A PRIMARY school has been commended for allowing pupils to pray in school.

The headteacher of Barrowford Primary School posted these images of the pupils taking part in afternoon prayers. The tweet was liked thousands of times and hundreds of users thanked the school for encouraging 'tolerance and understanding'.

Posting on social media, headteacher Rachel Tomlinson wrote: "This morning, these two boys brought their prayer mats and asked to do their Zuhr Namaz at school. It's just so incredibly respectful and respected by our whole community who ensured that we were quiet to enable the boys to have the right mindset (niyyah) to pray. 

"We are hoping that more and more children feel able to freely show their faith and join them. I love that our school is a safe place for everyone to be themselves."

Muslims are obliged to pray five times a day and young children are encouraged to take part in prayers by their parents.

Mrs Tomlinson told the Lancashire Telegraph she was surprised at the number of people who had sent messages and the interest the post had garnered in such a short time.

She said: “We have been really humbled by the whole thing. It was wonderful to read people’s reactions but I'm also a little sad in that it should not be a big issue. 

“The vast majority of people have been really positive and thanked us for allowing the pupils to pray.”

Asian Image:


The images were used with permission of the parents with one of the boys’ mum taking the pictures.

Mrs Tomlinson said: “What is beautiful is that they are praying in a room - Raffi’s Snug – named and created in memory of a year six boy who sadly died and is still very fondly remembered at the school.

“It is a very special place for all the school community.

“The pupils were able to find the direction of Mecca through an app and conducted themselves really well at 1pm. Other pupils were also so considerate and asked anyone in the hall to be quiet once they realised the boys were praying.”

Mrs Tomlinson said more pupils may wish to join in the future.

Muhammad Sufyan Ehsan, nine, said: “I am super curious about my religion and I am determined to continue with reading my daily prayers in school and I also am surprised about other year groups respecting when we are praying. 

“I am overwhelmed with the amount of love, support and guidance and respect Mrs Tomlinson, my teachers and peers have shown us. I would love other schools to imitate what we have started.”

Pupil Hasan said: “I have found it a blessing to be able to read and all the school have been so respectful and considerate while we have been praying.”

Amna Ali, Hassan’s mum added: “I am very honoured as a parent to see that my son has been able to pray his afternoon prayer at his school. 

“Our headteacher gave the boys a lovely space to be able to make the intention of their prayer and read in a peaceful environment. The amount of respect from staff to the children that was given has overwhelmed me.”

On social media the images garnered a great deal of reaction.

One user posted: “What a beautiful thing you've done. Thank you. You have no idea how important this is for me as a mother to see. If my child chose to pray at school, I would hope they would be allowed to do so and made to feel welcome in the way you have.”

Another said: “May you be an inspiration to fellow headteachers across the country. You may think you have done nothing, but in reality , you have . You broken down barriers and showing schools, this is normal . Thank you!”

@DrMudassirkhan Said: “I am so grateful to you to teach these young boys how inclusive culture you have at your school. They will learn lessons which will go long way in their lives, you have taught them tolerance and acceptance which is most needed thing in current polarised society. Thanks again

@IramSammar: "Thank you so much for giving these children a space to pray - it is this kind of understanding and respect that gives children hope that the future can be bright. Teachers that give children their cultural and spiritual rights are just gems."