Wrinkles in my Prayer Rug

The books of Fiqh I’ve studied so far generally mention at some point that it’s considered makrūh (disliked) to try to smooth out the ground or remove rocks and otherwise pure dirt or inconveniences from the place where one will pray salāh. This is explained as ensuring one’s humility.

These days we rarely pray on such “raw” ground. We are used to praying on perfectly smoothed manmade surfaces designed for our comfort. However, I do notice that my prayer rug gets wrinkled up a lot, just in the place where I need to make sajda. Usually I flatten out the rug before I pray. And sometimes I forget. And sometimes it gets this way after I’ve started. I’ve also noticed that in a crowded masjid in Ramadan, I somehow end up making sajdah on someone’s purse strap.

And I think to myself that there is an āya (a sign) to me in this. A sign to bear inconveniences. A sign to recall that they could be-and are not- so much more.

A sign to stay humble. A sign to me that my standing here is not by my own power and goodness, nor on my own terms, but instead my standing here is a GIFT, a privilege that I have done nothing to deserve but have been graciously, generously blessed with.

A sign about my life, and the need to face the wrinkles that come. To recognize obstacles and inconveniences and things going wrong as signs for me to learn from. To recognize the wrinkles in my nafs that are preventing me from entering this sajda completely.

This salah is a gift. This place is a gift. Any obstacles or inconveniences I face on this road are gifts. I need them. I have to gratefully accept them and feel their imprint upon me.

*****

For a practical article on inconveniences in the masjid in Ramadan, here is an excellent piece by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad called “Ramadan and Ruffled Feathers”

Ramadan and Ruffled Feathers

One thought on “Wrinkles in my Prayer Rug

  1. Pingback: Getting Off Our Butts | Tails of Faith and Love

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