NOTE: I drafted this post back in April? It’s now August, so it’s been sitting here a while. I’m sad that I didn’t get it posted sooner, but I am going to post it as I want to be able to share my thoughts and learnings on Islam.
I’ve attended the Friday prayer time 3 times now… and my favorite part is listening to Sheik speak. I’m in aww really. Just listening to him speak, this time about some of the terrible acts occurring around the world and at home, I couldn’t help but feel like I was truly sitting amongst a group of people who were apart of this country but also cast aside by it.
I’m not saying the people don’t want to be part of the country, not at all. I’m simply saying that as Muslims, they feel such a strong connection to the ‘brothers and sisters’ (other Muslims) who are being persecuted and murdered around the world.
It is strikingly similar to how many Christian people feel about their Christian brethren. Afterall, you hear on the news about certain groups of people who feel we shouldn’t take Muslims in from certain countries, but if they are Christians then yes we should help them.
Not for the first time did I feel like I had stepped into a whole new world. As if crossing the threshold to the community centre was actually a crazy dimensional portal to some far-off country. They are all so exactly the same as me, and yet because of their daily routines and rituals, because of the people who their hearts ache for, they are so very different to me.
My least favorite part of the prayer time is when everyone prays. PLEASE note that ‘least favorite’ does not mean I dislike it or hate it. It simply means that it was my least favorite and here is why…
Muslim prayers are done in Arabic. They are never done in English.
Muslim prayers are very ritualistic, certain positions at certain times, etc.
I don’t know Arabic or the ritual prayer motions… so I just sit quietly (usually I get to hold a baby! So that actually should make this my fav part), I listen and try to watch without staring at people.
I need to find (make) time to read about the different prays and begin to learn them… I wonder how long do new people sit around not joining prayer before they join in? Would it be weird if 8 weeks from now I still wasn’t praying? 8 months? What if I never pray? When would it become to awkward to continue to turn up if I were not praying… Also when everyone else prays, should I stand up and move away from the area? Should I remove myself from the rugs? Is it rude to be in the middle of people praying and not pray?
Wow, so many questions I didn’t even realize I had.