An experience with Allah

My daughter and I partook in Friday Prayers at the Grande Prairie Islamic Center/Mosque. We shared our feelings of the unknown before we entered and set our minds and hearts to just being open. We were pleasantly surprized. The Emam (Priest/Minister) met us graciously in his office half hour before the Prayers were to commence to answer any of our questions. Although his English was not great, his sincerity was easy to understand. I appreciated that he focused his attention on us both and not just me, the adult. He did not shake my hand, which for a second made me feel a little uncomforted, but I soon got over it as I reminded myself not to be offended but open minded.

He explained the five foundations of Islam: 1. that there is only One God 2. that one must make at least one pilgramage to Mecca in their life time, 3. that 2.5% of your earnings go to the poor and needy, 4. that one must pray 5 times a day 5. one must celebrate Ramadan with fasting.

He explained their belief in Mohammed, the last prophet/messenger from God in the long line of Prophets, starting with Adam and including Moses,Abraham and Jesus.. They do not worship the messengers nor believe that they have redemptive powers. That only God himself can give forgiveness and redemption. Therefore they do not believe/acknowledge the salvation message that Christians attach to Jesus. They believe that no one needs to come between you and God. That the prophets were men just like everyone, however they do acknowledge the Christian belief in the Immaculate conception of Mary... which honestly, I thought a little comprimising.. but none the less.

After answering our questions he showed us to our side of the curtain where we would meet with the Women. We were graciously met with loving embraces, smiles and handshakes by all the women.
The prayers were hard to follow as it was half in Arabic and then translated into English.
Niamh and I covered our heads with our scarfs, which felt very reverent and strangely very comfortable.

Fatima, an older Somalin woman in full cover, save for her face, welcomed us graciously taking Niamh and I into her care. She ushered us to sit by her side and made sure we understood what was happening. She noticed I was massaging my healing hand and touched me questioningly. When I showed her the scare running up my arm, she took my hand in hers and began to pray for me sweetly as she caressed and massaged my arm, wrist and fingers. She brought tears to my eyes with her sweetness... she too shared tears with me. I instantly felt the bond of love between us.

The Emam talked alot of Shatan and asking Allah for forgiveness.(from what I understood) The women sat on the floor and kneeled and stood upon cue for prayers while the children played freely without restriction, unlike western culture they were not reprimanded for their noise making or running about.

After the prayers concluded, the women gathered around us. A white woman, from Nova Scotia, shared with us her story of converting to Islam. Having been raised Anglican, her experience with her famiily and co-workers has been quite something, and being a white muslim woman in Grande Prairie, Alberta to add to it all. No she is not a terrorist, and yes, she is aware that she is white. We had such a laugh with her. It was a wonderfull meeting of women. Fatima put her hand on my shoulder and said, we are a sisterhood, and I felt it.

We left with a happiness in our hearts for the welcome we recieved. We both aggreed that it had been a great experience, and one that we may choose to do again in the future. Although we did both aggree that converting was not something either of us were interested in. LOL

I highly recommend the experience.


  1. beautifully said ~ it sounds like you had a wonderful time ~ I love that she said " We are a Sisterhood"


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