On my way home from work today I was stuck in traffic for much longer than anticipated. It seemed certain that I would miss Asr salaah if I stayed on my route, so I took a detour and stopped at a mosque along the way. The mosque was embellished with the moon and star symbol which left me mildly ambivalent about entering. However, given my recent realisation as described in a previous post I proceeded without paying much attention to the voices in my head trying to dissuade me from going in.
I’m quite settled with the fact that there is more blatant and sincere worship of Allah in that mosque than any inclination towards the paganism suggested by that symbol. I was reminded about the many arguments and debates I’ve had around this issue and the recurring thought that the intrinsic value of the symbol is lost to Muslims. All that did was allay my concerns about performing salaah in that mosque. It didn’t alter my views about the symbol and its inappropriateness in Islam.
Another comforting sight was the 99 names of Allah and the numerous Qur’anic verses inscribed on the walls around the inside of the mosque. That was reassurance that the structure was indeed built to praise and worship Allah. But the presence of that symbol still troubled me knowing that I stood below it, and was further reminded of it because of its inclusion in the design of the prayer mat laid out for the imam.
But I managed to perform my Asr on time, Alhamdulillah, and I stayed for Maghrib with congregation as well. Perhaps this is the beginning of the moderation that I sought to achieve in this matter, even though there is still a strong urge within me to want to speak out against that horrid symbol to anyone that will listen. Perhaps that day will still come, Insha-Allah. Building better ties of unity with the community will hopefully make them more receptive to what I want to share with them when the time is right, Insha-Allah.