Outside the ship horn resounds and enters the peaceful precincts of the masjid. A dog barks and the shadows of the night lower their wings on the worshippers.
The musical voice of the Imam resounds with the Asma al Husna, and rise with the timbre of an opera singer, bringing beauty and humility to their expression. You can almost visualize the bent heads to the magnificence of The Names expressing the Power, Love and Majesty of Allah.
After the fard Salah, an older man comes and sits on the small seat at the right posterior section of the musallah and prays the Sunnah of Maghreb.
Young feet rush out, indicated by the rapid opening and closing of the door and the shuffling of hurried male feet as they slide into street shoes, carefully avoiding the carpet where no shoes are allowed.
They hurry to the outside world as if is calling to them and yet who would inform them that it is a siren call, and that the ticket to the best life in the real eternal world is right here in this musallah.
I look through the lace curtain and see the young boys back who calls the Dhikr after salah.
I begin my Salah e Awaabeen and time stands still. I am in a surreal space.
An intense feeling of timelessness comes over me. All this scene will continue to happen: the imams male husky timbre while reciting Surah Tariq at my request, the young boy calling out the Dhikr after Salah and then the beauty of the Asma al Husna adorning our lives and souls ……….and I will be gone, absent; All that will be left will be an imprint of my sajdah left on the teal carpet where I prayed many Maghreb Salah’s, an invisible imprint on the door of the masjed of my hand opening and closing it, the creak of the sliding door to the women’s section as I slide it open, the shelf that receives my shoes and keeps them warm at the back of the women’s musallah, my many entreaties to Allah which are suspended in the sacred space for Him Subhanawataala to grant………all left behind in this simple, elegant, stunningly beautiful mosque sitting quietly in a side street of the Bosphorus . With every call of prayer it claims the honor of calling to the deaf & asleep……….in the hope that one day they may awaken, hear and come to pray.
I slide my shoe on with the long hand of the shoe horn that allows me to slip my feet into my shoes while standing. I step out of the door, the cool breeze of the Bosphorus greets me. It has a nip in it which advises me that winter has finally come into Istanbul. I pause and the words of goodbye stick in my throat.
I walk down to the steps and lean over the wire fence looking at the Bosphorus at night. The ever-standing citadels of history seem to smile upon me, reassuring me………….. Do not be sad, for you will be return!
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