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January 10, 2010 / TildeWill

Egypt: Physical Manifestation of Faith

In Egypt (and I assume all Muslim cultures) you pray five times a day, starting with sun up (around 5am while we were there) and ending at sun down. I knew about the 5am call to prayer because it woke Lara and I up every morning we stayed in Cairo. During those first few days I started to notice that some of the men had dark spots on their foreheads, like it was Ash Wednesday every day of the week. I didn’t really put the two together until Lara finally asked someone. Apparently the amount of kneeling and praying by putting one’s head to the ground causes quite the callous on dudes with no hair on their head. I thought it was of note that to body was creating a physical representation of how much a person prayed.

I know there’s a gap between quantity and quality of faith, but set that aside and think about what this really means. Imagine if you will that you could tell who was a law abiding citizen and who wasn’t because criminals always had a sixth finger. And think of the self-reminder that must be to have the mark of prayer. To wake up every morning and look in the mirror and know that you are honoring your God and He wants you to do. You know it because it is written right there on your forehead. Right now, I’m not sure there’s an afterlife, let alone how well I’m doing at becoming worthy of being sent there. It’d be nice to have a litmus test of how my spiritual pH is behaving.

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