It was over. And then it began all over again.
A hush had descended across the congregation as the imam started to recite Surah Naas, the final chapter, of the Quran.
Say, I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of mankind ...
His voice started to break up, and he had trouble declaiming the glorious verses.
.. The King of Mankind ...
They say men don't cry, but the quietness of the mosque crowd was broken by the sobbing of a few men around me. For a brief moment my thoughts went to one of my sister's classmates who was involved in a car accident. Last Ramadan he had been here, at this mosque. Today, his elderly father has lived to see another Ramadan, another Khatam, but not he.
.. The Judge of Mankind ...
The imam was visibly moved, as was I. Another Ramadan has come, and almost gone. They say deprived is the one who lives through this month and does not avail himself of His blessings. I know I have not done too much this Ramadan as I did before. It seems there is a cycle. When you are younger, you want to do all you can. You read the Quran once in the month, even twice. You religiously attend all the prayers.
... From the mischief of the Whisperer (of Evil), who withdraws (after his whisper) ...
... (The same) who whispers into the hearts of Mankind ...
And then cynicism sets in. Materialism rules. You start to lose faith in faith. Am I somewhere in the middle of this cynicism and belief? I don't know. At that moment, I prayed fervently to see another Ramadan. The next one will be better, I promise O Lord.
... Among Jinns and among Men.
There. It was done. For 39 hours during the last 26 nights this congregation has stood and listened and prayed. My non-Muslim friends sometimes comment 'only 3 more days to go, eh?'. What I cannot explain is that it's just 3 more days to go.
The imam stands up, and for the second rakat he goes back to the first chapter of the Quran.
...This is the Book, in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah, who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them.
May Allah accept whatever good we have done in this month, and forgive all the evil we ever did.
PS. Man was Nugget mosque ever crowded! I think pretty soon we have to start issuing visas to Muslims for mosques. You live in this area you go this mosque and no other. And since I live near the biggest mosque in Toronto that's all right by me. Even the Tim Hortons guys and girls were there (you know who you are - the 'young' people who leave after 8 rakats not to go home but to sit at the cafe opposite the mosque, opposite each other, until your parents emerge *wink wink nudge nudge*).
Tags: Ramadan Islamic Foundation