My Canadian sanctuary: What the mosque means to me

by Zarqa Nawaz / January 30, 2017 / in Articles

A few days ago, I sat with a group of women in the library talking about teenage depression. We were organizing an educational session for the community. As we were planning, I listened to the melodic call to prayer in the overheated library. I complained to my friend Faeeza that even though it was minus 30 C outside, I was going die of heat stroke inside. It’s an old building, a former church and it has trouble regulating temperature.

As I joined the congregation to pray Isha, the night prayer, I saw men rushing in, trying to “catch” the prayer. Eventually everyone had settled and the children, knowing their parents were deep in prayer, darted off to play.

The mosque has always been the central part of my life growing up as a Canadian. I was married in a mosque and one day I hope to have my funeral prayers there. All my projects have the word “mosque” in it – Me and the MosqueLittle Mosque on the PrairieLaughing All the Way to the Mosque. Inevitably I tell myself my next project won’t have the word mosque in it. But inevitably, I come back to it.