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Page last updated at 14:45 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 15:45 UK
Being a Muslim in the Bailiwick
Muslims at Mecca
Part of the faith involves going on a pilgrimage to Mecca

With a religion that features a strict set of ideals, being a Muslim in a non-Islamic country can present difficulties for the faith's followers.

However both Abdul Sohail and Chris Rouillard agreed Guernsey was very considerate and it was "no big issue".

The faith is centred around five key requirements, or Pillars, which include praying five time a day.

Abdul, who was raised in the faith, said: "People are very considerate, especially here on the island."

He said, "there was trouble for me coming from a Muslim country," as in Guernsey the necessary breaks for religious activities are not built into the average day.

"So it was up to me to see how and when I can do things... but once I'd sorted out those things it was fine," he explained.

Chris Rouillard and Abdul Sohail
Chris and Abdul are two of more than 100 Muslims in Guernsey

Chris explained that as well the daily prayers the Five Pillars of Islam also include accepting Allah as the only deity, giving charitable donations based on income, fasting during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan, and completing a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your lifetime.

Despite these strict sounding rules, Chris, who converted to the faith, said: "Your lifestyle changes but its not as drastic as you might think."

As well as these laws Chris explained there are other things, including not drinking alcohol and not eating pork, that Muslims adhere to, though he said for him fasting in Ramadan was the "challenging thing".

Abdul echoed this sentiment saying: "Its difficult depending on your location I would say... once you start you feel the main purpose of the thing which is to do the thing which is a charitable feeling."

Qur'an
A local Muslims' Qur'an in both English and Arabic

He explained that the point of the fast was to experience what it was like for those who could not afford food and give more feeling to the charitable donations that are one of the pillars of the faith.

Even though there are obvious differences to the other Abrahamic faiths, Islam still worships essentially the same deity as both Judaism and Christianity.

Chris said: "There's a bit more emphasis on personal control and always trying to improve yourself [than in Christianity]."

Abdul clarified this, saying that people's dedication to the faith varies from person to person as a matter of their freewill within Islam. He said that, as with other faiths, some people pray and attend religious events more than others.

But, he said, "An average Muslim goes to mosque once a day at least... you try to go as much as you can."

Abdul said he thought there were more than 100 Muslims in Guernsey and in 2008 they set up a charitable trust to deal with the charitable donations made by followers of the faith.

The Guernsey Islamic Charitable Trust receives and manages donations from Guernsey based Muslims and distributes the money to local charities.




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