Rays of Splendour

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Where I belong

Yesterday at the mosque, I was reminded of the strength of Islam and the notion of ‘belonging’.

I had attended the terawih congregational prayers at the mosque yesterday. Halfway through it, the imam’sĀ microphone died. The first thing that came to my mind when that happened was “Oh no, how do we all women on the second floor know when to start prostrating if we can’t hear the imam now?”. However, my worries were proved unfounded. Moments later and to my complete awe, I heard the solid and firm calls of “Allahu Akbar” that resounded from the Muslim brothers who were praying downstairs. That call was a signal for us to move on to the next phase in our prayers. Had those calls not came, I can’t imagine what will happen to us and our prayers.

I was touched by the efforts of the Muslim brothers who, even without being told, automatically knew what to do. It made me feel included; I wasn’t left behind. When I recall the experiences I had undergone throughout the less than three decades of my life, I realized that the encounters I had which made me feel like I truly belonged somewhere was with regard to Islam.

I pray that Allah keeps my faith in Him and Islam strong always. InsyaAllah amin.

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Changes with time

The newspaper served up more news about Syria today. All I can think of was… Isn’t it Ramadan now? How is it like over there now that Ramadan is here? Admittedly, I can never begin to imagine how the people – especially those who are not actively involved in the fighting – must be feeling. Regardless, I am sure it would certainly be challenging for the Syrians to go through Ramadan in these times.

I can’t help but recall a documentary on Syria in one of the Globe Trekker episodes I watched a few years back. When I watched it, I vividly remembered telling myself “I’m going to go there one day”. The images of Damascus and Aleppo really reached out to me then. The people, the culture, the society. The rich history and geography. That place just exudes ‘life’.

Source: http://www.ozoneeleven.com/showcases/97-beautiful-examples-islamic-architecture-mosques-around-the-world/

Source: http://www.flickriver.com/groups/bazaars/pool/interesting/

Source: Reuters

I was enchanted with the scenes I saw on the screen. In fact, so enchanted I was by the place that I was motivated to do a mini-research on it. The research threw up more images of Syria like the above that truly captivated me. Needless to say, Syria consequently became one of the places that I had seriously considered going on a backpacking to during that time after I left my previous job. There was even a point in time when I entertained thoughts of possibly learning Arabic in Syria at another more suitable time. Barely three to four years later, the images of Syria that I am confronted with daily are vastly different from the ones that I was first introduced to.

Source: Shaam News Network/AP

It’s just so sad. If not for the existence of pictures like the ones prior to the above, I’d never be able to imagine a Syria before the civil war happened. I truly pray that Syria finds peace once again. InsyaAllah amin.