Saturday, March 28, 2009

Good Friday, Bad Friday

I perform my Jumu'ah prayers at a synagogue (I know, that's a construct you don't normally expect to read). In the land of Evangelical Christians and diehard Zionism are also Christians and Jews who have embraced Muslims with arms and hearts wide open. As the Qur'an says, the People of the Book are diverse, some more fair than others.

I find the synagogue more peaceful than the local mosque. You are probably disappointed, but it's true. To begin with, it's cleaner. There's a certain din in the local masjid and most masajid (not all!) that does not pervade the synagogue and that instantly improves my Jumu'ah experience.

But the thing that makes the most impact on my Jumu'ah experience is the khateeb of the day. Talk about diversity! They come in all persuasions - from calm and soothing to fire and brimstrones. Some are difficult to put up with for 35 minutes. They must be connecting with some other members of the congregation but, sadly, I am deprived of any spiritual or moral inspiration by their words. Then, there's Joshua. God bless him. He does his homework. He is articulate but he isn't in love with this own speech. He comes and makes a point or two, with clarity of ideas and humility in his tone. May God bless him and all khateebs who bring God's servants closer to piety through inspiration. May God bless all places of worship where His name is uttered and praised in abundance and those who maintain them.

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