The mosque

Silence was deeply present here. It was one of those moments where absence was presence. What was not, was. Nothingness filled the aura. The girls talking at a distance outside, the ugly sounds of cars on the road, the twittering of birds – these were nothing. They were irrelevant. What was, was the other.

It was a lovely mosque in a small town in coastal India. There were coconut trees outside. The large windows brought in ample sunlight, making the artificial white and orange lights of modern housing unnecessary. The wind blowing through the leaves outside made a pleasant sound. Perhaps it was always windy near the sea.

In this square room which they called a masjid – “the place of prostration” – common people had deposited their piety over the centuries. It was not opulent, but was remarkably clean and neat, perhaps more than any other mosque he had seen. Rows of red carpet with Islamic architecture woven on them lined the floor. At the back were a few chairs for those who could not sit on the floor. The front wall was covered with wooden tiles of a beautiful shade of brown, and had windows and bookshelves in it, the latter holding several copies of the holy book.

A deep silence penetrated the place. There was nobody around.

The pressure of worldly life, the lack of serenity in daily living, the sudden sweeps of modernity – it felt like all these upheavals were shielded against when one entered this space. Men and perhaps, women, collected here to grieve, to hope, to pacify themselves, to live. Before they went out again to face the world.

Unlike the mosques of the big cities, there was still a purity here, created by the faith of a people still innocent, still truly faithful of the other world.

The sound of the wind blowing through the coconut leaves came back. There seemed to be a rhythm to its coming and going. It was time to return to the city. A little ant crawled on the wall behind him. The immensity within was readily reflected by the immensity without. A charge permeated the atmosphere. Life was. The place was truly alive.

In the old days, they would have said that the angels protected it. He said goodbye to the angels, stood up and left with a smile.

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~ by tdcatss on July 20, 2015.

2 Responses to “The mosque”

  1. seems a really nice experience, alhamdulillah

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