Like the night sky they mimic, the domes of our mosques have witnessed countless congregations mustering together to recite their prayers; their hearts, tongues and minds entraining as one through the direct communication they forge with God with every syllable they utter, and every thought they articulate under it.
Our domes have witnessed many weddings, witnessed many lost souls sitting in silence as they sit with their faces in their hands, almost as if their life’s meaning is buried somewhere in the fleshy palms of their hands.
They’ve also been witness to many funerals as well, as melodic passages of the Quran reverberate across the prayer hall and the strong smell of incense fills the air in a final farewell to the deceased.
Our domes are the silent witnesses to the momentous and insignificant milestones of every Muslim’s life.
The late Gai Eaton, who is buried only 20 minutes from the Shah Jahan mosque where this photograph was taken, made a beautiful reflection I was reminded of as I sat here earlier today:
“Language was something they (the Arabs) could shape and model to glorify courage and freedom, to praise the friend and mock the enemy, to extol the bravery of the men of the tribe and the beauty of its women, in poems chanted at the fireside or in the vastness of the desert under the vast bowl of the sky, bearing witness to the grandeur of this little human creature for ever travelling across barren spaces of the earth.”
Sitting under a dome even as small as this chanting my own insignificant prayers, it’s funny but humbling how small you can be made to feel when you realise you’re not the only star in the vast night sky.