Tears inside a mosque - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

Tears inside a mosque

That morning was a different one. It seemed more peaceful than ever. Maryland was getting ready for spring.

The fragrances of the trees and fresh buds covered all around. These fragrances caught the attention of everyone who went to morning prayer and it brought a sweet peace.

They entered the mosque. For two days they had been performing the morning prayer here, but it seemed different today. They were all surrounded by peace, calm and spiritual energy.

When the muadhdhin started to recite the adhan, the call for prayer, in the saba maqam, the entire Muslim community consisting of a few people began to listen almost as if they had been charmed.

That touching voice, that maqam, that call for salvation caused a deep emotional reaction in all of those who came to prayer. Nobody was looking around, everyone had their heads down.

The adhan finished, the iqamah was recited. Those heads, that were dreaming of who knows which lands, were raised. Some of them had red eyes and wet cheeks.

They formed the row. The Turks, Arabs, black Americans, Malays, the Moors and the Macedonians… all the colors of the Muslim community were there and in the same row.

A person who was formerly called “Sheikh al-lslam” performed the prayer. Even when he started to recite Surah al-Fatiha, it was seen that he had a different spiritual mood.

That recitation, that tonality, that voice all made this morning different.

He started reciting Surah al-Waqiah. As he recited, the tears were falling from his eyes. He was crying since building this Islamic complex presenting his country in America was granted to him. He was crying since all the orphans, the oppressed and the representatives of the poor were in the same rows behind him.

These were the tears of gratitude toward Allah. Behind, the person who had the title “head architect,” was crying in the same row with a black man.

He was thankful since he saw that the results were achieved after a painful struggle and effort that had lasted for years.

He was happy since he could embroider the seal of his ancestors, the Ottomans and Architect Sinan, in the world's most powerful country.

Just next to him, standing next to a curly-haired Moor, a “head of calligraphers” was crying. He was crying out of respect for the beautiful names of Allah. The “Amanar-rasulu” that he embroidered in the type of Jali Thuluth would appear in America and remind those who would look at it, to which great civilization the work of calligraphy belongs.

He was crying out of gratitude for that. The imams of Fatih Mosque and Eyüp Sultan were in that row, and tears were falling from their eyes.

They were crying since they felt that the extracts from Quran, salawats and tasbihats they recited with their crystal-clear voices would echo in waves on the dome and from there would spread to all of the US.

A black American was crying just in front of them. He was thinking of his slave ancestors, the tyranny they suffered and then the life that was honored by Islam.

He was crying since he would not be unhappy now, and would be proud of this masterpiece near Washington, DC.

A Moor was crying with him. And a Malay, an Arab, a Macedonian were all together crying. They were crying as they were granted to hear the voice of this Quran spreading to the sky which echoed in the minaret, resounded on the dome at the other end of the world.

The few children of a community as of April 1, 2016, in a morning prayer in this far corner of the world were all together crying with thankfulness, bliss, sadness and pride. Such a view has rarely been seen. When the prayer was over they could not look at each other's faces because of bashfulness. All their eyes were red, cheeks wet but peaceful.

A traveler murmured while going out of the mosque: “The mornings of Medina used to be like this.”

The next day, a president came to the front of this mosque, which was washed with excerpts from the Quran, hymns, salawats, prayers and rain, and said: “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim” (In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful) and announced with the supplication of gratitude, he presented this site to serve the children of the entire Muslim community.


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