Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where do you pray?

The first day I came to my placement, my supervisor was giving me a tour of the premises. The only thing I could think of was observing the various nooks and corners where I could pray when I needed to. After the tour, I asked her if there were any quiet rooms I could pray in. She looked at me and said "wow, you really are very observant of your religion, aren't you?" (Considering I look like a "nun," is that really hard to believe?)

Actually I love my supervisor, she's pretty much the nicest person alive (after me, of course).

There's a little corner in the basement of this building where I go to pray. It's carpeted and it has lockers for employees to put their stuff in. A couple of times people have walked in on me and have been kind of afraid, insisting on apologizing afterwards. Some asked me "don't you need a bigger or quieter space?" And I say no, I don't. I don't think prayer is so separate from your daily life that you need to find a completely secluded place in some boiler room. Rather, you find a place where you already are and make it your own. If you work there, then surely you can pray there as well.

This makes me think of all the interesting places I've prayed while having random miscellaneous jobs. I prayed in a park once when I worked at an elementary school. In staff rooms, in other abandoned rooms. In hallways. Parking lots. And I like it that way. After all, every place we put our foreheads to the ground will be a witness for us on the day of Judgment.

So, no, I don't want a quieter place, or even a designated one for now. I just want enough space for my knees and head and enough time to ask of God.

And I know this makes you think of this. Good!


M&M said...

I had never heard that Dawud Wharnsby nasheed... i love the lyrics! soo true.

7 years old with attitude says: said...

my fav place at work is on my desk sitting on my chair, priceless moments, you should try it. it works for me, and it should work for you too.

Good Luck.

Abdul said...


shajara said...

MedSci basement beside the stairs, Gerstein library basement under the stairs. Oh the memories.

Ameera said...

It's creepy that I should be able to relate to this - I mean, I'm in a Muslim country and YET, I must look out for nooks and crannies, as you said, just to be able to offer my Fard Salah.

I was attending a medical conference at a five-star hotel a fortnight ago and guess what? They have no prayer rooms at all! There's a small mosque within the boundaries of the hotel but going there means leaving the hotel and looking for the curtained-off area for ladies. And before that, there's no Wudhu area either.

I ended up praying, once, in a banquet hall (where some sympathetic employees spread out a clean sheet for me, next to the buffet tables) and later, in a tiny nook between a potted plant and a fountain.

Alhamdolillah, I was able to offer my prayers but can you imagine all of this fuss in a Muslim country?