Interview with Dr. Ahmed Sheikh

photo of ahmed

Which year was built the Islamic center in Cape Girardeau?

It has been at this location for more than 10 years.


How SEMO students contact the Islamic center and practice their faith?

The Islamic Center is open to all. Most students hear about it from other students, or from Muslim Student Association. The information is also available on Google.


How do Muslims practice their faith?

The primary tenets or pillars of faith are belief in one God, prescribed prayer five times a day, fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, obligatory charity which is a percentage of end-of-year savings and pilgrimage to the Kaaba in Makkah once in a lifetime. Other requirements revolve around cultivating decent, moral and just behavior.


What are the foundational sources of Islamic beliefs and practices?

Muslims consider the holy book Quran to be the Word of God given to Prophet Muhammad. They derive their beliefs and inspiration from it, supplementing it with Hadith which are the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad.


How does Islam view other religions? Can non-Muslims visit the Islamic center?

There is no compulsion in religion, says the Quran in Chapter 2. Elsewhere in Chapter 109, it states addressing those who didn't believe that "To you your religion to me my religion". The Prophet entered peaceful treaties with people of other faiths and honored his treaties with them as long as they did not break their treaty with the Muslims. Islam considers itself to be from the same God as the God of Moses and Christ. It believe in all the Prophets sent by God over time.


How many converts are there in the Islamic center in a year?

It’s more than three people to convert each year.


What is Islam’s view of the education? Especially for female?

Islam honors the seeking of knowledge. The Prophet said "If anyone travels on the road of knowledge, Allah causes him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise.” The Quran also insistently asks," Are those who know equal to those who do not know?" Both men and women must seek knowledge. Women are to be provided opportunities for education at par with men although there are Muslim societies that unfortunately limit female education. In Iran however female enrollment in University outnumbers male enrollment. Women work and study side by side men in many urban areas of Muslim countries like Pakistan, Turkey, and Indonesia.

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Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701