Islamabad – Friday Prayers

June 2, 2006

Most mosques are not for women

Most mosques are not for women

I am staying in a friend’s house, whose father is quite a renowned religious leader in the country. Syed Asmat Gilani had been in Danmark and other parts of Europe in last few years, and his modern teaching of the religion had converted thousands of people to grab Islam.

Today is Friday, the most important day in the week for the Muslims. Mr Asmat was invited to give speech in a mosque nearby, and he also invited me to attend the prayers. The speech was delivered in Urdu. Even not all parts of the speech that I understood, I could grab little bit of the teaching. The speech was about the soul of religion (mazhab ki ruh), that is feeling the existance of God in your heart. Religion should be from the heart. There are three phases of the religion, that are shariat (religion), tarekat (spiritual), and hakikat (truth). Somehow the teaching resembles what we learnt in Taoism, that the Truth, what they call here as Hakikat, is to be found in your inner heart.

The scene of friday prayers, where hundreds of people inside the mosque, and hundreds more outside, fell themselves down in front of God, as symbol of human being humility in front of his Creator, is astonishing.

In this mosque I met many of my friends who was working in the same NGO in Kashmir. And I also learnt that tomorrow there would be a mahfil-e-Naat organized by someone I know.

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