Islam: The Mosque – Section C- Junior Certificate Religious Education

The mosque is the sacred worship place for Muslims.

I made this lesson on teaching practice last year. It went really well. All of the students’ loved it and they had a great understanding of the mosque after it!

Learning outcomes

  1. The students will be able to describe what a mosque is.
  2. The students will be able to name and illustrate their understanding of the main features inside and outside of a mosque.
  3. The pupils will be able to discuss how Muslims portray respect in the mosque.
  4. The pupils will be able to name the first mosque built.
  5. The students will be able to discuss why mosques are important for Muslims

Assessment of Learning outcomes

  1. The students will describe what a mosque is on a post it.
  2. The students will and illustrate their understanding of the main features inside and outside of a mosque by working in groups and making a mosque.
  3. The pupils will discuss how Muslims portray respect in the mosque by completing a worksheet about a video clip on mosques.
  4. The pupils will be able to name the first mosque built as I will ask the students ‘What was the first mosque built called?’ so the students can portray their knowledge.
  5. The students will be able to discuss why mosques are important for Muslims by completing a worksheet about a video clip on mosques.

Homework task will be:

Convert a local building into a Mosque.

Include designs of the building (for example birds eye view) of the different rooms or different features.

And show the changes required to make the building more suitable for a mosque.

 Mosque lesson

Phase 1: Introduction

Phase 2:  Powerpoint and handout

I will show the students a power point of the mosque. I will go through the power point with the students.  The students’ will take down the notes and copy the diagram of the features of a mosque into their copies. The power point will heighten the students understanding of what a mosque is, why a mosque is important, how Muslims show respect in a mosque and the different features of a mosque.

Click here for the power point –   The_Mosque

Phase 3: Group work- Make your own Mosque

I will put the students into groups.

I will give each group a card of a mosque layout. The students’ use their understanding to work together and make the Mosque and also label the correct features.

I will give the groups four minutes for this task.

I will use a countdown timer to time the groups and also motivate them.

After the time is up, the groups will present their mosques to the class.

 Mosque template


Phase 4: Video clip and worksheet

Truetube is an excellent resource for all sections of the Religious Education syllabus. They have fantastic videos. I have chosen one of their video clip’s for this lesson.

I will then show the students a video clip about the mosque.

I will give the students a worksheet.

I will read the questions on the worksheet with the students’.

The worksheet will ask the students questions about the video clip.

I will then start the video clip.

The questions on the worksheet are are in a link below. I have written the answers here for you. I always watch a video clip and write down the answers before I show any video clips to my students’.

  1. What do they use in modern day to call Muslims for prayer? (Speakers)

2. What type of clothes should be worn to a mosque? (Modest, head scarf for women and if wearing a skirt. It must be long.

3. How many times do you rinse your mouth in the wudu? (Three times)

4. Write down one of the reasons for mosques having domes? (Beauty and to keep the mosque cool and  mosques had no speakers in the old days so had domes so the sound would travel around)

5. Why do women pray in a different section to men in the mosque? (To avoid distraction)

6. What sort of books is in the library? (Qur’an, books about the Qur’an, books about maths, science and languages)

Click here for the worksheet – Mosque worksheet for video clip.

Phase 5- Conclusion


Baitul Mukarram is the national mosque of Bangladesh. It is located in the heart of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, the mosque was founded during the 1960’s. It is pictured below.


The features of a mosque:


The Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

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The interior of the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

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The Islam Ireland website: (Islam Cultural Centre)

Another activity to do with your class is to teach your students’ about respect mosque as it is a sacred place of worship. You can have a class discussion about celebrities that have caused controversy when they visited a mosque. It is very disrespectful to take selfies and pictures posing inside/outside a mosque as it is a sacred place.

Some examples are:

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Rihanna at the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. She was asked to leave the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque after she started taking a series of photographs of her posing. She did not ask permission to take photographs. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest in the country and a popular tourist attraction that welcomes millions of visitors each year. The mosque is open to non-Muslims but the body in charge, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, ask visitors to respect religious sensitivities. This includes women wearing an abaya and shayla, which Rihanna did not wear. Some argued that Rihanna was merely covering her hair as a fashion statement and not out of respect for Islam.

A statement issued by the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre said: “The Centre strives to ensure that visitors enter the mosque in a decent fashion, and refrain from behaving in any way that is inconsistent with the sanctity of this religious place. In the event of behaviour that violates the moral codes of access to the mosque, or other visit regulations – such as taking inappropriate pictures, posing in ways that are improper in the context of sacred place, talking loudly, or eating – the violators are directed in a polite manner that reflects the tolerant attributes of Islam. Usually, the visitors are appreciative of that.

“Here, the Centre refers to a recent incident, involving a singer who came for a private visit to the mosque, at a gate that is not reserved for visitors, without prior coordination with the Centre’s management and without identifying herself.

“She was directed by visitor services to proceed to the visitors’ main gate and take the guided tour, according to procedure. She left without entering the mosque, after being asked to do so, due to the fact that she had taken some pictures that do not conform with the conditions and regulations put in place by the Centre’s management to regulate visits in a way that takes the status and sanctity of the mosque into consideration.”

“While the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre always welcomes visitors and tourists from all around the world, it also calls on everyone to adhere to the moral codes of access to the mosque and to its visit regulations, which the Centre always makes sure are clear to all its visitors throughout the day.

The images attracted condemnation and praise from fans.

One Twitter user, @NNTSHA_NAT, wrote: “I love Rihanna but then posing so seductively in front of the mosque is so disrespectful.”

Another tweeter, @Ahmedcarter, wrote: “Rihanna pics at Sheikh Zayed mosque are disrespectful to the place of worship.”

@BinttAlthee tweeted: “Rihanna modelling in the Sheikh Zayed mosque is just plain wrong. Who let her in?”

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest in the country and a popular tourist attraction that welcomes millions of visitors each year.

The mosque is open to non-Muslims but the body in charge, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, ask visitors to respect religious sensitivities.

This includes women wearing an abaya and shayla, which Rihanna did not do.

“Rihanna may look gorgeous and all but she’s covering her head out of fashion not out of respect for the mosque,” wrote @NAUF_z.

But many fans backed the star, who visited the mosque on Saturday ahead of her gig at du Arena on Yas Island.

“I don’t see how Rihanna posing adjacent to a mosque in Abu Dhabi is disrespectful. If anything she’s showing respect by supporting the hijab,” wrote @mila_iggy.

Twitter user @TheDimeRamla619 also found nothing wrong with the photographs, tweeting: “I have nothing against Rihanna, I mean the mosque in Abu Dhabi is a tourist place so therefore I don’t see nothing wrong.”

User @NurulxxNisyaa wrote: “I totally respect Rihanna, though it’s not her religion she still wear a hijab to the mosque.”


Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, Cody Simpson, Shay Mitchell pictured at the Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. This image caused controversy over whether it was disrespectful or not. All of the girls in the group wore traditional abayas and hijabs to be respectful.However, they did take many selfies at this sacred place of worship.

But not everyone thought their selfie, which was posted on Gigi’s Instagram account, was ‘respectful’.

One user commented: “Covering your head at a mosque/covering up generally in Islam is for modesty, and to diminish vanity. Taking a selfie of you doing that is kind of defeats the point and is a bit disrespectful at a place of worship (sic).”

Another Twitter user wrote: “Kendall, Gigi, Selena and co. That is a Mosque NOT a tourist centre. Bunch of uneducated, disrespectful idiots.”

While another added: “I love kendall and gigi but this is totally DISRESPECTFUL. A mosque is a holy place for Muslims not a tourist centre.”

Selena Gomez also caused controversy during her visit by showing leg in a picture. She quickly deleted it off her instagram. The Mosque visiting rules strictly ban all ‘intimate behaviour’ including holding hands and kissing, and states that all skirts must be ankle-length.


Why should you and your students’ climb Croagh Patrick in Mayo?

Croagh Patrick is a sacred mountain in Westport, Mayo. Each year, as many as one million pilgrims and visitors make the very tough trek to the top to pray at the stations of the cross, participate in Mass, do penance (in which case the rocky journey is undertaken barefoot) or just enjoy the spectacular view of Clew Bay which can be seen in my own personal pictures below.

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Croagh Patrick has been a sacred site since ancient times. Before the arrival of Christianity, the Celtic people regarded the mountain as the dwelling place of the deity Crom Dubh. Neolithic art can still be seen on a rock outcropping known as “St. Patrick’s Chair” along the path to the top, and a Celtic hill fort was recently uncovered at the base of the mountain. According to Christian tradition, St. Patrick went up the sacred mountain at festival time in 441 AD. After fasting at the summit for 40 days, he banished all the snakes and demons from Ireland.

The site quickly became an important place of Christian pilgrimage. A stone oratory dating to between 430 and 890 AD was recently discovered on the summit. According to Christian tradition, St. Patrick went up the sacred mountain at festival time in 441 AD. After fasting at the summit for 40 days, he banished all the snakes and demons from Ireland. It is one of the main pilgrimage sites in Ireland for Christians. It can be studied as part of Section E of the Exam Junior Certificate Religion syllabus.

The first time I climbed Croagh Patrick a few years ago I found it to be incredibly challenging. I was not physically fit as I did not understand the significance and the benefits of physical activity. I climbed it with my uncle, cousin, two younger brothers and my father. My family are very physically active, my brothers play for our local teams, under-age for Mayo and for Connaght and my father still plays football for our local team at home. They had climbed Croagh Patrick a good few times already. At the time I thought I should probably climb with beginners but I went anyway. I am so glad I climbed it with them. It was a great bonding experience. 

Climbing Croagh Patrick was exhausting and also very dangerous as it is a mountain with slippy fields and rocks falling sliding down the mountain. It is amazing to see the amount of people that climb Croagh Patrick on any given day especially on Reek Sunday. I found Croagh Patrick to be an allegory for life. Climbing Croagh Patrick was as much a mental challenge as a physical one. Physically it is intense hard work that must be done but it’s up to the mind to override the urge to quit. When I came near to the top of Croagh Patrick, my body felt like I could not climb any more. I was so close to the top but yet I gave up, my father gave me a pep talk and brought it all into perspective for me. Do I give up when life gets hard? No! Do I give up when I have loads of work to do? No! He will never realise the effect that pep talk had on me.  After his advice, I pushed myself to keep going. I would not give up no matter how much agony my legs were in! In fact at the end when I could see the summit in my sights I picked up my speed and gave it all I had. I said a prayer as soon as I reached the top. Climbing Croagh Patrick reinforced in me the important idea that, in life, it’s about the journey, not the end result! Also I realised the importance of empathy and the significance of accepting help off others. Like I said earlier, my father and my two younger brothers are incredibly athletic and fit. (They play 3 to 4 football matches a week). The opposite to me! They found Croagh Patrick very doable but they never complained to me that I was slowing them down. In fact they had empathy for me and they realised how hard it was for me. They offered me so much support.When you see people going through a hard time, offer them support. Be there for them! Do not give up on them!

As a religion teacher, as I walked up Croagh Patrick, I felt Jesus pain. But I also felt Jesus triumph when I reached the top of the mountain. It was a spiritual journey for me.

Life is difficult but we must push on and never give up. Life is a constant rush, running from one way to the next. I like everyone else constantly worry about what I have to do. While climbing Croagh Patrick, I realised that amidst the rush and stress of my daily life, we lose ourselves and we forget what really matters in life. I realised we need to relax more and find time for ourselves. While I was climbing Croagh Patrick, I was not worrying about work or school work or stuff I had to do. That stuff did not matter to me at that moment in time. Croagh Patrick was one of the best experiences in my life. It taught me so much.

I really recommend every teacher to climb Croagh Patrick. Also every school should organise a school trip and encourage their students’ to climb Croagh Patrick.

The students’ will learn resilience, empathy, life lessons and they will also exercise. Life can be hard, we must teach our students’ to not give up when times get tough. It will improve the students’ communication skills as they must really help each other to push each other to reach the top of the mountain. Exercise releases endorphins (the happy hormone) which improve your mood. Bressie really endorses mental health fitness.

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Exercise is brilliant for a healthy mind and for helping stress/anxiety. It relaxes you, distracts you from your worries and it clears your mind. School is very stressful. I know I am only five years out of secondary school and I have a younger brother who has just started his junior cert so I understand the struggles teenagers face today. They are living in a highly pressured world. They need a break.

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Exercise also produces serotonin which aids sleep. Exercise is also good against the battle against obesity. The National Health survey showed 30 per cent thought children aged between five and 15 were most at risk for obesity, while a further 30 per cent said those aged between 15 and 30 were most at risk of becoming obese. A healthy body equals a healthy mind. It is a fact that exercise in early teens cuts risk of diabetes.  Leaving Cert students who continue to play sport while studying for their exams are more likely to go on to third- level education than those who don’t.

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