LUNCH BREAK Q11.114

As an undergraduate, I attended a programme organised by the Muslim Medical Students’ body to usher us into the preclinical classes. I remember one of the points a speaker made; that we should be patient when lecture times conflict with prayer times and should ensure we make our salawat on time in spite of the hectic medical student life. I remember how some of us felt like the non-Muslims just don’t care and won’t give us a break. But really, why should they when even we Muslims do not take our duties seriously. Why do I say this? I’ll tell you.

I attended an Islamic programme (at least, it was organised by Muslims for Muslims). The timing straddled both Dhuhr and Asr prayers and I considered taking a prayer mat along but confidently assured myself that such arrangements would have been made by the organisers. Heck, even non-Muslims programmes often have a lunch-break at Dhuhr or earlier for Muslims to go for prayers, and often close before 4pm. My assumption was wrong.
The programme started during Dhuhr, behind schedule, so there was time to perform the 2nd prayer of the day especially for those who came late. Asr came and the programme continued; the show must go on.

I waited in confusion. I had difficulty wrapping my head around it. No Dhuhr or Asr break? Seriously? Eventually, I get up and ask around for a prayer mat, none of the organisers I asked had one. I asked for the qiblah, no one knew. I must admit I felt very disappointed. You know how we women can delay our salat and…BAM! Our period comes early and we’ve missed two prayers.
Anyway, I went to perform ablution in the restroom and found a spot somewhere in the building to pray then returned to the hall.

image credit: muslinvoices.org

image credit: muslinvoices.org


The show was still on. Some sisters asked me about the Qiblah and where to pray as I returned. I told them I guessed the direction and described where I had prayed to them; they left instead. They did not see any point in staying any longer. I am not portraying myself as a fantastic Muslim. Allah knows I have a truckload of faults but, really? No lunch break, no time-out; Dhuhr then Asr; a Muslim programme? So, I ask again: why should non-Muslims care when we don’t?

Have you had a similar experience? Please share below.

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8 thoughts on “LUNCH BREAK Q11.114

  1. It’s so sad. Really. It’s hurtful, actually, to see the indifference with which people (Muslims) treat Salaah. That Salaah can never be replaced. I actually can’t believe that it was a Muslim function. But come to think of it, it does happen sometimes at weddings on this side of the world.

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    • Journeyadmin, it also happens in weddings in our part of the world too but generally weddings are seen as social events so maybe that’s why? Thanks for reminding us about that too.
      It’s just sad that an Islamic event did not encourage us to salah as it should.

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  2. Rukayyat says:

    i find your experience very very strange. a Muslim function that does not break for prayers!!!. i feel you should have called the attention of the organizers to this great omission.

    most people have the idea that each prayer has a time span in which it can be prayed. so it doesn’t matter if they pray at the beginning, middle or end of this time span.

    but the rasul (pbuh) said that one of the best of deeds is prayer at its earliest time (however it’s best to delay ishai). Allahu musta’an

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  3. Sadly, it was an Islamic event, Rukayyat. I refrained from jumping to conclusions too but Dhuhr & Asr both passed and no announcement was made regarding prayers.
    May Allah help us to be vigilant about what’s important.
    And thanks for your suggestion. I did ask a couple of the ushers about a prayer rug and the Qibla but did not complain formally because I thought it embarrassingly obvious. Next time, I’ll do better, in sha Allah. 🙂

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  4. This is very bad and must be said so clearly and openly. Any Muslim event should include organization for prayer as a priority. If the organizers made this oversight, attendees should help them by saying so openly and politely. We all need to spread the knowledge we have. That this happened is yet another example of how little sound knowledge of the deen Muslims have nowadays.
    MashaAllah I’ve been involved in a number of Muslim events in various capacities and they always had salat arrangements as an integral. It is almost the organizational thing that is attended to even before other things are thought of, as in, by default.

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