While visiting the Mauritian capital of Port Louis we popped inside the Jumma Mosque, partly as respite from the midday sun, partly to admire the architecture.
While inside a gentleman approached me (he can be seen in the photo below, taken after we’d left. He’s the one on the left, seated and wearing a helmet for no discernible reason) and started chatting. I was concerned that once he’d started he’d never stop, and he’d end up trying to convince me to come to a prayer meeting or something (I seem to attract those types), but after a brief exchange he left us in peace.
He did, however, offer me a couple of small pamphlets. One was a transcript of a lecture about Islam and science. The other was “Islamic Manners for Children”.
I know little or nothing about Islam, and I don’t mean to mock or criticise in any way, but here are a few of the suggestions which caught my eye flicking through this slim volume:
- We should eat only those food that is nearest to us so that we do not stretch ourselves to reach the food.
- Try to keep company with persons of good character.
- We are not allowed to whisper to another person in the presence of other people during a gathering or sitting.
- Never enter the toilet with a companion.
- We should not talk while relieving ourselves.
- Whenever we talk, talk softly and with a smile.
- Speak only when it is necessary and ensure that what we say is something that is useful.
- Try to listen more and talk less.
- We should lie on our right side and put our right hand on our right cheek.
- We should wake at dawn.
- We should step out with our left, and step in with our right foot.
- When we are outside, we should keep our eyes downcast.
- Remove harmful bits and pieces out of the way.