Being able to perform solat in a proper place or musolla (prayer room) is truly a great blessing for someone abroad in a non-Muslim country. To be honest I had prepared myself mentally to perform solat practically everywhere possible before I came here. Imagine my relief when my colleague told me that the university has its own musolla. However, she elaborated that the need for musolla just came into attention when the Arab Muslims students complained to the university administration. The rich Arab government sponsored the expense for musolla building and Alhamdulillah the Muslims then get to pray in a comfortable musolla. Muslims brotherhood at its best! If only this kind unity could spread throughout the world insya Allah.
Sometimes, sense of brotherhood does not need to be crystal clear and transparent. It could also be subtle. I could say that I experience it firsthand. It happened on a Sunday when I came to university. Not that I am workaholic or diligent Asian scholar as one university staff described about most Asians. Let’s just say it was one desperate attempt of coming out with as much progress as possible before my weekly meeting with supervisor on Monday.
I could not remember whether it was Zuhr or Asr prayer time. Since it was Sunday which fell during summer break, not many people actually came to university, even the research students. Normally we would have jama’ah (congregational) prayer at the musolla but it seemed there was no one present at the brothers section. I was about to pray by myself when I heard sound of someone entered the brothers’ area. I was pretty sure that there was only one person as I could not hear any conversation going on. Soon after, I heard the sound of rushing water; he must be taking his ablution I presumed. Now, the challenge is how to inform him that I want to be his ma’mum for prayer. Speaking outright through the divider curtain seemed like an unattractive option for the reserved and introvert me. So I coughed a little and wandered around the sisters area to just make enough noise for him to notice.
My effort was paid off when I heard him reciting the Iqamah thereafter with clear voice. Thus I followed him and the jama’ah prayer proceeded smoothly Alhamdulillah. After solat he left the musolla and to this day I never know who he was. But I was really thankful for his mutual understanding. Both of us managed to grab the fadhilat of jama’ah with silent agreement. No fuss, no words. Perhaps that’s how we Muslims could get together hand in hand and move forward without arguing. With less words, less feel good talks, more compassions and more empathy. Just a thought, verily Allah knows best.