So, MacGyver's department has a ginormous mosque situated right in the middle of their district. While he was on shift yesterday, he, the lieutenant and the paramedic were invited to the mosque for a "break-fast". It is the middle of Ramadan for the muslims and they fast from about 4:30 am to 8:00 pm. He had no idea what to expect or why they were invited but certainly had an interesting story to tell when he got home this morning!
When they got there they had a little "break-fast" which was a soup with curry, rice, and garbanzo beans, as well as some dates, bananas, a triangular-shaped pastry sort of like an egg roll and milk. About 8:30 Mac and his guys followed them into a prayer room. They had to remove their work boots to enter the prayer room. He watched as the men went in and the women went to their own separate prayer room. The prayer room was a large room with a glass dome roof in the center of the room. The room was carpeted and had lines on the floor that were about a foot wide and spaced out about 3 feet apart. As the first man came in he went to the center of the line in the front and then people followed and filled out the lines to his left and right. As one line filled up the line behind it was filled up in the same fashion. They all stood shoulder to shoulder facing East. Someone led the prayer in Arabic. He couldn't understand what was being said, of course, but it sounded very sing-songy; a lot like what is displayed in movies. He watched as they bowed at the waist and then kneeled and bowed with their heads to the ground. They stood and bowed and then kneeled and bowed some more. The prayer time lasted about 15 minutes. They were then invited upstairs to eat with the Imam. The others stayed behind to eat separately. Their meal was laid out on a cloth on the carpeted floor room. The Imam didn't eat on the floor, but invited the guys to sit with him at his table. They ate a meal of chicken and a rice pilaf-like dish. The station already had dinner just a couple hours prior and they were still full from that but were instructed to eat anyway, as it is disrespectful to turn away food that someone has prepared for them. Mac said he tried desperately but couldn't finish all his food. A man's stomach can only hold so much, you know! During dinner, they talked about the mosque and the Qaran. When asked how many people attend the mosque, the Imam said there is about 80,000 Muslim in Colorado and about 50,000 of those live in Denver. He estimates that most Fridays (their day of worship) they see about 7,500 people come in to pray. The Imam went on to explain that they don't worship Mohammed; that he was a prophet, just like Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Yikes! In this same conversation, they talked about how all of Mohammed's words and actions were written down verbatim because he was illiterate. These are the words they use to dictate how to deal with conflict and war, as well. Creepy! I know from my studies that everything is dictated by the Qaran: marriage, dress, work, ethics, religious practices, food, etc. What most people don't realize is Muslim is not just a religion. It's their culture, their form of government and how they make decisions. This is their life. I liken it to our life, a little bit. We follow the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments and the Bible. The difference is it doesn't govern us, but instructs how to serve the Lord, live your life, conduct marriage and business as well as treat people. We also don't believe Jesus was a prophet, but the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior. All in all, it was an interesting dinner, no doubt.
Some of Mac's thoughts:
1. He was surprised to hear that the entire Qaran was based upon the vision and life of ONE prophet, unlike the Bible which was has countless witnesses and testimonies, and is corroborated by other books and people.
2. The Muslim faith is very similar to the Catholic faith with their religious practices.
3. Listening and watching everything last night he kept thinking that every lie has just enough truth to make it sound legitimate and correct.
4. When asked if his feet stunk up the prayer room: He laughed and said no...their was too much curry to smell anything else. Ha!