Asalamu ‘alaikum warahmatula wabarakatuhu everyone!
This is a very random blog post but just had to share my excitement.
Give me a clean place to pray with good food and I am a happy girl!
Yup! you can always quote me on that. Yesterday I walked into Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre and as usual, quite conscious of my prayer times alhamdullilah, started panicking on where I could perform my prayers.
My daily schedule pretty much revolves around my prayers and though sometimes it can be a bit difficult, I still make time for it or ensure there is somewhere safe, hidden and clean where I can perform my prayers.
Anyway, as I was picking up few things, I started planning the rest of my day and working out whether I should stop my shopping and quickly rush to my cousin’s house to pray as she lived nearby or find somewhere hidden to perform prayers.
Then it dawned on me that there actually was a prayer room at the Shopping Centre. For some reason, I did not really have my hopes high as I was not sure what to expect. I quickly asked google for the location of a prayer place at the Shopping Centre and found out it was on the second floor.
I was on the top floor and the concierge was on the lower ground floor in case you are wondering why ask google? But my oh my! My joy when I saw the sign.
Inside was very clean and quiet with two wudhu areas, prayer mats kept in a neat wooden storage as well as some scarves and jilbabs, Masha Allah.
As much as I dislike going shopping at Stratford, I must say I was excited when I went in the rest and prayer place. I found some people resting in what seemed to be a very relaxing spot in the room.
Although it is an interfaith prayer place, it accommodates us Muslims quite well. There was a board that separated the men side from the women alhamdullilah, no images, statutes or symbols of a particular religion, there was a friendly member of staff available so you can be sure to feel safe. She welcomed me with a warm smile Masha Allah and lastly, the Qiblah sign was also very visible.
I performed my prayers and relaxed a bit while appreciating the environment.
Subhanallah, there really is no excuse for anyone out shopping in Stratford to miss their prayers anymore.
Not like people have an option as praying on time is wajib upon the mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions).
It is the backbone of Islam and the second greatest pillar after the shahadah (testimony of faith).
There are few exceptions such as The traveller. They can combine or shorten their Salah and women, not in a state of taharah who do not have to perform Salah at all.
All you need to know about Salah alhamdullilah provided in that link.
I know I might be a bit too late or few years late rather as the Shopping Centre isn’t newly built but hey! better late than never right?
Let’s just hope there’ll be more halal places to eat at the Shopping Centre – preferably Turkish or any cuisine with a yummy lamb dish and it’ll most definitely be my number one spot!
BarakAllahu Feekum Mina