Jt somehow disturbed те to see so г(:3.1 а ргауег combined
88 ТНЕ ROAD ТО МЕССА with almost mechanical body movements, and опе dзу 1 asked the hajji, who understood а little English: 'Do you really Ьеliеуе that God expects you to show Нiш your respect Ьу repeated bowing and kneeling and prostration? Might it not ... .: better only to look into oneself and to pray to Him in thc 8tilloc:::58 of опе'в Ьеагт? Why alI these movements of уоис bodу?' As soon as 1 had uttered these words 1 felt гепюгве, for 1 had not intended to injure the old man's religious feelings. But the hajji did not арреас in the least offended. Не smi1ed with 00 toothless mouth and replied: 'f,low else then should we worship God? Did Не not create both, soul and Ьodу, together? And tOO being so, should man nqt ргау with 00 body as well as with his soul? Listen, 1 will tell уои why we Muslims pray as we pray. We turn toward the КааЬа, God's holytemple in Месса, knowing that the faces of аН Muslims, wherever they тау Ье, аге turned to it in prayer, and that we are 1ike опе body, with нim as the centre of our thoughts. First we stand upright and recite from the Н01у Koran, гететЬегinв that it is Нis Word. given to тап that Ье тау Ье upright and steadfast in life. Тhen we say, "God is the Greatest," reminding ourse1ves that по опе deserves to ье wor- shipped but Нiт; and bow down deep Ьесацве we honour нim аЬоуе all, and praise His power and glory. Thereafter we pros- trate ourselves оп оцг foreheads because we feel that we are but dust and nothingness before Нцп, and that Не is оис Creator and Sustainer оп ШвЬ. ТЬеп we lift our faces from the ground and remain sitting, praying that Не forgive us our sins and Ье- stow His вгасе ироп us, and guide us aright. and give us health and sustenance. Тhеп we again prostrate ourselves оп the ground and touch the dust witl1 our foreheads before the might and 'the glory of the Опе. After that, \ve rcmain sitting and ргау that Не bIess the Prophet Muhammad who brought Нis message to us, just as Не blessed the earlier Prophets; апд that Не bless us as weH, and аН those who follow the right guidance; and we ask Him to give us of the good of this world and of the good of the world to соте. In the end we turn our heads to the right and to the left, saying, "Реасе and the grace of God Ье ироп уои" - and thus greetaH who аге righteous, wherever they тау Ье. 'It was thus that our Prophet used to pray and taught his fol-
WINDS 89 lowers to рту for аll times, 50 that (Ьеу might \\;llingly surren- der themselves to God - which is what Islam тпеапв - and so ье at реасе with Him and with their own destiny: Тhe old тап did not, of course, use exactly tl\cse words, but this was their mea.ning, and this is how 1 гешепюсг (Ьет. У ears later 1 realized that with his simple explanation the l,аД; had opened to те tnefirst door (о Islam; but еуеп шсп, long before anу thought that Islam might Ьесоте ту own faith entered ту mind, 1 began to feel ап unwonted huтШtу \уЬеl1суег 1saw, as 1 often did, а тап standing barefoot оп his ргаусг rug, ог оп а straw шаг, ог оп the Ьаге
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- Fall '09
- Saudi Arabia, wblle Ье, Ьу Кiпв IЬп Saud