The next morning at about 3:45 I woke up bright and early and jumped into the shower so that I would be clean before going to the mosque (something that is absolutely necessary). I went over and woke up my neighbors and then took a trek over to the mosque. Let me just say that is was surreal to be out in a Middle Eastern City at 4:00 AM listening to a prayer call of a mosque that I was going to. It was awesome. When we got to the mosque we sat in the main prayer hall and saw a number of older gentlemen who obviously did this everyday at 4:00 AM because they were all extremely comfortable and knew everyone that was there. I got a couple odd looks, but everyone just accepted my presence with a nod. Because it was a morning prayer it only lasted about an hour with a short 'reading' of the Quran (it is really an Islamic version of Gregorian Chant which is seriously one of the most beautiful things that I have ever heard in my short little life), a short sermon by the Imam and of course the prayer themselves. It was amazing to go through the motions of billions of people the whole world over and feel united to them for a small moment as I showed my devotion to the God of each one of us, no matter what you call him. After the prayers I was greeted by a few of the gentlemen who loved the fact that I was there and then I walked home marveling at my life as I collapsed into bed.
Since then I have gotten to pray one more time in the mosque, and this time it was this past Friday which is the main prayer service for all Muslims, basically like a Christians Sunday worship service. This time my experience was quite a bit different at the sermon was much longer (about 45 minutes) we were in the basement of the mosque which was absolutely packed and I was with my friend Austin. Still it was no less cool, and it was best of all to see how devoted these people are to their religion. Many of the people had to sit outside in the intense heat and sun because there was no room in the mosque for them. It is very different to be in a mosque and be with this misunderstood religion face to face. I felt their peace and their devotion, and knew of their love and kindness to others. I'm extremely grateful I have had this wonderful experience and hope to return someday when I know more arabic and can better understand the sermon. Everyone should try going to another faith's worship service, especially a faith you don't understand, and seeing what it's life. After all, ignorance is really boring... we just don't know it.