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16 October 2009

FRIDAY PRAYER AT CAPITOL HILL

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Thousands of Muslims gathered Friday on Capitol Hill for a day of prayer that organizers said was intended to inspire American Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

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"America is not perfect," Abdul Malik, an organizer of the event called Islam on Capitol Hill, told the crowd.

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"But I will say something it took me my whole adult life to come to: America is not perfect, but I want to tell the truth: It is one of the best places in the world to live."

Organizers had hoped that 50,000 people would show up for the Friday afternoon prayer session, which took place at the foot of the U.S. Capitol.

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Earlier, Malik said, "This is not a protest, it is a day of prayer, of devotion, hoping that we can work ... for the betterment of the world community."

He added, "We can come together and work together for the common good."
He said that Muslims in the United States have a "unique responsibility" and that the event seeks to inspire Muslims and all Americans.

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"America represents, still, a beacon of hope," he said.
Malik said conversations about the event began only a few months ago.

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"It's amazing," he said. "The Web site has gotten more than 3 million hits already."

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Friday's event was focused on a 1 p.m. prayer, and a reception and banquet were planned afterward.
Malik said attendees were traveling from all over the United States -- including Texas, Florida and Georgia -- as well as from other countries, such as Britain and Canada.

"The beautiful thing ... about this, is that we have a good representation of the uniqueness and beauty of what
Islam stands for," he said.

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P/S. Congratulation to US muslims for starting the prayer on the field recently. Other muslims countries started long time ago ie. >30 years ago. Muslims not only pray on the football field or open space on friday but also during Aidil Fitri (end of Ramadhan) and Aidil Adha (marking Haj in Mecca). The Quran says "Laa iqraha fid-diin" meaning 'there is no compulsion in religion' (Al Baqarah 2:256). The Quran further stressed "Lakum diinukum waliyadiin" meaning 'your religion is yours, my religion is mine' (Al-Kaafirun 109:6).

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It is an obligation for muslims to pray in mass (Jemaah) or in big group. What seems to be the factors for muslims to pray in a group? Answer: Praying in group get 27 marks (award by God in the hereafter) while praying alone gets only 1 mark. This is the most motivating factor. The second reason is that no halls can accomodate large crowd of prayer. The third and most important is, the best position to be humble in the eyes of God is to prostrate /sujud (forehead touching the lowest ground) and the lowest is on the field ground itself. Only God know best (wallahu a'lam).

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