April 28, 2007

So, alhamdulillah, I had the awesome opportunity to spend the last couple of days in the city of Philadelphia so I thought I may share of some of experiences of the city. Mash’Allah, the city is sooo awesome. It’s Muslim central as the dawah is really visible almost everywhere you go. I spent two nights in Philly, one night with a brother I know at Temple Med in Germantown, and the other night with a brother I know at Haverford College in the suburbs.

Alhamdulillah, I got to see quite a bit of the city and got a good feel of the people there. For food, I was quite excited about going to Halal Bilal’s. Supposedly, they have the most authentic Philly Cheese-steaks. They don’t use real cheese (they use cheese-wiz instead) and they put chili sauce on their sandwiches too! Nevertheless, when we got an opportunity to go to Halal Bilal’s, we ended up going to the wrong location as it appears that they had moved. Nevertheless, I was fortunate enough to eat at the famous Saad’s Restaurant. It was really impressive. The go-to dish there is definitely the Chicken Maroosh. Maybe, insha’Allah, I’ll write a review of Saad’s later on. As for touristy things to do, I was able to see the Rocky stairs. I had already seen the Liberty Bell; I was kinda surprised to see how small it was.

I was impressed with the amount of masajid in the city. Next to Saad’s, there are two masajid right next to each other. I believe they have some drama with one another (amongst the different things they have differences upon include which direction the qibla is, drama never ends does it?). I didn’t get to pray in either one this time, but I have prayed in Masjid al-Jamia before. It is big and has a nice feel to it. It is a former theatre converted to a masjid.

In Germantown, I prayed at Masjid Sunnat-wa-Nabawiya a.k.a. the Germantown Masjid. I really liked this masjid. It was totally awesome. Dawud Adib used to be the imam of this masjid before he left to go overseas. The imam there now, Talib Abdullah, used to be the imam at Masjid Dawah in Baltimore. In the area this masjid is located at, there are Muslim shops everywhere in all directions. The masjid itself is four stories (with brothers and sisters both having four floors each) and I hear on jumah it is packed to capacity with people praying outside. I prayed Maghrib there and masha’Allah, I was very impressed to see about seventy-five brothers attending Maghrib salaat on a daily basis. SubhanAllah, it was awesome. Everyone greets everyone else. Everyone is soo nice and it appears people definitely look out for one another.

Later on, for isha one night, I attended a totally different type of masjid that I had never been to before. It was called the Mosque of Shaikh M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. I believe the masjid is named after a Sufi saint from Sri Lanka. The masjid was the opposite of the Germantown Masjid in terms of the feel one gets. Aesthetically, the masjid was beautiful. Nevertheless, there were only a handful of people that attended the salaat. Afterwards, people only really greeted people knew and there was no hugs going around to be seen. It was kinda weird to see group dua occurring three different times after the isha salaat was over. The imam at this masjid apparently was studying to become a Rabbi until he realized Islam is the truth.

For salaat-al-jumah, I prayed at the Foundation for Islamic Education. It was a school with a masjid attached to it in the suburbs of Philly. It was right next to Villanova University. Alhamdulillah, the masjid was really nice and diversity was awesome at the masjid. Alhamdulillah, it seemed like the masjid had a core of some really good brothers. I guess that concludes my thoughts about my recent trip to Philly. Alhamdulillah, it is a really nice city. I could definitely see myself living there in the future. Khair, insha’Allah, we will see what happens. Keep me in your duas.

Wa assalamu alaykum.


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