x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

A place for prayer on the Palm Jumeirah

The National takes a peak inside the Abdulrahman Siddik Mosque on the Palm Jumeirah

DUBAI // It is an hour and a half before iftar and the Abdulrahman Siddik Mosque on the Palm Jumeirah is empty.

Nestled past the entrance to Frond H, it would be easy to miss, were it not for the blue, yellow and turquoise glass dome topped by the crescent moon.

A catering lorry arrives, and the imam, Omar Suheil Ahmad, is there to receive it. He and his helpers carry the large tub of chicken biryani on to the courtyard. Today more than 200 worshippers will break their fast with water, dates, laban and the biryani.

"Most are from outside the Palm Jumeirah," says Imam Ahmad. "They are taxi drivers whose travels have brought them here. Others are those who work on the island, maintenance men, security guards, and a few others. But the mosque does have its regular congregation, those who come for the Taraweeh prayers and for the Friday afternoon prayers."

As the sun sets, the muezzin, Mohammed Yumyu from Senegal, stands at the microphone and melodiously leads the call to prayer.

The mosque's dome casts a shadow as the last rays of the day's sun shine through, and the imam takes his place in front of the worshippers. They stand in 14 rows, their toes aligned along the decorative lines of the carpet's design.

There are no Quranic verses on the walls, none anywhere, in fact. A taxi driver thinks he knows why.

"The Quran is in our hearts and in on our minds," says Mohammed Mohsen, 24, from Pakistan. "We don't need to see it written on the walls to be reminded of it. We never forget it. Mosques are designed in different ways but our faith is one. We all pray to Allah and we all pray in the same way."

ealghalib@thenational.ae