Saturday, May 05, 2007

Jum'a @ Stanford

Quite different than Egypt. It has a magnified importance to me since it's the only time that i mingle with Muslims on a regular basis. It's like touching base once a week.

There is no mosque on or near campus, so the ISSU (Islamic Society of Stanford University) reserves a big room each week for Friday prayers. U have to check online each week to know where the prayers will be held. There are usually 80-100 people attending the prayers. The majority are males.

The khutba is not given by a scholar, because obviously there are no scholars. Instead, a difference community members, usually a student, volunteers each week to give the khutba. Sometimes it's prepared by a sister (as females are referred to) but is narrated by a brother. U can imagine the big contrast in content and manner of a khutba given by a EE post grad and one given by a government appointed clerk in Egypt.

The khutba is in English. It is usually presented by a non-native English speaker and a non-native Arabic speaker. I remember in one of my first jum'a's i couldnt' make sense of either the english or the arabic used when narrating certain Qur'an. But generally this is not a problem. All khutba's are recorded and made available online.

Generally I feel grateful to the ISSU for managing all the logistics each week and i am more attached to Jum'a than i was in Egypt.

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