Today, I went to the the Friday prayer at the Mosque here in Troy, Michigan. It was just a week ago I was sitting in a mosque in Istanbul and a younger guy was translating the sermon in broken English for me. Regardless of what happens before or after the actual prayer it feels good to know that every muslim in the world speaks the same exact arabic words when praying. No matter what country I am in I have a sense of belonging at the Mosque. Turkey's mosques are famous for their beautiful architecture. Although, the pleasure people get from praying is dependent on the strenght of their faith it is an added bonus to be standing in a beautiful mosque with even incredible acoustics. It is such a wonderful feeling to be in a muslim country and hear the call for prayer five times a day. No matter where I was or what I was doing, a mosque was never more than a 3 - 4 minute walk. The Blue Mosque is named after it's blue polished tiles.
This is the main entrance to the mosque
Click on the picture to enlarge it and you will see the beautiful caligraphy of the Quran on the walls
I prayed Asr (4th Prayer of the Day) in the first row at this mosque. Through those front windows you can see lots of trees and the water. It was an absolutely incredible view.