By Sirnucy Lafiagi

YESTERDAY, I left my hotel room about 8 minutes to 2pm in search of a mosque where I can observe my Ẓuhr prayer before the commencement of the meeting which was scheduled for 2:15pm. On getting to the main road, I inquired from the first man I met and he pointed to a mosque about 100 yards away by the right side of the road. So, I trekked down and, my arrival at the mosque coincided with the making of the Iqāmah by the Mu’adh-dhin.

As soon as I entered, I realized that the Imām who had already taken his position in front of the congregation was looking at me in a rather unusual manner. Could he have noticed that I am a stranger in the area? Is he going to ask me to lead the Ṣalāt? Or is he intimidated by my “Alfa-ish” look of thick beard and above-the-ankle-trouser? These were the thoughts running through my mind spontaneously.

In any case, after completion of the Iqāmah, he turned towards the Qiblah and raised his two palms to his chest level and after making the usual incantation called “aniya making”, he made the takbīratu’l-iḥrām and the Ṣalāt commenced.

Honestly, I could almost swear that he didn’t recite anything in any of the raka’ats. The Ṣalāt was “ferraried” in a manner that would leave Usain Bolt in a state of maniacal bewilderment were he to run a 100 metre race within the same time. The Imām has got to have a “spring” around his waist that made it so easy for him to perform the Rukū’ and Sujūd almost simultaneously. Haba!

Another thing I noticed was that the Imām dances occasionally during the Qiyām. Later, I got to know that he was doing that after recitation of Fātiḥa and it was statutory. Eeeeeewo! Recommended, sanctioned, approved and permitted by who? These were questions I asked him that he could not answer comfortably, other than the usual “na so our Alfas teach us”.

Anyways, I repeated my Ṣalāt after the taslīm, not only because I wasn’t comfortable with the overall conduct of the Ṣalāt, but because I wasn’t sure that it was acceptable to Allāh. Our Ṣalāt was fantastically padded. I don’t know which between our Ṣalāt and the 2016 budget is worse in terms of padding.

Look, I am not perfect, in fact, no one is, but from my knowledge of the Sunnah, I have read a number of times the hadīth of المسيئ صلاته (the man that prayed terribly during the time of the Rasūl ﷺ and was asked by the latter to repeat his Ṣalāt twice.) I was damn sure if the Rasūl witnessed our Ṣalāt, he definitely will treat our Imām the same way.

Unfortunately, I am not sure the little time I spent tutoring the Imām on the manner of observing Ṣalāt in accordance with the teachings of the Rasūl was enough to change anything significant about him. In fact, he confessed never to have heard (much less of seeing) the name of the book صفة صلاة النبي by الألباني before.

By Allāh, akoi aiki a gaba. Allāh ya shirye mu gaba daya. Allāh hokku amin sā’a

Sirnucy Lafiagi is a social commentator who writes on trending issues, including religion.

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