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The title says it all, I visited a mosque. I don't know how to explain it. I'm not even sure why I did. But I did. It was there and so I went in. If anything, I would say it was because of some sort of vague cultural interest.

It was interesting, I had this bizarre mixture of interest and loathing that's really impossible to explain. I didn't participate in any of their prayers and i made clear that i am a Christian but I did listen to what they had to say and they offered me some food which I accepted. I don't intend to ever visit one again but now I can say that I have some personal familiarity with Islam.

Im just putting this out here so what do you guys think? Is what I did sinful? Have any of you ever been in a mosque or similar building? Have you guys ever had any personal experience with islam.?
(04-30-2016, 10:23 PM)Dominicus Wrote: [ -> ]The title says it all, I visited a mosque. I don't know how to explain it. I'm not even sure why I did. But I did. It was there and so I went in. If anything, I would say it was because of some sort of vague cultural interest.

It was interesting, I had this bizarre mixture of interest and loathing that's really impossible to explain. I didn't participate in any of their prayers and i made clear that i am a Christian but I did listen to what they had to say and they offered me some food which I accepted. I don't intend to ever visit one again but now I can say that I have some personal familiarity with Islam.

Im just putting this out here so what do you guys think? Is what I did sinful? Have any of you ever been in a mosque or similar building? Have you guys ever had any personal experience with islam.?

I think that, barring a serious reason, it is at least a proximate near occasion of sin.  Unfortunately most priests never say it these days, but at one time Catholics were not PERMITTED to even attend non-Catholic funerals or weddings.  Objectively speaking it can even be a mortal sin (although I doubt that you personally committed a mortal sin).  I would say, personally, that by attending a Mosque you gave the appearance of approval even if you did not mean to do so.  Muslims, despite modern clerics insistence to the contrary, are not on a trajectory to heaven because they do are not on the Barque of Peter. 

There is a secondary and very concerning problem regarding you having eaten the food that they prepared at the Mosque.  Allah is not the same as the Father.  Unfortunately, you may have eaten meat offered to an Idol (Allah).  This is primarily my opinion, but I believe it to be in accordance with traditional Catholicism, although possibly at odds with recent Pontiffs' statements and examples.  My answer is that you probably did not sin accept possibly venially, but you may have sinned mortally.  It all depends on your knowledge of the issues coupled with whether or not your will severely compromised enough that the sin becomes venial or potentially non-existent.  My suspicion is that you have a nagging thought that this was probably sin.  Under that circumstance I would tend to confess.



Personally I would confess this as a sin to a Traditional priest as a precaution that I might have commited sin. 
If your intent was to learn and gain exposure, which may in turn educate you further-- I'm not sure if there's anything I could say about it.

However, I'm not sure I agree with Quenyen that accepting the food or just being there was a sin. I'm from a Hindu family, where my relatives have weddings in their religion, there will be funerals, and so forth. I thought natural marriages were okay. I've attended ceremonies including religious functions and ate the food that was there, have told a priest about it (who knew about my background) and was never admonished or told I sinned. If my understanding is correct, St. Paul talks about consuming meat which may have been offered to idols. He says the idol is nothing and the meat has no intrinsic moral value. However, if a believer has a weak conscience and the occasion could cause a Christian to sin, the believer should not violate their conscience.

If all you did was to be an observer and learn, I see no problem. If however, you feel a violation of conscience I don't think there's a problem.
The only way I see this being a sin is if you went due to doubts about the Church, which it sounds like you didn't. Or if you'd taken part in the prayers, which you did not. If you are still unsure, I'm just a guy on the interwebs, so you can always see a good traditional priest.

The word "allah" simply means God. The same word is used by Christians in the Mid East during Mass, although their concept of God is not the same as God the Father.

Regarding the food, since it was halal, then if it was meat, the preparer probably said "Bismillah!" ("In the name of God") as it was killed. Whatever. I defer to what introvert said above. Make the Sign of the Cross over, say Grace, and enjoy the food. It's tasty. Especially the lamb. I've been known to absolutely devour some lamb tikka.

As a related note, it's important to always act graciously when interacting with people of other faiths, to be, for lack of a better term, ambassadors for Christ. Just think, there could be a guy on a muslim forum right now posting how a Christian came to his mosque, and wasn't the bacon-wrapped baby eating infidel he'd always thought. :LOL:
I really don't see a problem here.  There is no way to interact with other religions and explain our faith to them if we do not also understand where they are coming from.  At some point, that might mean setting foot in a mosque in order to be able to find common ground with a Muslim. 

As far as eating their food, I think you are fine.  I assume you said grace and gave proper thanks.  If anything it would have been exceedingly rude and insulting to not eat.  Think of it as on par with going to a Prottie house for dinner on a Friday and eating meat because to do otherwise would insult someone needlessly. 

I studied the history of Islam and its theology in college - not because I had doubts about my faith but because in order to understand the crusades, one must have some background in the other side's understanding of events.  There is a difference between intellectual curiosity and contemplating apostasy. 
I have a mosque/ Islamic center literally 200 feet from my doorstep but I've never been there.  I guess I'd blend in, as I have facial hair, but part of me is leery going there.

That being said I don't think what you did was an occasion of sin.  If you're strong in your faith why not?  You are simply learning about their customs and that's all.  You might even have one of them become a friend or acquaintance in the future, or get a nice discussion about religion or something. 

I used to sit meditation at the local zen center just because wow frankly I love sitting and watching my breathing and it's something I have done for a decade or more, although these days I don't, and I never prostrated to Buddha statues or anything. 

I work in NYC, I tell the other guys all the time that if they haven't tried food from the halal carts they have no idea what they're missing. I used to live off of lamb gyros with tzatziki sauce. It really incredibly delicious. I even got my wife to love them after so much reluctance over the smell.
I don't see the slightest bit of a problem here, Dom.  But then, hey...I'm a heretic! :grin:

Halal food is almost as good as kosher food.

You didn't pray or bow or otherwise partake of their service or contemplate converting or whatever?  So...what's the big deal?

(05-01-2016, 01:37 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]Halal food is almost as good as kosher food.

I've always heard halal food is OK, but kosher food is a ticket to hell.



Just kidding, J Mike, couldn't resist. :grin:  Truth is, I'll eat anything as long as it tastes good.
No sin at all. You did not pray with them, you did not stray.

You may have eaten their meat, but that is fine. I need not repeat what the others have said here.

I have encountered many Muslims here where I live. Usually, they are vendors in the marketplave, selling things like fruits, vegetables or electronics. Good, somewhat honorable businessmen. One has even offered me a DVD of The Passsion of the Christ, which I graciously accepted.

Some of them are also fugitives from fracas and disturbances from Mindanao, their native land here. Pitiful, some of them live off their lives begging in the streets, asking for alms, sometimes door to door, house to house.

Not all of them are good though. Some were criminals, murderers and thieves, even feared by the police. In a city near the capital city of Manila, they have a district wherein rape and murder are often done. Many in the police do not do their patrolling there, for fear of being murdered by the Muslim thugs.
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