Thursday 11 June 2009

New Prayer Room at Work

I finally got round to using the new prayer/quiet room at work today. I have been rushing home to pray, but wanted to pray at the starting time and be able to relax on the way home instead of panicking that I might be late and miss the end of the period for Zoher (the midday prayer).

So I toodled down and I found the room quite nice and relaxing:

But as usual, things are never as straightforward as you expect. The room is starting to get quite busy and has been taken over by the brothers (sound familiar?), so that the women are praying in the mother’s room (yes we have one of those too!) which is occasionally in use. Alternatively, we wait till the guys are done and then go pray later in the day. At the moment this is not a problem, but as the day shortens dramatically here in the UK in mid-winter, we have very short time-periods within which each prayer falls (Zoher, Asr and Maghrib fall between 12pm and 4pm in December), so we will have to consider our options.

It helps that our new office is enormous and there are meeting, utility and storage rooms all over the gaffe that we can use if the prayer room is busy. One example of this is every Wednesday when the Christian women’s group meets for an hour and so the brother’s pray their Zoher prayer together in a larger meeting room elsewhere.

Fortunately a very eloquent brother, who is also a manager here, has taken up some of the issues with the people that manage facilities and we will see if there is a useful response.

Alhamdulillah, I am grateful for this facility and even more so for the fact it is so busy. Already there are over twenty brothers vying for space in the small room to pray Jummah together on Fridays and I have already met some new sisters. The hijab-wearing sisters here number in their many dozens (I’m telling you the hijab-fashion sites would have a field day here) and there are many sisters who don’t wear hijab but still pray, so I can imagine by Ramadan and as more people get to know of this facility, it will get very busy insh’Allah.

In my experience, a prayer room ends up being the hub of a small but vibrant community of Muslims in the workplace, meaning that we get to recognise each other and are there for each other when necessary. It also becomes a place to get to meet any new sisters and welcome them. Alhamdulillah, I remember at a previous workplace where this was the case, our group of Pakistani, Bengali, Eritrean, English, Jamaican, Indian, Arab and Nigerian Muslims had such goodwill for each other, and I am sure that this contributed to the conversion of at least one or two people in that office (I think there were approximately four or five Muslims converts in total who came to use the facility from various backgrounds, including a brother from a Jewish family).

Alhamdulilah, I look forward to our little community coming together isnh’Allah.


  1. Assalamvalekum.....nice to see prayer room at work place....

  2. MashAllah! I can see the Muslim community brewing in this building! How do you get to work? Didn't I just hear on the radio that public transportation is on strike again in London?

  3. Assalamu Alaikum,
    You are lucky to have a prayer room, my fiance has to travel to a mosque everyday during his lunch hour.
    I don't know why I had to tell you about my fiance, when knowing what my fiance did wont make any difference to you...
    apparently I just like using the word 'fiance'. Oh well, bear with me.:-D

  4. Assalam-alaikam,

    Sister Lubna,
    I do feel very grateful as I was wondering where I could pray when the day got too short to get home.

    Sis Umm Nassim,
    You get our strike news in the US?
    Luckily I take the bus (or maybe not so lucky as I get to take three).

    Sis Alisha, sweet, I don't mind at all, you only get to be a finace for a short while, you may as well enjoy.