In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful
Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds
The compassionate, the merciful
Master of the Day of Judgment
You alone we worship and you alone we ask for help
Guide us on the straight path
The path of those who have received your blessing
Not those who have brought down your wrath
Or those who have gone astray
Despite their architectural and ethnic diversity, Detroit’s mosques are united by their primary function, which is to serve as houses of prayer. Muslims can pray at any mosque of their choosing. In Detroit, some people worship at several different mosques: one near their job, one on the way to and from work, one closer to home, one near the relatives who live in an adjacent suburb. Others attend only one mosque, where they can socialize with friends and worship in a familiar place.
Whatever their native language might be, Muslims recite their daily prayers in Arabic, the language of the Qur’an. The fatiha, which means “the opening,” is the first chapter of the Qur’an (see above). It is the centerpiece of the ritual prayer, and it captures the essential ideas of worship – of praising God and asking for his help – as understood in the Islamic tradition.