ah salam a laikum my friends, I just returned from the Mosque.
It was Friday Prayer at 1:30 and there had to be over a 1,000 men and boys there. The Mosque had three floors with large rooms for the men to pray,
and every room was filled to capacity. Apparently the women have a separate section, but I didn't see that.
I was fortunate to be able to sit near the Imam for the service, so I got to see everything that went on.
My friend told me to make sure I bathed before the service, and when you enter the doors you remove your shoes and socks. I then went to a room to
perform ablution. You basically sit on a marble seat in front of a trough that has a tap in front of each seat. First you wash your hands, face, and
ears, then run a wet hand over your hair. Then you wash your fore arms, and lastly your feet and ankles.
Once your cleansed you can enter the rest of the building and you stow your shoes and socks on long rows of shelves. I tell ya, there were more shoes
than a shoe store has, so I made sure to remember where I put them.
There were no pews like in a Christian Church, everyone lines up on carpeting and sits on the floor. Which was kinda handy because you have to bow and
touch your head to the floor about half a dozen times.
The Imam was a pretty good speaker and the service was about the destructiveness of gossip and slander. He spoke of how you were given two ears and
one mouth, and the reason for that was so you would listen twice as much a you speak. He stressed how spreading rumors can rip a community or family
apart, and how important it is to consider your words before you speak.
It was actually very inspirational.
I think I was the only white person there, but I was welcomed with open arms. I must have shaken hands with over 200 people, and I made a point of
thanking the Imam for the service. He was very nice, and he gave me an English translation of the Quran and a book on understanding Islam.
It looks like I've got some reading to do.
Most of the service was in English, but I got lost when he switched to Arabic.
I just watched what others did and tried to follow along. When they stood up, I stood up. When they bowed, I bowed. Etc......
I'm not sure why everyone touched their ears all at once, that one caught me off guard.
It was actually a great experience, and I'd recommend it to anyone who's curious about their faith.
One funny thing I noticed was the number of taxis in the parking lot. I guess a lot of Muslims drive cab because half the cabs in Hamilton seemed to
be parked outside. Oh, and by the way, I took a cab to get there.
So that's the story of my little outing today, if anyone has any questions I'll try to answer them, but after I get back from Mecca.