A Wayward Prayer

I went for Taraweeh today. Not properly; I read my farz at home and had no intention of going to the Masjid. My head was pounding, I thought I would sleep. However, I ended up in the Masjid.

The rows were full when I went. The taraweeh had started sometime ago. I intended to read eight. So I stood at the very back, in a row all by myself. I recognised the surah as one of those which we had to understand as part of our syllabus in school. So in spite of the fact that our old Imaam Sahib mumbled away like a fighter jet, I was able to understand a few words. And that was enough for context.

Two rakahs later, the Imaam said salam, and with it the multitude of women ahead of me began shifting. Until now, the women had been standing as wide as possible, trying to not get anyone between them. It was hot. The fans were limited. I don’t blame them.

It was nice being in the back all by myself. Less distractions, too. For example; when we went into rukooh I was concentrating on the tasbeeh, if someone had been with me I would’ve definitely been thinking of their feet. I don’t know why… I just would’ve.

With the shifting, some women got up to leave. They passed by me. One of them stopped, folding her janamaz, and told me to stand with the other women. I was about to say there was no space, however, I saw the woman ahead of me had shifted just enough to let me stand. The woman who was standing repeated what she had said.

“I was late so–” I was cut off.

“Namaz hi nahi hoti. Mein keh rhi hon namaz hi nahi hoti!” (Your prayers have not been said/prayed/offered idk this is a crude translation.)

I don’t know why this bugged me. But anyways. The woman left, and I did too. The surah had ended, I would probably not have understood the rest anyways.

As I walked home, the road was empty except for the cars. I reflected on my strange behaviour. Yes, I knew the entire time I was acting strange. But I realised that I had got what I wanted.

I wasn’t there for the eight taraweehs after all. Two did me more good as eight had done in past years. I was there because of my firm belief in positive energy–positive divine energy. The place was a Masjid. A place where God’s men came to pray. Maybe not all, but some came for God. I did too. I wanted to be near God. Physically. And even though I am aware that we are nearest to God in sujood, I wanted to go to a place which had been dedicated to His name and His alone. Where everyone faced in the same direction, prayed to the same God. I needed that energy. I needed that feeling. That God was there. That there was a solution. That I was a believer.

And then there was the word of God. I just wanted to hear some of it. I never intended to stand there until my concentration weaned off and I was forcing myself to just stand. I just wanted to hear some of it. And it made me feel better than I had in some time.

With every sajda, my head felt lighter. If I had stayed for two more, perhaps it would’ve been cured completely. Perhaps the heaviness of my head would have been lifted to bestow clarity of mind. It was Ramadhan. The air was somehow cleaner, it would’ve helped me. But I didn’t stay. Why? Perhaps because I just wanted to hear the word of God. And when that Auntie approached me, somehow at the back of my head I was thinking about what these people were thinking of me. That I didn’t even know the fundamentals of praying in congregation! But that wasn’t the only reason. I didn’t know the arabic to the Surah after that one.

All in all, I am still confused. Still not clear. Still unsure. But I feel better, more at peace. He put a smile on my face, one of contentment. I know that whatever will be, will be for the better. I know that there will be a solution to everything. And why did I do this? I’m not sure. But anyways. Better get back to praying the rest of my nafl.

I realise this isn’t spiritually uplifting (as I thought it would be). But I just wanted this to be out there. And I wanted you to pray for me, too. This is quite a long post. Perhaps I should sign of here.

Remember me in your prayers.

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