Monday, February 15, 2010

prayers and processions - a muslim prayer

another from the prayers and processions series.

Sulaiman Banwal, 24, opens the door to his bedroom and slips on his white prayer cap. He unfurls a prayer rug and bends bedside to the floor. He's wearing in a black perahan tunban, the traditional garb of Afghan men. He faces a wall draped with inspirational Islamic sayings.

The silence is broken by the rustle of his clothing as he bows prostrate. Somewhere in the distance is Mecca.

“Praying is a responsibility for every Muslim,” said Banwal, who, despite living 7,000 miles from home, still prays five times a day. He is a Fulbright Scholar from Kabul, Afghanistan. He attends Old Dominion University and is earning a master's degree in civil engineering.

He believes that praying to Allah helps him with his daily life. “In our religion you never lose hope, because losing hope means you're not believing in God anymore."

Banwal uses a computer program through the Web site that sounds automatic calls to prayer. “Whenever I'm becoming hopeless or stressed -- when I hear this it calms me down.”

"You feel like home, you don't feel alone,” he said of the call to prayer. “You're never alone, because God is with you.”


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