Friday, May 6, 2011

And we're done.

So, I heard from the imam at 1:30 this morning. Or, that's when he sent the email. I got it this morning when I went online to balance my checkbook, etc. I wore as close to hijab as I could get - an ankle length skirt that's very loose and flowey and a higher collared sleeveless shirt. I brought a long knit coat to wear over it, with sleeves that go down to my wrists. I also, though the imam didn't mention it, brought along a scarf, just in case I needed to wear one. And I wore my new wedge sandals for ease of getting out of.

I got there, was kindly directed to the women's entrance by a very nice gentleman (who also said that I'd done well with the clothes, but yes, I should put on the scarf too) and slipped in to sit in the very back.

The women's section is side by side with the men's section, though it's much smaller. The 'barrier' is a set of six sliding glass doors that make up that wall. They leave the lights off inside the women's section, I'm guessing to make the 'wall' more opaque. But there's no problem seeing because of the light that comes in from the men's section as well as from the door into the hall which is left open. There's a speaker that pipes in the imam, and you can see him through the wall as well.

I don't really know what else to say. It was interesting, but I didn't feel anything. Much as I've been away from going to church lately (though I haven't talked about it, Susanne knew I hadn't been going. Maybe she's just psychic!), I still remember feeling the rightness of going to the Greek Orthodox church that first time. While religion should not be based on whether or not we feel good about it, it is a factor. I think, though I wasn't aware of it when the idea seized me, that this was a last hurrah. Islam has continued to fascinate me (obviously), and I think I've been holding back making the decision for Orthodoxy because of lingering doubts over whether or not I gave Islam a chance. I think, somewhere in my head, I was still waiting for that bolt of lighting and I couldn't give up the notion until I'd been to the last place of religious worship I hadn't made it to. And that was the mosque. I've been there, I've done that, and while it was an interesting and pleasant experience, that's all it was. I've given Islam a chance, not just by visiting the mosque, but by studying it. I don't believe it's true, and that remains a fact.

So I'm done. I've already decided to start going to the gym in the afternoon on Sundays, rather than the mornings like I have been, which means that I can start going back to Holy Trinity. It'll mean some adjusting, but I think it'll work out okay.


  1. I am pleased for you that can put a line under it. and that you know that you liked the feeling of the Greek church. it must be a relief to have mad a decision.

    maybe you will find a nice greek boy? (said in the voice of costas from my big fat greek wedding...)

    ps promise me you wont kiss the icons with lipstick on. I found that un-nerving in Paxo's, it had glass on it. but still it kind of freaked me out.

  2. Ohhhhhhh! He wrote back!

    And you went!

    Just like that! Wow!!

    I'm impressed that you did this after taking so much time obsessing about whether or not it was OK to e-mail him. :)

    Proud of you! :D

    So what did they do? have a sermon or just pray? and did you try praying with them? was the service in English? What were the ladies like? were their children there?

    I need details, woman!


    Nah, you gave some nice ones already...thank you for that. I've been to a mosque, but it was in Syria and I didn't go there to worship with them just to observe the mosque basically.

    I'm not psychic...though I wish I *could* get inside your head sometimes...hehehe. You told us awhile back you weren't going to church. I am eager for you to go back because I always liked your stories from church. I still recall when you taught the kids and would tell us the cute stories from there. Though I know it's a different church now...still.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Slice,

    It is. I feel good about it. Finally decided and certain of it.

    *lol* We can only hope...maybe the baba's'll hook me up. :D

    I can promise not to kiss the icons while wearing lipstick. I'm not a lipstick girl. The most I ever wear is lipgloss, and now a whole lot of that.

  4. Susanne,

    Well, that was the whole point, wasn't it? :) I know. My mind is a crazy place, what can I say?


    There was both the sermon and prayer, which was why I wanted to go to jumah rather than just a normal salat. Also, I was fairly certain that there would be more women of jumah then any other day.

    It was both English and Arabic. The imam would read the Qur'an in Arabic, then give the meaning of what he'd read. The sermon was in English was some Arabic (that he then translated) mixed in. The women were quiet. No one really spoke. The kids ran around and screamed. Some of the boys were on the men's side and when the men were praying they ran around and around behind them. The younger kids were in with the women and the mothers kept them quiet until it was time to pray and then the kids entertained themselves, which involved a lot of noise and turning off the fans, which made the room hot. I didn't try to pray with them.

    Whalp. The return to church begins this Sunday, so I'll try and have something entertaining to tell you!

  5. Thanks for humoring me with the details. I enjoyed that a lot! :)

  6. I'm just glad that you finally went and quit obsessing about whether or not to do it. ^_^ I'm really looking forward to going to the mosque when I get back. Seeing everyone, men and women (the women have a separate, and of course smaller, room, curtained off. They turn off the lights and open the curtains when it's time for the congregational prayer and lecture.), all bowing to God together is one of the most spiritually amazing things I've ever witnessed. :) It's truly humbling for me. Anyway, I'm glad you had a good time and that your curiosity is satisfied!

  7. :D At least now I can stop annoying ya'll with it!

    If you believe, I'm sure it is. :)

  8. Best of luck to you, for whatever you decide. =) I don't blame you at all for feeling that way about the mosque. The barriers need to go.

  9. I was waiting for the same thing from a Mosque. Although I was more comfortable than in a trinitarian church it still didn't feel right. It feels much more right in the Unitarian church.

  10. Nahida,

    Hi! And thanks.

    It was better than many of the barriers I've heard about, at least. But I really didn't expect it to bother me as much as it did.

    And there was such a big difference between the way the men acted and the way the women did, which I found strange. The men, after the service, were all chatting and smiling, talking to the imam. The women just sat there, watching the men. No talking, nothing. Like they were waiting for something. Very odd, to me.

  11. LK,

    I think I expect too much from just walking into a building.

    The fact is, I'm never going to get that 'bolt of lighting' and I need to get over that. I've already made the choice, I just need to get on with it, I guess.

  12. yaaay so proud of you for going!

    Sounds like you had an ok experience altogether, and I bet it is great to know that you've done it now :)

  13. Becky,

    Thanks! I was proud of me too!

    It was an okay experience and at least now I can say that I did it and I know what it's like. I didn't enjoy it, precisely, but I did find it very interesting.


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