GEMS IN THE BIBLE BELT: NEW ORLEANS

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The waters came unimpeded by all barriers large and small and drove people of all classes and economic status under one roof leveling the playing field. The Super Dome was filled to capacity…

I walk down the riverfront and wonder if the experience of katrina has changed people from the inside out?

On the corner of a small street and a busy road there is a reminder of the desolation and tawakul Allah. A masjid stands along side a large tree calling people to its sanctuary.

I walk into the Masjed AbuBakr Siddiq named after an inspirational man who gave everything away in the name and service of Allah Subhanawataala. The sun shines with clarity a large tree hundreds of years old stands in the parking lot. I wish it could talk as it is witness to the flooding of Katrina and the desolation of the heart and mind that came in its wake.

P1020086The doors of the masjid are unlocked and inside is a green musallah. The words of Allah are adorned on the wall from the paintbrush of a young muslim woman.

I hear young voices, some talking I think on the phone and some to a teacher. For a few minutes a hush falls in the dome while sunlight filters in through the skylights bringing in light (noor) and hope for the spiritual future of the people struggling after Katrina in New Orleans.

We pray tahiyyat e masjed and somewhere in one of the rooms the recitation of the Quran begins in a child’s soft voice and the atmosphere stills to listen to the words of Allah Subhanawataaala.

Somewhere in the trenches of New Orleans the parents of this child and others like him are struggling to earn their sustenance to improve the economic and educational status of their children.

Struggling in a sea of disobedience of Allah, some have been overtaken by it as were those by Katrina and some, struggle to keep their head above water wanting the best for their children in the spiritual realm of serenity.

They make a constant and consistent effort to leave the legacy of the words of Allah with their children taught by someone more qualified than them, even as they themselves put in long hours working in the souvenir shops.

Many argue that if the parents do not practice how can the children do so? I see the inordinate sacrifice of the Muslim parents who face the sea of disobedience of Allah, and work to improve the social, educational and economic status of their children. They build mosques to provide a sanctuary for their children as a shield (taqwa) where the recitation of the Quran can be heard and learned and instilled into the hearts of all of those present.

P1020080The plaque outside the mosque reminds us that we are all insignificant creations of Allah Subhanawtaala and nothing can happen without His will.

I imagine that as the waters of the Hurricane broke the levee and advanced upon the human beings their teeth bared to swallow all and a sundry, everyone called upon God, in recognition of their own frailty and mortality. Muslims caught in the warp of the hurricane were no different.

This gem in the Bible belt has shafts of light (noor) coming into it for all those who want to bask in it, neither coercing them nor offering them reward yet…………..not until the Akhirah.

We have always thought and have been reminded often of how much the immigrant Muslims gain from this country. Standing in the shaft of light in Masjed Abu Bakr I realize how much the Muslims give to this country and its people in the form of the peace and serenity of spiritual light which cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

A small ray of Light (Noor) promising more from the beneficence of Allah if they step towards it.

One thought on “GEMS IN THE BIBLE BELT: NEW ORLEANS

  1. Pingback: DE ‘JA VU | Siraat-e-Mustaqeem

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