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Monday, October 04, 2010

Still want to pray at home?

One of my most shameful moments as a Muslim was when I saw something in Turkey that I will never forget. I was outside Masjid Al-Fath where, close by, the great Ottoman leader Muhammad Al-Fatih is buried.

Then I saw something that will stay with me forever. The call to prayer was being made and there were people entering the Masjid then out of the corner of my eye I saw a man in a wheelchair. Approaching the stone steps there was no lift or any ramp that he could use to allow him to enter the masjid. He had one complete arm and the rest of his limbs where amputated. He was able to move out of the wheelchair using his stumps and onto the floor before the stairs.

These stone steps are about eight or nine inches in height and there were at least forty or maybe even fifty steps. Forty cold stone steps without a rail on either side. This man proceeded to use his stumps and his complete limb to climb up the stairs as best as he could. Within a very short space of time he reached the top and entered the masjid. At the bottom of the stairs there man who put his wheelchair into a place that it would not move.

I was really shocked about this event and it made me want to find him. I went up the same set of stairs but there was no more room. So I entered the masjid from the other entrance and I looked for him but I was unable to find him because of the amount of people there. After the prayer I went to the other entrance but I could not find him. A short while later I saw him go down the stairs as he went up then crawl back into his wheelchair and leave.

I was ashamed to speak to him and what would’ve I have said? When I sit at home and don’t attend the congregational prayers out of laziness. What could I say? Do I have an excuse? He has an excuse to pray at home and I do not have any excuse. Do we know how it feels to have such great trouble in taking one step. Have we ever felt that every step we take is like a mountain?

Even writing this and contemplating is making me ashamed. How lazy I am and how great is this man.

In Arabic the word for man is Rajal which comes from the word Rijal meaning leg. So they say a man is he stands upright on his legs but this man was more of a man than most of us.

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