Juma 2 years after the Covid-19 pandemic
I knew I wanted to pray Juma today.
“You’re doing taraweeh but you’re not praying Juma?” was a buddy’s comment this past Ramadan.
So I decided I would start praying Juma again.
But each Friday, things would get in the way.
This was NEVER like me.
I hardly ever missed a Juma in my life since my university days. Albeit I’d be late attending, but I’d miss a Juma literally like once every decade if that.
But the pandemic changed everything.
After 2 years, I just got into the habit of not praying Juma because the mosques were closed for so long, and for good reason. But I wasn’t comfortable praying as well when they did start to open, because I wasn’t cool with being around so many people, whether it was before, or after I had covid.
So I’m sitting here trying to do work, with the clock ticking towards Juma, and I know it. Plus the car ain’t working, so I know I’ll have to walk it to the mosque.
I finally muster the courage and rip myself off the couch, with little time left for the prayer, and disgusted I’ve blown yet another Juma, I can’t help but still think, can I make it? Nah, it’s too late, why go? You don’t deserve to go. I reason with myself: I promise I’ll be a good boy and establish a better schedule next week, and be on time for Juma. PROMISE!
But in a matter of seconds, I’m double minded. I jump in the shower and think about the same questions. When I come out, it’s 2:45 PM. The iqama is at 3. I got 15 minutes. Should I go? And that by foot? I decide to chance it.
As I’m walking, I figure I don’t care what happens anymore. At least I made it out of the house! I’ll improve on this. This is victory! I’m happy. A feeling of contentment comes over me.
15 minutes pass. It’s 3 on the nose and I come within the vicinity of the mosque. I’ve conceded I’ll miss Juma, but at least I can pray Zuhr at the mosque….
But then hope.
I see cars still parked in the neighbourhood! That’s a sign everyone’s still praying Juma!! I haven’t sprinted in like forever, and I’m like, YES, I get to do some exercise too! I run for it—knowing that the jammat starts at 3—hoping I can catch the last few seconds of Juma.
The mosque finally reveals itself, I’m tiring and want to stop, running with each step as I edge closer. NO! I tell myself, you’re not stopping. I’m gonna keep running till I get to the entrance of the mosque. Push it! Who knows when I’ll run again.
“Hurry hurry. They’ve started” a man says adamantly as I rush in through the doorway, panting.
I made it! YES! Hah! I get the last laugh. Next week, inshallah, I’ll try to get the khutbah.