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NORTH YORK – Congregants in Glenquist Mosque’s Taraweeh were left in a state of bewilderment after Imam Abdullah Yusufzai’s Isha Alarm went off during the 3rd rakat of Taraweeh. “It was one of those really annoying Isha alarms that plays the entire athan and you can’t turn it off,” said the Imam. “I haven’t figured out how to silence it so I just let the whole ‘call to prayer’ alarm play out.”
The Imam’s abrupt stopping of Taraweeh prayer to let his Isha alarm play off the athan was met with much confusion. One half of the congregation broke their Taraweeh prayer to create a new Isha prayer based off the new athan and Glenquist’s back-up iman emerged to lead that prayer. The other half of the congregation waited patiently for Imam Yusufzai’s alarm to end and resumed their Taraweeh. This created two simultaneous prayers happening concurrently in the same hall.
“I just did Isha and a little bit of Tararweeh,” said a red-faced congregant, who wishes to remain anonymous, “now I have to do another Isha? It’s not my fault they started praying early. I have contacted my friends in Saudi Arabia to report this masjid so we can arrest the Imam for illegally starting a prayer early.” Our research indicates there is currently no known entity from Saudi Arabia (or any country for that matter) that arrests Imams for starting prayers early, especially Imams that are residing on the other side of the world in Canada.
“I hear the athan, I start praying. I just grew up like that,” said Yasir Haq, a congregant of the new Isha congregation. “Besides, I like the back-up Imam’s recitation better.” Haq later admitted that he only joined the new congregation because the back-up Imam only knows a handful of Suras and reads at a pace more akin to an auctioneer.
Some congregants tried to please both groups and attempted to pray both prayers at the same time but were unable to remember which rakat they were supposed to be on. They left the mosque, waiting until cooler heads prevailed.
However, the problems for Glenquist mosque didn’t end there. The community remained divided well after the incident and the New Isha congregation, as they called themselves, felt a new mosque needed to be built because they couldn’t resolve their differences with the rest of the crowd. The New Isha Mosque, led by the fast-paced back-up Imam, purchased land opposite to Glenquist, who renamed themselves “Original Isha Mosque”, under Imam Abdullah Yusufzai.
“Before every prayer, I now remind the congregation to turn off or silence their cellphones,” explained Imam Yusufzai, “that should solve the problem so this doesn’t happen again.”