|ISNA Masjid at 2am|
The picture above was taken at 2am last night in ISNA Masjid, Canada. For the last 10 days of Ramadan, the Masjid organized an i'tikaf (a period of isolation, usually to a Masjid) and qiyam (staying up at night for voluntary prayers and other acts of worship).
As I walked into the Masjid's compound, I was surprised at the amount of cars in the parking lot. The only times I would usually see that many cars are during Friday prayer and Eid prayer. So seeing that many cars at 2am in the morning was a sight to behold.
As I walked through the Masjid's main entrance, it didn't look like it was 2am in the morning. I saw children, youth, adults, and elders. They were all there. Subhanallah, my heart was filled with joy, especially seeing all the children there. I even saw a young man walking with a crutch (his feet was injured). I kind of felt a bit ashamed of myself after witnessing his determination to attend the qiyam, despite his condition. Not to mention that there were elders who couldn't even stand in prayer so they had to sit on chairs. Even they were strong enough to abandon their beds and attend the qiyam.
I had no more excuses in my pockets. Thank God for that.
The congregation was praying at the time when I walked in. I wanted to see what the main hall looks like. It was a full house. The brothers' side was full and the sisters' side was full too. Subhanallah. It was so full that there were people praying outside of the main hall. They had to open the gym in case of an overflow.
Keep in mind, this was at 2am in the morning! I am still blown away by this. I've never seen the Masjid full of people at this time of the night. I would be happy to see 3 or 4 lines during that time.
But a full house? I am overjoyed!
This is worthy of a mini celebration. Perhaps for people who had seen this routinely, they might not see it as something big. But coming from a fresh perspective, I see it as a glimmer of hope for the Ummah. Alhamdulillah, the Masjid is still close to the heart of Muslims, even the Muslims whom you wouldn't see in the Masjid on an average month or an average day. Although I hope that they will remain consistent with the Masjid, but the fact that they were there was enough to make me happy - even if they're there for just one night.
The icing on the cake was when I witnessed the old and the young coming together, especially the young. Seeing young children in the Masjid at any time of the day makes me happy, but seeing them during qiyam is something truly special. Even if some of them didn't pray during the whole hour (hey, they're kids!), I still think that the fact that they're there is something that's worth being grateful for. I would rather see a kid running around in a Masjid than see a kid running around in a mall.
May Allah bless them and their parents. Ameen.
May Allah bless everyone in the congregation. Ameen.
May we all stand in Laylatul Qadr and reap the abundant reward. Ameen.