So prayers are over. I say, hey, who's going to recognize me? So I start to mingle like I'm one of the brothers, and I'm walking into the mosque and a brother says,"Assalamualaikum."
And I thought, did he say,"Salt and bacon?"
There's another guy who said "salt and bacon" to me. I didn't know what in the world they were saying, but they all smiled.Before one of these guys noticed that I was not supposed to be there and took me to the torture chamber, or beheaded me, I wanted to see as much as I could. So, eventually I went to the library, and there was a young Egyption brother; his name was Omar. God sent him to me.
Omar comes up to me, and he says,"Excuse me. This is your first time here?" He has a real strong accent.
And I said, "Yeah, it is".
"Oh, very good. You are Muslim?"
"No, I'm just reading a little."
"Oh, you are studying? This is your first visit to mosque?"
"Come, let me show you around." And he grabs me by the hand, and I'm walking with another man - holding hands. I said, these Muslims are friendly.So, he shows me around.
"First of all, this is our prayer hall, and you take your shoes off right here"
"What are these things?"
"These are little cubicles. That's where you put your shoes."
"Well, because you're approaching the prayer area, and it's very holy. You don't go in there with your shoes on; it's kept real clean."
So he takes me to the men's room.
"And right here, this where we do wudhu."
"Voodoo!! I didn't read anything about voodoo!"
"No, not voodoo. Wudhu!"
"Okay, because I saw that stuff with the dolls and the pins, and I'm just not ready for that kind of commitment yet."
He says, "No, wudhu, that's when we clean ourselves."
"Why do you do that?"
"Well, when you pray to God, you have to be cleam, so we wash our hands and feet."
So I learned all these things. He let me go, and said, "Come back again."
Raphael Latino,Former Jehovah's Witness minister, Los Angeles, USA.
Source copied from:
In Search of Excellence in Life - Experiences from the well known persons which include scientists, scholards, intellectuals and priests from all over the world, 2008, pp 71-73. Edited by Shaya'a Othman, ISBN 978-98-4422-0-1, Majlis Agama Islam Selangor.