I had a hard time figuring out how to perform Muslim prayers in two (2) minutes, the minimum known prayer is two units (Rakats) and it takes 3-4 minutes*. So, I decided to go with one unit (Rakat) of Prayer and it was opposed, and some of them did not even want me to pray as it had never been done before. I had the higher responsibility to share how we pray; it was a message that needed to be communicating to the world at large.
I sought forgiveness from God and prayed and it was both in English and Arabic. Believe me that was one of the most devotional prayers of my life. I put my heart, mind and soul into it. I was on the stage with cameras clicking and I had to be my best and thank God, I was deeply devotional and absorbed in it. God did not tell me if he was happy, but I am sure he was, it was to promote understanding and that is his call (Quran 49:13). The best ones among you are those who learn about each other, and when we do that, conflicts fade and solutions emerge for peaceful existence of humanity.
In 2009 the situation came up again. I was at the Parliament of World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia and a Saudi woman Islamic teacher was giving the talk on how Muslims pray, and the room was packed with clergy from Iran and Saudi Arabia in their flowing robes. She asked if a Muslim can step up to demonstrate the Muslim prayer and it will be one unit… I cannot tell you, I literally jumped up from my chair and dashed to the stage floor, tripping once over the cable on the floor, but got up and was ready to ‘perform’. After the prayer, I told them that this event released me from the bottled up tension, and of course every one cheered. Later on in Dallas the FBI was training ethnic sensitivity about Muslims and Sikhs and a Muslim trainer did that one unit prayer again.
What a relief!
Mike Ghouse is a Muslim Speaker with whom you can engage on talking about any issue concerning Islam – Quran is the source he relies on and occasionally refers to the secondary sources with caution, as they were human compilations and subject to errors. He encourages one to lay it out, lay everything that is bothering one, he believes in clarifying rather than walking out with doubts. He has gained more knowledge about Islam by allowing and encouraging people to critique and criticize, and his faith in the principles and essence of Islam is rock solid.