This morning as I took my taxi ride to STO Trade Centre from Villingili ferry terminal, I was listening to a radio program in which a student was interviewed regarding her prayer habits. In the interview she said that she woke up early enough in the morning for the morning prayer, then performed her noon prayer before going to school. She was in the lower secondary school.
Then she said that she did not perform her afternoon prayers because she was in school. But did her evening prayer and night prayer after coming from school.
I was reminded of an interview on state radio a few years back on a Friday, in a live show that was aired following the Friday prayers. The particular Voice of Maldives program was one of the most prime shows on air during those days. A person who was interviewed live from an atoll where a VVIP was visiting told the listeners that he had skipped the Friday prayers in order to continue with the preparations for welcoming the visiting VVIP.
We are a hundred percent Muslim country. When Aniya (a journalist with Minivan) wrote an article that was allegedly against Islamic principles, she was summoned to the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and cautioned. Yet, the two shows on state radio did not seem to have caught the attention of anyone or caused concern that would suffice rehabilitation or even a reprimand.
In an incident in an atoll school where the visiting VIP Imam entertained questions from the audience, which was made up of the people of the community and the school children, a teacher sarcastically asked who would be punished (by Almighty) for the afternoon prayers missed due to time-tabling practises. The Imam said that all punishment (faafa) will rest with the headteacher. The headteacher was on stage with the Imam and the senior administrators of the island and the atoll. He almost broke into tears. Yet did not have the courage to challenge the Imam who was in a better position to influence the system that determined the timetabling regime, more than the headteacher.
We want to be very proud that we are all Muslims!
Are the Daily Five Prayers really mandatory? If so, are we, as a nation that is made up of hundred percent Muslims, required to create and maintain conditions necessary to facilitate the Daily Five Prayers!
Or is it left to the individual to take personal repsonsibility for the conduct of the Daily Five Prayers. If so, why is it so important that we have to be a Muslim country? In non-Muslim countries that I have visited they take into consideration the time required by Muslims to perform prayers into consideration when they scheduel their activities. They respect your faith. But not in the country where we are a hundred percent Muslim.
As if being a hundred percent Muslim country gives us a ticket to ease certain practises of the faith!