An Intrepid Prayer

Written by: Hamzah Moin

Nearly all Muslims have that one prayer they remember vividly. When you were a kid you could get away with a lot of things in prayer. For instance you could punch your friend in the arm and quickly start prayer so he or she can’t hit you back. Then there was the infamous game where you and your friends would go around and collect the belongings of uncles and aunties and whoever collects the most stuff wins. Keys and combs were worth bonus points. I learned as a child that some uncles don’t like it when I bury their keys in the snow while wearing their eyeglasses but it was probably because they had a stressful day at work.

Now that I’m older I have to take prayer a lot more seriously. However entertaining things still happen in prayer. Like the time when a cockroach kissed me while in Sajdah or the time my pants fell down while in Ruku. A lot of us have embarrassing prayers that we wish to forget. After all, prayer is one of the most important parts of Islam and all Muslims should know this. However, non-Muslims don’t.

Non-Muslims can be forgiven for this though. Some non-Muslims know that Muslims pray but are unaware how exactly we pray. Others might see us in public washrooms performing wudu and boy, I’m sure a lot of them get freaked out. Some of us like to make a lot of noise while performing wudu. I know in some schools of thought the water has to reach the back of the mouth while rinsing it however some people like to swallow the water then regurgitate it back out. Imagine a non-Muslim innocently doing their business in a public washroom while listening to these heavenly sounds by Muslims “rinsing” their mouth. Seeing the puzzled look on their faces while your foot is in the sink is also hard to cope with. “You should try this, it’s fun” I said to one once.

Once our school’s prayer area was locked so I decided to pray my Zuhr outside in a little quiet area. Little did I know that this area wasn’t quiet at all. While in Ruku, a tall white non-Muslim man came by.
“Oh you lost your contact lenses too? Man, I lost mine this morning. I’ll help you look for them” he said. Great. This guy started a full-fledged conversation with me. He went on-and-on about his girlfriend losing his belongings. “…women are trouble man, they lose everything” he explained. He left the area mumbling to himself about “rethinking his relationship”. At least he didn’t care that I didn’t respond to anything he said. However this prayer was far from over.

An old friend of mine came by and I haven’t seen this friend since high school. This friend also liked giving out hugs. Unfortunately for me, this friend was a girl. She saw me standing there in prayer and was just overjoyed. “HAMZAH!!! OH MY GOD I MISSED YOU SO MUCH!” she shouted as she ran over to hug me. I felt two heavy arms engulf me. I didn’t want to tap out… nothing will stop me from ending this prayer. “Where have you been Hamzu? It’s been too long” she continued. Perhaps a way of throwing her off was by going into Ruku and Sajdah but man she must have taken mountain climbing lessons during the summer or something. She was a friggin’ cliff-hanger. “Hamzah this is such a silly place to do exercise teeheehee”. Unfortunately for me the next scene wasn’t too good. Our MSA President walked by to open the prayer area and regrettably sees a girl latching onto me while I’m in Sajdah.

“Hamzah?”
“Yo.”
“What are you doing?”
“Dawah.”

I explained to my high school companion that hugging me is bad and talking to me while praying is bad and hugging me while praying is really bad. She giggled and apologized and trotted down the hall. I slipped the MSA President $20 to never mention that incident to anyone ever again.

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