosque and Islamic Association of Aberdeen
Mosque and Islamic Centre
50 Potter Row
Glasgow Islamic Centre and Central Mosque
Introduction to Islam
The Muslims' religion and way of life, spiritually and materially, is Islam. Islam is an Arabic word which means submission to God. The root of the word Islam comes from a word meaning peace and it is the way of peace as laid down in the Quran. The word can also mean submission and it is through submission to God's will that a Muslim finds peace. Islam is a world religion that originated in the Middle East in the seventh century CE. Now it is practised by about a fifth of the world's population.
Muslims originally came to live in Scotland in the early 1940s mainly from Pakistan or India. Thereafter others came from Africa and the Middle East.
At the heart of Muslim belief is belief in the unity and universality of God. The Arabic word ALLAH means the One God. Muslims also believe in the unity of mankind, under one father, Adam, and have a strong sense of the Muslim community or Ummah and are aware of their solidarity with all Muslims worldwide. Muslims recognise the prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Jesus, and see Mohammed (peace be upon him) as the last and final prophet. Mohammed (pbuh) was born in Makah in 570 CE. He received the Holy revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years. This revelation was recorded in Islam's Holy Book known as the Quran, which is regarded as the literal word of God. Muslims are taught to recite the Quran in Arabic as any translation of the Holy Book is seen as inadequate.
Customs and practices
Islam has two principal bases of faith. The first is that there is no god worthy of worship but the one universal God (Allah), creator and sustainer of all beings. The second is that Mohammed (pbuh) is his messenger. Islam has five pillars that represent the foundation stones of Islamic worship and action:
Shahadah: There is no God but the one true God and Mohammed is his messenger. Reciting this with intention three times makes someone a Muslim
Salat: Prayer takes place five times a day at given times. It involves a prescribed sequence of kneeling and standing postures and is made facing Makah.
Zakat: Two and a half percentage of a Muslim's assets over a given specified amount is given in welfare tax to benefit the poor and needy each year.
Hajj: This is an annual pilgrimage to Makkah which takes place at a fixed time of the calendar. It is a requirement at least once in a lifetime for those who can afford it.
Sawm: During the month of Ramadan Muslims are required to abstain from food, drink and sexual acts from dawn till sunset. The ill, old and travellers are exempt.
Places of worship
Prayer can take place anywhere and often a rug is used to mark out the place of prayer. The word Mosque means a place of prostration and can refer to any place of prayer. Purpose built Mosques will be used for communal prayer, community gatherings, Quranic education and the gathering together for the traditional Friday mid-day sermon. These Mosques are often characterised by their dome and minaret, the tall tower from which the call to prayer has traditionally come. No images representing a living being are allowed in the Mosque, which could be decorated very artistically using calligraphy.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar and the month of the Islamic fast. The appearance of the new moon at the end of Ramadan marks the beginning of the festival of Eid ul Fitr. During this festival Muslims visit the Mosque, give charity, exchange presents and cards and celebrate with family and friends. Eid ul Adhi coincides with the completion of the pilgrimage to Makkah. It is celebrated by pilgrims and non-pilgrims alike and unites the whole Islamic community, the Ummah with the Hajj. At this time Muslims offer sacrifices of lambs or other animals to commemorate the sacrifice of Abraham's son.
Food and diet
Muslims differentiate between food which is allowed (halal), and food which is forbidden (haram). Pork, any other part of the pig, carnivorous animals or blood are haram. Meat must also be slaughtered according to biblical rites by a Muslim butcher. The consumption of intoxicants is also forbidden.
Concerns of the community
The Muslim community is concerned about the recent increase in Islamophobia and wants to rectify wrong images of Islam.
You can get more information about religious movements from Inform, a charity based in London.