A Sanctuary Within: Mosques

We would like to discuss the importance of holy sites for everyone – not just followers of the faith. As institutions and community centres, they remind us of our connection with the universe and the spiritual world.

Religious followers swear by the sanctuary they find at their holy sites. While inside, they look within themselves to ask questions, consider what they most desire, and find peace from the outside world.

At Mosque, there are no material expectations. All that is asked is to take some time to consider the spiritual world – the world we cannot see, the question of creation, and how we can be better people.

It is this community atmosphere that has led to mosques in the East becoming sanctuaries for people facing persecution or hardship. Many openly welcome people of all faiths to engage with their beliefs; to take sanctuary from the ills of the outside.

People do not visit these sites to simply forget what is happening in the world; it is to put their minds in a spiritual and unearthly state. How important is the prospect of a pay rise when you are thinking about the Universe or creation? For these reasons, our holy places are therapeutic and meditative. In simpler terms, they are good for the soul – numbing the Ego and inviting our humble selves.

In Mosques, artists painted geometric pattern shapes to hypnotise the viewer into a sense of infinite ‘oneness’. Ceilings are high, and water is free for all. The homeless are made welcome, and everyone is placed on a level-playing field. We all become the same in a holy site – no one person is better than the other in the eyes of god (or the universe, as we prefer to see it).

We are those geometric shapes – small pieces of a cosmic puzzle representing the whole; a beautiful continuation of nature. It is what our material world decides for us that influences how we react to insignificant day-to-day things. To keep us level-headed, happy, and humble, we can visit sanctuaries like mosques and take a moment in silence, reminding ourselves that sometimes looking within is more important than outside.