Photo compliments of SAJPICS
It does look unprepossessing, doesn’t it? Have been off radar for a bit, with Ramadan, BD’s graduation, Eid without BH and NoS, holidaying over and away, return to work, having Mama with us etc.
So this photo is of the Islamic Center of Orlando (Jama Masjid), 11543 Ruby Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32836, where we attended jummah salaat on the two Fridays we were in the area. The first Friday we sweltered through the heavy traffic at that really busy intersection and arrived at a full mosque. The second Friday we left 10 minutes earlier and it made such a difference, to the extent that we were amongst the first persons at what seemed like a very empty mosque. It quickly filled up.
Separate entrances for sisters and brothers. Sisters upstairs. Brothers spill out onto an un-air-conditioned patio.
Surprise on the first Friday for BD and me – Sister A, and her daughter greeted us when we walked in – hey, we left you in Bim!
Surprise on the second Friday – a brother taking shahadah. And Uncle R from Trinidad this time amongst the congregants.
Ice lollies & ice cream. A dress for BD. A gift of a royal blue scarf (to match my royal blue dress?) – thank you unknown Sister.
This Ramadan, we’ve found ourselves eating lots of different foods. Five different palates in my household, and five different tastes.
This morning for sehri, Youngest, BakerDaughter & Number One Son ate (ewwww), hot dogs. The toppings are horseradish mustard, cheese, sweet relish & ketchup.
I saw ewwww because I really cannot abide the sight or the smell. Although I know it’s vegan. At school, I would remove myself from the vicinity of anyone eating hot dogs. The smell would make me quite nauseous. Having disgusting children who actually like the stuff, I forced myself to cook them. The scent still sets me off though. Thankfully, BH does NOT like them either. (And I have acclimatised myself to his like for corned beef).
Today, (this was written March 18th and never completed, sigh) masha-Allah, we experienced drama and delight when a teenager broke a 1995 athletic record locally, and qualified for the Olympics.
Last month, I watched as Youngest, following a stamina run with Number One Son and a fall down a hill, surpassed his own expectations and placed 1st in 3 relays, and 1st in his sprint, in his primary school sports. He was last leg in 2 of the relays.
The Prophet s.a.w.s. himself participated in swimming, archery, running and horseback riding, and was said to have encouraged parents to involve their children in these sports.
Congregational prayers can be offered anywhere and at any time for any and all of the five daily obligatory prayers. On Fridays, however, Muslims are commanded by the Almighty to attend what is known as the ‘Jummah salaat’:
” O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah (God), and leave off business (and trade): That is best for you if you only knew!”
Qur’an (62:9). It is at this Friday prayer that the weekly sermon is delivered to the congregants.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“The five daily prayers, and praying one Friday prayer and the next, and the fasting of Ramadan, result in the expiation of the sins committed between them, so long as major sins are avoided.”
This does not, however, mean that the Muslims should come to the mosque only on Fridays, neglecting it at other times, nor does it mean that Muslims should indulge in sins at will, thinking that they will be forgiven anyhow. In this Ramadan, there are likely to be five Fridays or days of ‘Jummah’ (Assembly).