My first Namaz

In the rainy season of Pakistan, the news of my grandmother’s death made our lives rainier
This season showed me my father’s tears for the first time
His red eyes hurt so much, I wanted to take the pain away but didn’t know how
After the long day of the funeral, he was sleeping on a mattress
I crossed my legs and sat close to him
My little hands touched his forehead; I put my head on his.
He woke up nervous as if he did not know where he was
He asked me how his love was doing. I said nothing, but nodded my head
He went to pray for his mother’s soul to rest in peace
I decided at age six, I was old enough to pray with him
I told him that God would listen to me more; I don’t know from where that idea came
He spread out two green prayer rugs
We both stood facing the qiblah
He took my small hands in his large ones and put the right on the left, close to my chest
He asked me to repeat after him
As I bent, he helped me put my hands on my knees and we stood up again
Now we both sat in Sajda, putting our foreheads on the rug
His head was still on the rug when I stole a glance at him
He looked back, reminding me that I was not supposed to do that
Looking the peace in his face, though,
Was probably worth the sin

By Meena

(Eds Note: Namaz means prayer. Qiblah is a niche which indicates the direction Muslims should face during prayer. Sajda means prostration in worship. )


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