I should have known. How could I have forgotten? It’s not like I haven’t prayed at the masjid on the 27th night of Ramadan before. I guess since it’s been so long – years, I’m sure – since praying taraweeh in the masjid, I’ve forgotten one of the cardinal rules:
UNLESS YOU WANT TO GO HOME BAREFOOT,
KEEP YOUR SHOES WITH YOU!
The first 2 rakats of taraweeh pass, and I start to feel those 4 cups of water I downed at iftar making their way through my system. Alhamdu lillaah for the break in the middle!!! I made it through the next 2 rakats, asked the sister beside me to hold my place while I ran to the restroom, and took off. The same thing happened the day before, and I managed to make it back to the line right as the imam was making takbeer alhamdu lillaah.
Oh, but the night before wasn’t an odd night…and certainly wasn’t the 27th night (perceived by many as laylatul qadr, therefore the masjid is always filled to the brim…and then some).
When I got to the shoe spot, I couldn’t find my shoes!!! I started panicking…Lord, I done lost my shoes. Oh, there’s one, alhamdu lillaah! Hmmm…where’s the other one? I scanned the area. Can we say “Complete and Utter Chaos”? I’m telling you, it was a MESS…a hot mess, as they say back home, lol! Shoes everywhere. Scattered, trampled on, turned over, strewn about, etc……like I said, a HOT MESS!
In spite of this mess I was able to gather up my girls’ shoes alhamdu lillaah. But, I still couldn’t find my other shoe….Shoot! What am I gonna do now? Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (We belong to Allaah and are returning to Him)….yes, I felt disaster had struck. This never happened to me before and I was totally unprepared, mentally, physically, emotionally (they were my favorite shoes!!!).
“Allaahu Akbar.” Oh no, he’s starting again already??? I still haven’t found my shoe…can’t he wait???? I still need to use the bathroom!!!!! Ya Allaah, what am I gonna do????
Back to the prayer line I went. I couldn’t find my shoe and there was no way I was even going to attempt to go to the restroom without both my shoes.
Ignored my bladder and made some serious du’aa about finding my shoe. I figured it couldn’t have gone far. I have to admit I was worried though.
Taraweeh prayer ended. The imam made the most beautiful, heartfelt du’aa I’ve heard this month mashaa Allaah.
I found my shoe alhamdu lillaah! Yay! Allaahu Akbar!!!
Lesson: Unless you want to go home barefoot, keep your shoes with you! Especially on the night of the 27th!
Oh, and guzzling at iftar isn’t always wise if you plan on going out…spread your water intake out throughout the night…bathroom runs at the taraweeh break don’t always work out, lol!