An angel descended into my thoughts and asked me why I do not pray.
I responded and said, “I do pray! I mean I may have missed a few, but surely you know I am human and when I fall, I get back up. I am distracted, but I get back up.”
The angel asked again, why I do not pray.
This time, it continued further. “We worship our Lord and sanctify the Majestic without rest. Why do you not pray?”
The angel had forgotten, and God interceded to say, “I know what you do not.”
The angel could not debate any further.
I responded to the angel anyways, trying to make sense of it.
“I cannot tell you why the world burns
And God repeated, “I know what you do not.”
I spoke to the angel:
I can tell you that my favourite meal is breakfast because it reminds me of starting anew, that you can have morning at 6pm if you just make hash browns & eggs. I start it with the words, “I begin with the name of God, the most Merciful the most Kind” and when I fill my body I hope that each bite is enough to get me to the next morning. Hope is a prayer too.
Sometimes, when I read the Quran, I start to cry because although I struggle to understand each sentence, these words give me purpose. I continue to cry because I see these same words used to push people away, to elicit power, and excuse faults in men. I ask God to make truth apparent and falsehood apparent, but I don’t have all the answers. Though it may be heavy, I pick up that book again again. Returning is a prayer too.
I watch the sunset, and it reminds me of God because it reverberates across the sky each day, though not everyone agrees to see it. I watch Them turn clouds into slow dancers. I complain to God, that sometimes the sky makes me jealous of the angels. Can we join them there? Pleading is a prayer too.
It doesn’t matter how empty the mosque is, sometimes I look at the beautified carpets and the writings on the walls, but can’t find a place here. Staying is a prayer too.
I sit in a group of friends at a cafe, both lost and confused because there are holes in our communities. Holes that we’ve fallen in to. Too loud, too funny, too masculine, too feminine, too much lipstick, too little clothing, too much is covered. I sit at that table, and my voice cracks so I look down knowing I would cry. Admitting it’s hard is a prayer too.
The angel in my thoughts contracts, “It gets easier right?”
I responded, “I honestly don’t know.”
God said, “I know what you do not.”
I spoke once more before the Angel left, “I know my God though. It’s all we have.”