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08 June 2007 @ 05:06 am
eeeeee!  
Help!

I'm going to my first jumah next Friday. Can someone tell me how to (easily) fold a hijab or direct me to a good site? I googled it but I'm afraid I'm somewhat spatially challenged and I can't seem to figure it out. Plus, they all talk about square hijabs and mine seems to be rectangular.

I'm not worried about pretty at this point, mostly just secure. :-p

Thanks!

Oh. and any advice on performing Salat would be appreciated also. I can read/write and (usually) understand Arabic, but I don't really know the motions well and I can't even find the prayers actually written in sequence in Arabic.
 
 
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Cuban Bcreation on June 8th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
(1) On the hijab issue, ask a sister. I don't have much by way of advice.

(2) The first thing you should realize about salat is that if you've never done it before, you're inevitably going to get it wrong. Do not panic! Remember, He is All-Merciful by definition.

Some sisters and brothers around you, however, may not be as forgiving. Ignore them. You pray to God, not their opinion of you. If Allah smiles, He smiles upon sinners imperfectly aiming to please Him perfectly, out of their love for Him.

Some will perhaps attempt to give you advice about what to do and what not to do. Take it all worth a grain of salt. There are plenty of opinions on the various minutiae of proper salat which vary by region and madhdhab. Until you choose a school, pray in the manner which you think is best and stick to that. As you learn more, you can change accordingly.

Since you will not be leading the prayer, it is not as important that you know all the Arabic phrases. Besides, there are a variety of different ones to use. And prayer, anyway, is not about what is said with the lips but what is said with the heart. Speak to God with your heart; your mind and tongue shall follow.

ABOVE ALL, remember that it is not in attention to the myriad rules that we please God, but in the cleansing of our hearts through the act of prayer. Prayer is the time we take out of the day to disengage from the mundane and recall our Lord and Beloved, to strive to open ourselves to His Grace and thence to return to our trivial duties more mindful of the Day we shall meet Him.

Subhanallah! What a sweet gift this is. So if you do nothing else, savor it and adore it as you would the most intimate kiss with your dearest love.

The rest of salat comes with time. Don't rush it. I speak from personal experience - I rushed it, burned out, and then struggled to pray. Astaghfirullah! My prayers became dry, empty, rote repetitions of the phrases and gestures. I know this could not have been pleasing to God, because it was definitely not pleasing to me! So it took some time to reconnect, to feel at home and comfortable. Now, while memorizing pieces of the Qur'an for prayer as well as during their recitation in prayer, I take my time, savor the poetry, become familiar and intimate with the meanings. It is a much better way to pray.

And have fun! Juma'ah, these days, can be a rushed affair - go in, hear the khutba, toss out a couple of rakat, rush back to whatever we were doing beforehand. Instead, I recommend hearing and learning from the khatib, taking this time and space to connect with Allah and your fellow muslimeen, and return to your life centered and consciousness of your God.
?confuoco311 on June 11th, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
Thank you soo much for your response to my post. I really can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I truly feel the same way about prayer and connection to God, but I admit that I sometimes get caught up in what other people will think of me or say to me.

I will certainly remember this when I go, and I'm really looking forward to the experience. I think your advice will help me get the most out of it. Thanks again.
macisaac on June 16th, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
First off, al-hamdu lillah, this is good to hear. As the brother said above, about the hijab just ask a sister(s). I could talk to you about the legal points and such, but would be relatively clueless on how to actually wear one compared to say, an actual female...

About how to do the salat, there is differences amongst the madhahib on the details. Myself I am a Shia (and a Muslim convert at that, about 13 years now or so), though I have practiced as a Sunni in the past so am not completely unaware of how they do things as well. I'd love be of help here, in sha Allah, but you aught to know up front the perspective I'm coming from and the direction I point in. Here's some resources specifically to do with salat:

http://al-islam.org/alpha.php?sid=441767129&cat=139&alpha_id=63&t=alpha

Specifically you could start with the factsheets and then branch out from there:

http://al-islam.org/nutshell/files/purification.pdf
http://al-islam.org/nutshell/files/prayers.pdf

In fact, if you've not done so already I'd suggest giving that website (al-islam.org) a good looking at. It's a huge resource for material, much to go through.

Was it today you went? How did it go?
?confuoco311 on June 18th, 2007 10:10 am (UTC)
thanks to everyone who commented
I actually missed Jummah because I got into Singapore (where I was going to pray at the Sultan mosque) around noon and didn't have enough time to do wudu and get to the mosque. I got there actually, but then I couldn't find the women's entrance and then it was over. But, i went back and prayed Fajr with some old ladies. :P It was pretty good; the mosque was beautiful and the ladies were nice, but I couldn't really get past trying to figure out what i was supposed to be doing. I guess its just not natural to me yet. Inshallah, it will be soon. Thanks for the advice!