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  • The Road to Dubai

    Apr 29, 2009
    On the road to Dubai, my husband stopped at a small masjid to make the
    asr prayer. As I sat in the car, I saw a figure approaching from the
    direction of a small group of houses. It took some time before I
    realized it was a man, crawling toward the masjid.

    He wore rubber sandals on his hands. His lower body dragged on
    the hard, rocky ground. The 110-degree temperatures had beaten
    sweat out of his entire body. By the time he reached the masjid courtyard
    I could see he was soaked and his face was flushed.

    Many men passed him on their way to the prayer, perhaps accustomed to
    seeing him. One man came out of a shop and watched him for awhile. He
    went back into the shop and came out with a cold drink. He opened it for
    the crawling man and they sat together for a minute. I heard them
    talking, the one man offering to help the man and the other insisting he
    could make it up the stairs to the masjid. He was concerned about making
    it on time, so he excused himself and continued his slow, labored
    journey to the prayer.

    I did not watch him as he mounted the stairs. I could not imagine how to
    help him. I was crying by then, remembering the hadith of
    the Prophet (pbuh): "The hypocrites find fajr and isha prayers in
    congregation very oppressive. If they could know the virtues of
    these two prayers, they would certainly join them, even if they had to go
    crawling." (Bukhari, Muslim)

    This man, who literally did crawl even in the heat of the day,
    did not find the congregational prayer oppressive at all. May Allah
    reward all who struggle to please Him and may He always remind us of our
    own weaknesses through such people.


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