I was at the outlets shopping for clothes. I looked at my watch and realized it is time for Maghreb prayer. I went to the restroom and began my ablution. A gentleman washing his hands next to me was watching me from the corner of his eyes, surprised. I praised Allah in my heart and thanked Him for the wiping-over-the-socks gift that eased for me by not having this already weirded-out man see me washing my bare feet in the sink (I have done it before though. A Muslim’s got to do what a Muslim’s got to do).
It was freezing outside so I decided to pray in the food court. On my way there, the whispers started: “You are going to pray in the food court?!”, “There are many people there, none of them are Muslims!”, “They are going to look at you funny!”, “They are going to make fun of your prayers and Islam”, “Someone crazy will attack you while praying!”, “Islamophobia is real you know!”, “just combine your prayers later when you get home, this is a necessity, you are in a dire situation”…
With the help and mercy of Allah, these voices fainted in my head and I started my prayer. And in my prayer, I thought of prophet Noah, how this great prophet was building an Ark in the middle of the dry land and all the disbelievers were making fun of him and harassing him and saying he was crazy. He didn’t quit nor did his “Yaqeen” (certainty) weaken. He kept on doing what Allah ordered him to do regardless and became the second father for the human beings (peace and blessings be upon him).
I noticed a deeper parallel between us, the believers of today, and Noah. See… If the mockery of the disbelievers stopped Noah from building the Ark, he would have drowned in this life because of the flood. And later on, he would have been punished in the hereafter for disobeying Allah. The same for us today, Salah is our Ark. If we don’t keep on building on our Salah like Noah kept building his Ark, we will drown. We will drown in the flood of misguidance, misery and depression today and in the Flood that is yet to come: The day of judgment… The Flood is coming. How is your ark looking?