Friday, April 13, 2018


When I first started attending the mosque for Friday Prayers I saw having to do so as something of a burden, to be completely honest. I wasn't supposed to feel that way, but I did. Just getting away from work in the middle of the day, usually a busy one, was in itself a challenge, as was finding a place to park, making sure I behaved in the approved fashion upon arrival, and following the sequence of the prayers. It's embarrassing to confess it, but getting it all over with was accompanied by a very distinct sense of relief.

All that changed, in some ways quite rapidly. It didn't take long to find myself feeling a lot more relaxed inside whichever mosque I found myself attending. But I did continue to feel that the need to go for prayers was a sort of imposition. I suppose it took a year or two, possibly more, to completely shake off that feeling, but it eventually dissipated.

What I don't think I ever quite expected was the sense of relief I now experience at being able to attend Friday Prayers (and to pray in the masjid at other times.) I now find myself rather reluctant to leave, and distinctly irritated if I find I have to rush away to get back to urgent work stuff and thus miss the post-prayer sequence (which is not compulsory, in case you were wondering.) The feeling of somehow being, for once, in the right place at the right time, which becomes time out of time, is in some ways strange, in some ways deeply familiar.

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