Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prayer Bump

The prayer bump... I saw this when I was in Egypt and seriously, one of them almost jumped out at me it was so horribly large and crusty and scarred. SO GROSS! It is seen as a really good thing in Egypt to have one of these. You seem like a strict, dedicated Muslim, obvisously, because you're supposed to have gotten it from praying to Allah so much. I wouldn't doubt that the people sporting these marks do get them my praying to Allah, not by sitting there with a carpet in their hands rubbing it while they watch TV, but I think you really do need to be TRYING to get one to get one. Praying normally and lightly to the ground will not get you a prayer mark.
Egyptians are so preoccupied with what people think of them. At least this is the impression I got while I was there, and this is exactly how my husband is. It doesn't matter much to him how religious he really is, but it matters how religious others think he is. My husband did not pray often at all, and when he did, I could tell by looking at his forehead. I have prayed before and no mark appears! And I have a large forhead so I know it was not the scarf touching the ground, but my actual forehead! So it really brings me to believing that this prayer mark thing is more of a status mark than anything that was gotten by praying naturally for your God.
But please don't misunderstand because I do believe lots of these people actually pray for God like they should and pray regularly and they are good Muslims. But I think they are also concerned with seeming like good Muslims.

26 Comentários:

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Very true. It really is something that you have to get by trying from what I have heard. It is terrible that people are more concerned about what other humans think of them rather than worshipping God out of love and gratitude. I know many people who pray at least 5 times a day and have never developed a mark.

SirAdib.com said...

I make du'a that our prayer marks are seen in the Hereafter, not only in this world. Ameen.

أم ترافيس said...

I do agree with a lot of what you said, and I really used to think the same way... but my husband is not like that at all, and he gets a little mark and the things I have considered are 1 - the WAY the Egyptian man prays. I think he puts the weight on his head in sujood whereas I put the weight on my forearms. 2 - Here in Egypt, the carpets generally are very rough in the mosques and my husband, alhumdullah, is always praying in the mosque, ma shaa Allah. Alhumdllah my husband's isnt very noticeable, just a little bit, and mostly after prayer... but as for other people who have a whole in their head, I do think they think it is a "good" thing and put more weight on their head or something, Allahu alim. I was even talking to an Egyptian girl once and her fiance had one and she thought it was a mark of a good Muslim, which I happen to disagree with.

However I do happen as well to have marks on my knees, and sometimes one appears on one ankle, so it shows that constant prayer is making these marks if they are pressed regularly and hard to the floor. I also have seen many other woman with the same knee marks, so in shaa Allah, we should try to give the man/person the benefit of the doubt and leave the decision to Allah.

May Allah guide us all to the right way, ameen

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

I was just talking to a friend about this subject yesterday! What I found interesting is that BARELY any men in Makkah or Madinah had this! Yet every other man here in Egypt has one. Like you said, I don't think you just get it by praying a lot, I think you have to be trying to get it.
"Egyptians are so preoccupied with what people think of them." Exactly, and so I think this prayer bump is all about showing others that they pray a lot - not the case for all men that have it, but I'm sure for a sizable amount.

Aynur said...

Wow, I've never heard of that before!

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

I forgot to add: I read an article on the BBC about this a while ago, and it said:
"But not every Muslim gets one, and opinions vary as to where it comes from. It could something to do with skin-type, or created artificially, or come from particular kinds of matting. Others believe it is a gift from God."
Some people actually think if you have one it is a sign from God, and if you don't, then you aren't religious enough!

Anisah said...

for me it's the knees ;) and during Ramadan..even my elbows !!

Candice said...

My husband believes God loves those with the mark. It's not that he loves those who pray, it's those with the mark. Reminds me of when he said that the fast of someone whose breath stinks is better than the person whose breath doesn't. No logic!

Candice said...

Umm Travis: You pretty much echo what I was saying. Thanks for the comment.

miseducation of the cushitic girl said...

That's so wrong, who cares what others think?! My culture is the same. But I have to say, some people get it naturally, depending on the sensitivity of their skin. My step-dad only needs to pray barely a month and he gets it. Others can pray all their lives an not have anything. I think it depends on the type of skin? But if there are people out there purposely making the marks to impress others, its only their loss, they're lying to themselves!

miseducation of the cushitic girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
miseducation of the cushitic girl said...

the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: "I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, the Khaluf of a fasting person is more pleasant to Allah than the scent of musk." [Sahih al-Bukhari (1893) and Sahih Muslim (1151)]

However the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam also said if he could make something fardh it would be the miswaak.

So we must keep out oral hygiene. What Allah loves is the Khaluf (the natural smell that emanates from the lack of food when a Muslim is fasting.)

*~Ange~* said...

noooooooooo - it comes naturally!
my husband has one (also egyptian). he doesnt rub carpet on his head. our prayer mat is very soft and gentle. it just comes naturally from constant praying. and i have heard that on judgement day it will turn into a light for those who have it becuase the mark is a sign of prayer.

Mrs. S said...

It is mentioned in the last line of Surah al-Fatth (48) that essentially believers will be identified by the mark on their foreheads gotten from worshiping. While some people may try for the mark it does happen naturally for others based on skin type. Sort of like people who get a dark spot after having a zit or a cut. I’ve always thought it was interesting, though, that I’ve never seen a woman with a mark on her forehead. I generally just assume that everyone has good intentions unless I learn otherwise.

Unfortunately preoccupation with what others think is something that exists in most cultures no matter where you are from. With Arabs it can seem exacerbated since religion and culture are so closely intertwined.

Candice said...

I don't doubt that some people get it naturally, but for it to be more prevalent in Egypt than other places either means they generally have skin more prone to that (I don't really buy it) or they *try* for it.

Aurangzeb said...

First thing, You should not judge what's in other people's minds.

Second thing, If you know a man is bad even then you cannot insult the prayer bump.

Please think twice before you underestimate or insult someone.

Aynur said...

Candice - I just asked my hubby about the 'prayer bump', he said he's never heard of it (he's from Turkey). I'm wondering if the people getting it are using those prayer soil tablets (Shia use them, can't remember the name of it).

This is so interesting! Maybe it's due to a certain skin type.

Candice said...

Aurangzeb, your comment makes little sense. I don't judge what is in people's minds because I don't know. I did give my impressions about what I think is going on and that is exactly what I said I was doing.

For your second point, I don't know where you got that I insulted people and their prayer bumps.

So please, feel free to comment again, but next time read attentively if your comment is going to be negative because I don't appreciate that.

Candice said...

Aynur, I don't know what these prayer soil tablets are... Get back to me if you find more info or a linik... Seriously don't know what you're referring to!

rahma said...

I think I'm going to develop one, if only because I'm praying on a concrete floor using an envelope because I've lost my work prayer rug somewhere, ha. Floors are hard if there's no carpet!

re: shia praying on soil. It's called a turba.


Candice said...

Rahma: You go rock that upcoming prayer bump! ;) Never seen a woman with one, hehe. And thanks for the link!

The Gori Wife said...

I think you're right - many times it can be something for showing off rather.

In Pakistan, women get "prayer bumps" on their feet/ankle (because they sit kind of sideways on their feet after sujud.) It's called "the mark of prayer" and men look for it when 'auditioning' women for marriage. I know of people who work hard to get one or make it seem bigger. Either by sitting that way a lot, or rubbing their ankles into the ground.

I got one because I used to make prayers on a concrete floor and I'm not very graceful. But mine is in the wrong place because I sit ON TOP of my feet, rather than sideways, so no one knows that it's a mark of prayer. Fine by me, it's not something I did to show off, and I don't say "Hey everyone look at my prayer mark!" It truly is just a reflection of the prayers I've made since I converted, and I like to look at it :)

Candice said...

Gori Wife, your comments makes a lot of sense. Thank you for commenting.

Sakina Al-Amin said...

Did the Prophet had one of those? I don't think so.

I've heard of Shi'a people exerting a lot of pressure on their stone to get this effect.

miseducation of the cushitic girl said...

I just checked because I went to a shia school for some years and didn't know why they did this..

The shias believe that the Prophet used to pray on the earth, so they have to pray on some form of earth, mud, or some special stone from Kerbala, I don't know why that place is special, will do my research.
But in truth even the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam used a rug. Not a stone. This to me looks like innovation, bid'ah.
Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 1.376
Narrates 'Abdullah bin Shaddad:

Maimuna said, "Allah's Apostle was praying while I was in my menses, sitting beside him and sometimes his clothes would touch me during his prostration." Maimuna added, "He prayed on a Khumra (a small mat sufficient just for the forehead while prostrating during prayers).

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 1.378
Narrated Maimuna:

Allah's Apostle used to pray on Khumra.

Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith: 1.331
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah:

The Prophet said: "... The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) the place for prostrating and a mean to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due."

But he never put earth or stone ontop of any of his mats.
But back to the topic, egypt doesn't have many shias..i don't think.


Candice said...

Thanks for the information! I guess that could cause them a bump! But you're right, there are few shias in Egypt.

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