simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Salat
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Monday, 23 July 2007


The temptation to use the word juxtaposition is particularly great in NYC. I was surprised that a search of this blog returns only two uses since its inception. So, I use it again - if there is need for the word juxtaposition, the scene in the photo (taken in Prospect Park, Brooklyn) has to be one of those times. In many decades living here, this is the first time I have witnessed this act in public in NYC. Islam, like all major organized religions, has many rituals and laws, and the daily prayers, or salat, are one of the pillars of the faith. The purpose, number, times of day, place, preparation, dress, movements and positions are all prescribed. These prayers are required of every adult Muslim and are performed on a traditional prayer mat, or musalla, five times a day: 1. Fajr - Before sunrise. 2. Zuhr - After the sun begins to decline from its zenith. 3. Asr - Mid-afternoon. 4. Maghrib - Just after sunset. 5. Isha - night. The supplicant faces qibla (Arabic for the direction faced when praying) which is towards the Kaaba in Mecca. I found the scene encouraging to see such a group together - Islamic women praying, Hispanic families having a picnic, Caucasian children and an older woman in the playground and two black children fishing in the lake behind me ...


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