As-Salamu Alaykum - Welcome to the webpage on Islam.
Local Place of Worship - also contact for Halal food outlets
Dundee Central Mosque,
6 Miln Street,
Tel: 01382 228374
(approx. 25 minute bus journey from the University)
As part of 'Doors Open in September' University staff and students were invited
by the E&D Officer, where everyone was welcomed and given a tour of the Mosque.
Kirkcaldy Central Mosque & Community Centre,
Fife, KY2 6SF.
Mosque: (0044) 01592 641057
- Days of relevance for all Muslims are observed
- Madsressa educational support
Curriculum & Student Provision Specific Issues:
Source: HEA Faith Guides for HE: A Guide to Islam
Debunking Common Stereotypes -
Muslims of many backgrounds in higher education have identified a number of stereotypes that they believe are fallacious:
Many Muslim students after the 11 September attacks in the United States and the 7 July attacks in the UK feel that Muslims and Islam are all branded as terrorists or extremists, especially if Muslim men grow beards and Muslim women wear the hijab or niqab.
Muslim students feel that their devotion to the faith is sometimes seen as backward and out of place. For example, society seems not to understand that Islam for practising Muslims is a way of life and not simply a matter to be kept private behind four walls.
Muslims students feel that the gender issue in the higher education environment is misunderstood. They feel that other people assume that Muslim women students wearing either hijab or niqab are oppressed. Due to Muslim students having strict laws on food, drink and sex, they feel that they are marginalised as fanatic or extremist, whereas other groups may simply be called ‘conservative’.
Key Sensitivities -
Muslim men and women on campuses across Britain can be very sensitive to provocative dress by men and women. In Islamic teaching both men and women are asked to look away from men and women that dress to ‘arouse’ the other sex.
Obscene language and swearing are offensive to Muslim students. Muslims can be highly sensitive to higher education activities and meetings taking place in surroundings where alcohol is served or consumed. The majority of practising Muslims would prefer to avoid such places.
Sexual Relations -
Islam forbids absolutely any sexual activity before marriage. In addition to that, Islam also has a strong view of ‘indecent’ behaviour between the sexes. Thus, many Muslim students avoid any activities organised by Student Unions that break these rules. Some examples of these activities are dancing, field trips and meetings that involve close contact between men and women.
As a whole, the scholars of Islam agree that Islam as a religion forbids same-sex sexual relationships (previously refer to as homosexuality). Many Muslims feel strongly on this issue and find themselves labelled as homophobic or extremist due to their religious views.
Food Code -
Muslims follow a strict dietary law. Pork is prohibited, as are its by-products in any form. The by-products of pork can be found in various food items such as gelatine in cakes, sweets and ice creams. Muslims will generally not be happy to eat other foods that have come into contact or been served with pork or pork products, for instance cheese sandwiches that have been served on a plate with ham sandwiches or sausage rolls (most vegetarians would be equally unhappy with this) or other meats handled or cut with utensils that have been used for handling pork.
Meat products containing blood are prohibited. Islamic slaughter of an animal involves a swift slit to the throat while pronouncing Bismillah, Allahu Akbar, which means, ‘In the name of God, God is the Greatest’. The animal is then bled completely. This makes the meat Halal. Any food over which the name of a deity other than God has been pronounced is prohibited. Amongst Muslims there are two opinions with regard to eating meat from non-Muslim butchers or other shops such as supermarkets. One is that it is prohibited and that the animal has to be slaughtered by Islamic code. The second opinion is that it is permissible (except for pork) since no deity’s name has been pronounced over the animal. Muslims are not permitted to consume alcohol or anything that contains alcohol or any other substances that intoxicate or interfere with the clear functioning of the mind, in any quantity or form. Most seafood and all vegetables are permissible.
Dress Code -
Islam does not recommend a particular style of dress for men and women and Islamic dress should not be confused with traditional ethnic dress. Some Muslims choose to wear Asian attire, Arab attire or European attire according to their own ethnic background or personal taste. It is not necessary for a convert (or revert) to adopt any form of ethnic dress as these are not innately Islamic. All that is required is to observe the guidelines relating to modesty:
Men should cover their body from the navel to the knees. Men are not allowed to wear pure silk or gold items.
Many Muslim women choose to cover their head with a headscarf, often referred to as hijab. The majority of Muslim scholars of both genders believe that according to the Islamic sources, women are to cover their whole body with clothes, except face, hands and feet, when outside the immediate family circle. They do not need to be covered when they are in exclusively female company, nor in the company of male family members within the degrees of relationship that prohibit marriage (i.e. father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle). They should, however, be covered in the company of male cousins since cousin marriage is permitted in Islam. Some Muslim women choose to cover their face with the niqab, a veil that covers the face except for the eyes.
Neither men nor women are allowed to wear clothes that are revealing, skin-tight or see-through.
Islamic Societies -
Most higher education institutes with a significant number of Muslim students have an ‘Islamic Society’ which is generally based in the prayer rooms at the university campus. For all of the Islamic societies in the UK and Ireland there is an umbrella organisation, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies.
There are various platforms and organisations within the Islamic societies. Some may be spiritually inclined while others are more political. In their relationships with each other, Muslims within these Islamic societies may fall into social groups based on national identity such as Pakistanis, Malaysians, Turks, Arabs or British Muslims. On the other hand they may be known through their affiliation to Muslim organisations; for example some Muslim students may be part of the Sufi order, Naqshbandi, thus they would be known amongst other Muslims as Naqshbandis. Others may be known to be part of the Hizb Tahrir, Muslim Brotherhood, Islami Jamiat or Salafi, and others may simply have no affiliation at all. These differences may not be immediately apparent to non-Muslims but they are important in the dynamics of Muslim communities. One thing many have common is their support, whether active or tacit, of specific political causes such as the wish for independence for Palestine, Chechnya and Kashmir.
Download the 'Higher Education Academy Guide to Islam' for an overview
and examples of adjustments specific to staff/student in universities:
HEA Guide to Islam (PDF, 643 KB)
Chaplaincy guidance from the Scottish Inter Faith Council, please refer to: