May Allah Bless Them…
October 10, 2006 § 3 Comments
Yesterday, I was working at an antique show in Manhattan. I was intalling the carpet in a showroom. You see in addition to clinical work at the hospital, I also do carpentry on the side. My grandfather was a carpenter as were the men of our family for many generations. My father learned carpentry although he became a famous musician and he passed carpentry on to me rather than his own skill of music.
But to make a long story short, the job was over on West 59th Street and 9th avenue. Unfortunately, I had no knowledge of a masjid in that area and I was desperately looking for a place to make ‘asr prayer. I was walking down 9th avenue looking for someone who looked Arab, African or wearing traditional Islamic clothing so that I may ask if there was a place to pray in the area. But I could not find anyone, eventually I saw a store called Fatou Djalon… the phrase seemed familiar and I assumed there would be West Africans in the store. When I walked into the store I saw a young man in his early twenties sitting in a chair. He looked at me with gentle eyes while I asked him,
“Are you a Muslim?”
He answered “yes” and I proceeded to give him the run-down of my situation. I told him that I was working in the area and I needed a place to pray. I asked if there was a masjid in the area? He told me that there wasn’t, but if I needed to pray I could make salah in his store. Now the store is extremely small… I mean it takes up about the same square footage of two twin-size beds.
But the young man pulled out a rug for me, provided water for wudu’ and some sandals that were 4 sizes to small for my feet (subhanallah). While I was making the salah his business continued and traffic increased while I was making my prayers. I think tourists were curious to see a Muslim praying. But thanks to the young man I was able to make the salah and go back to work with no problem. Before I left the young man introduced me to his uncle who ownes the store and they told me that I can come back and make the salah anytime. May God bless those those men, their families and allow their business to prosper, inshaAllah.