Lot of water on the sink…

[Making wudu in a public bathroom]
“Lot of water on the sink.” [Saying it in a kind of apologetic way]
“Oh yeah. When there is a public function it happens.”
[He continues to clean the sink with brown paper towel]
“Yeah, Muslims wash for prayer, so…”
“Yes I know, I’m Muslim.”
“Oh you are?”
“Yes. Abdul Karim Mohammad.”
“Oh. Are you from Trinidad?”
“No, Guyana.”
“Oh yeah? [slight pause] Are you distant from the religion?”
“No no. Close.”
“So you’re practicing?”
“Oh yes.”
“Cool. Cuz out of all the Islamic communities, I found the West Indian community and like the Albanian community to not be so much in touch.”
“Yeah it depends on the family.”
“Like growing up, you would hear things like Harold Hussein. That was weird. How could you have an English and Arabic name at the same time. Like Pakistani, Indians and Arabs wouldn’t do that”
“Well I named my son Abdul Jabbar Mohammad.”
“The name is your identity.”
“Yes. It depends on the family. My dad was a Meja man.”
“Imam. They call it Meja down there.”
“Oh. So your father prayed and could read the Qur’an?”
“Of course man, he was an imam.”
“Nice. He’s still alive?”
“No he passed away in 96, a year after I came here.”
“Oh, were you sad?”
“Of course. He was a great man and taught us one thing.”
“What’s that?”
“If there is ever a problem, turn to him, Allah.” [He points up] “He will get you through it.”
“Yes. And that is what helped me get through.”
[I acknowledged in silence]
“Cuz we all got to go one day right?”
[I nodded.]