What do you do?
- have wudu
- are fully clothed
- it’s maghrib time
- you’re physically sitting in a motor vehicle in the carpark of the masjid at *** to which your spouse has driven because he has to pray magrhib salaat as well
- your spouse is encouraging of your praying in a masjid if that is your desire
- and you’re aware that that masjid perpetuates a no women policy?
What would you do?
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.
Youngest finished rehearsal near enough to maghrib for me to take him to masjid to break his fast there (for the first time in Barbados).
Once again, I remained…outside of the mosque.
The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: We have been made to excel (other) people in three (things): Our rows have been made like the rows of the angels and the whole earth has been made a mosque for us, and its dust has been made a purifier for us in case water is not available.
So, from left to right (yes, I admit it, I forgot how to get text/captioning done on picmonkey) are beaches in Barbados, where you can pray in solitude or saffs, and purify in water:): Bathsheba Bay, Carlisle Bay (top & bottom images), Bathsheba again (top), and Little Bay (bottom right and visit HIS CREATION for the symphony of images from this bay)
These are photos of Little Bay, St. Lucy in Barbados. I found a symphony within the breaking of the waves. You can’t see it, but there is an actual natural stage/amphitheatre of rock beneath those waters. All praise is due to Allah, the Creator.
This really follows on from by second to last post Beyond the vail. Some sisters in Barbados have launched Petition for Sisters’ Space, asking for support in the plea to those in control, to include within the construction and infrastructure of a proposed new masjid, a SPACE FOR SISTERS.
I invite you to check out the Petition and to read the comments, and to sign. The goal is for 1000 signatures, the 25% mark has just been reached. The phrasing of the appeal does convey a misconception, and perhaps should read ‘of the existing mosques in Barbados, three …….’ There are 6 congregational prayer spaces in Barbados, 5 of which have jummah salaah, and only 2 of which include sisters’ space. The misstatement in the petition has caused some caustic comments, but should not hinder you from supporting the effort by signing on, or by adding to your du’as a du’a that all masjids include spaces for sisters to attend and to pray.
As I think I have posted before, the masjid which is approximately 5 minutes away from my workplace has no allocated sisters’ space and I drive the 20 minutes or so to attend jummah at Masjid ibn Umar. This despite the recent reconstruction (practically in toto) of the masjid which is 5 minutes away – the one at which my husband prayed maghrib salaat, while I prayed on the grassy area in the car park opposite the masjid – the one, photos of which, along with the invitation to sisters to visit at specific times on two specific days to view, have reinforced for me that the world is my masjid.
On Saturday past, the Muslim community in Barbados celebrated Eid ul Fitr, and as with all Muslim communities, started the day with communal Eid salaah – the special two rakaah congregational prayers with additional takbeers and a khutbah. Some perform the Eid salaah outdoors, others indoors. In Barbados, there were three Eid gaahs – three outdoor congregations assembling for the performance of the Eid ul Fitr salaah. BH, BD, Youngest and I attended the one held at the Graeme Hall Bird Sanctuary. It was indeed a sanctuary of serenity. We prayed on the Lakeside Lawn surrounded by the greatest landscaper and outdoor designer there is – Allah, swt, whose greenery cocooned us on all sides save the lake, shaded by clumps of bamboo and mangrove, soundproofed by shrubbery. Post-salaah, we lingered, shared, lingered some more. These are some of the photos taken, and I hope you sense at least a scintilla of the serenity which we experienced and which preceded a peaceful and very enjoyable Eid weekend.
The Graeme Hall Sanctuary is a Wetland. See the following article: Thoughts on Graeme Hall Wetland for a better description of what it was and what it is.
Sometimes, there are occurrences which boggle you because of their unprecedented repetition. While in Trinidad in April, I heard mention of saffs (lining up in rows for salaat) twice, one of those times time now escapes me since I took too long to write this, and the other being during the khutbah on yawm ul jummah. The visiting sermon renderer spoke of competition amongst the Companions, r.a., and illustrated with reference to the following hadith:
Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “If people came to know the blessing of pronouncing Adhan and the standing in the first row, they could nothing but would draw lots to secure the privileges.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
I reacted mentally, because growing up, I shunned the front row in salaat (fearing it would be construed as ‘showing off’), and thought then and there that I should revamp my thinking. So I searched a bit, because despite BD’s ambitious challenge, memorisation by me of hadith is an unreliable source for me at this time, and lo and behold, in addition to that hadith, I found the converse hadith:
Abu Hurairah (RA) quotes Prophet (SAW), who said: “The best of the men’s rows [in Salat] is the first row and the worst is the last; but for women’s row is the last and the worst of their rows is the first.” (Muslim)
Abu Said Khudri narrates that when Allah’s Messenger (SAW) perceived a tendency among his companions (RAA) to stand in the back rows, he said to them: “Come forward and be close to me and let those who come after you, follow your lead. (Remember!) If people continue to fall behind (i.e. in acquiring virtues), Allah puts them behind.” (Muslim).
This is an excellent read: http://www.quranandhadith.com/rows-in-prayer-significance-etiquettes