Roughly 25,000 Muslims from all over the world have made their home in Utah and established centers to shop, learn, eat and pray together and with their Latter-day Saint Mormon neighbors.
BYU Taj Muhammad, a Muslim who immigrated from Pakistan years earlier, was happy to welcome a group of female BYU students to the mosque one Friday. He thanked them for their respectful and modest dress. “That is perfect — you have long sleeves, and your head is covered,” he said, indicating scarves they had wrapped over their heads.
Muhammad acted as the group’s tour guide for the prayer service, turning the lights on so they could get better pictures. He showed them a copy of the Quran written in Arabic calligraphy, although he asked them not to touch it because they had not completed “wudu,” a ritual washing. He said, “Mormons and Muslims are like this.” He placed his two index fingers side by side. “Close.”