In London, near Kings cross, in one of the back streets there is a pub next door to a Mosque called the Crown and Anchor
I was staying locally,paying around 18 pounds a night. This tells you either how long ago, it was or how cheap it was.
I remember stumbling out of the Pub, with my friend – back when friends were fashionable – and walking past the Mosque.
Back in the day when I played pool and got drunk.
I often mean to go back there.
As we came out, A young man was standing outside the Mosque,watched us walk past him and said
“You shouldn’t do it. It’s bad for you”
It’s the Shaljamal Jame Masjid mosque.
or the Euston Mosque, quite small compared to some of the Mosques in the area.
I agreed with the guy. My friend gave him some attitude and still I was silent.
I don’t follow a religion particularly, but breaking them all down, are they not just a means to remind us to treat each other better?
That we all deserve love and kindness. That we should take time to show kindness to people, like that guy tried to do to us that day.
I would have secretly loved to walk in that day and learn a new way of life.
But, I got anxious. I know as you enter any Mosque, you have to take your shoes off.
As I knelt, positioned myself to pray. I knew I wouldn’t be able to relax.
My shoes are in the hallway. What if someone just took them?
What if I everyone got to the shoes before me?
Just imagine the carousel at the airport. You think you have a distinctive enough black case, you’ve even tied ribbons to it.
As the carousel starts up, you realize all of the cases are similar.
Would it be the same with the shoes?
The people first out would just take similar looking shoes to their own.
Is there such a thing as Muslim shoe anxiety at prayer service?
I just couldn’t concentrate on prayer.
I promised myself I would go back there one day.
I’d love a game of pool. I haven’t played for years.
Tim Willow’s additional Thoughts
Okay you got me.
I do want to go back and just sit in that Mosque, just briefly.
My friend died of alcoholism not long after our London Visit.
I like to imagine I would see that guy again and tell him he was right.
I’m sorry I didn’t speak up that day.