Photographer's Note

"Ahadu 'al-lā ilāha illā-llāhu wa 'ahadu 'anna muħammadan rasūlu-llāh"

"I testify that there is no god (ilah) but Allah, and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah"

The shahadah is the basic creed or tenet of Islam. As the most important pillar, this testament is a foundation for all other beliefs and practices in Islam. Ideally, it is the first words a newborn will hear, and children are taught as soon as they are able to understand it and it will also be recited when they die. Muslims must repeat the shahadah in prayer, and non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam are required to recite the creed.

he second pillar of Islam is salah, the requirement to pray five times a day at fixed times. Each salah is performed facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca. Salah is intended to focus the mind on Allah; it is seen as a personal communication with Allah, expressing gratitude and worship. According to the Qur'an, the benefit of prayer "restrains [one] from shameful and evil deeds".[Qur'an 29:40] Salah is compulsory but some flexibility in the specifics is allowed depending on the circumstances. For example in the case of sickness or lack of space, a worshiper can offer salah while sitting, or even lying down, and the prayer can be shortened when traveling.

The salah must be performed in the Arabic language to the best of each worshiper's ability, if he or she cannot speak Arabic, then the native language can be used, although any extra prayers (du'a) said afterwards need not be in Arabic. The lines of prayer are to be recited by heart (although beginners may use written aids), and the worshiper's body and clothing, as well as the place of prayer, must be cleansed. All prayers should be conducted within the prescribed time period (waqt) and with the appropriate number of units (raka'ah). While the prayers may be made at any point within the waqt, it is considered best to begin them as soon as possible after the call to prayer is heard.

(taken from Wikipedia)

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Photo taken at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport when I was waiting for my plane to Poland... I really couldn't stop myself from taking this photo. It was just so surreal... sitting there at the airport, waiting, drinking beer and suddenly that guy appeared, put his suitcase aside, took off his shoes and started praying... with that big alcohol commercial in the background.



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Additional Photos by Pawel Maciejewski (battousai) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 70 N: 93] (827)
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