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Buckets of Clean Sand

Reader comment on item: Disquiet about Philadelphia Airport's "Quiet Room"

Submitted by Reno Deno (United States), Aug 18, 2020 at 18:43

Providing a "foot bath" in any Muslim place of prayer (whether in Philadelphia or Filasteen) is a luxury not called for by the Koran or Hadith). While the ritual cleansing of the body before prayer (or handling the Koran) is a requirement found in the Koran (Surah 5 "The Table Spread" Ayah 6) there is no mention of a "foot bath"as a required amenity.

Remember that ablution before prayer involves not just cleaning of the feet, but also of the face, hands elbows and so forth, so unless participants are going to use the foot water to clean the rest of the required body parts, you would have to provide washing sinks in addition to a "foot bath" to fully satisfy Koranic requirements.

In fact, the Koranic injunction for cleanliness is quite explicit on the procedures you should follow when water is not available to you when you are, for example, traveling. In cases such as these, you can substitute "clean sand" for water and complete your ablution in this way.

In reality, of course, often neither water nor sand are available at all. When this happens, believers can simply "go through the motions of washing" to fulfill the ablution. Very often, at the beginning of the prayer, you will see the faithful throw up their hands to their faces. This is the ritual of "washing the face" without water or sand and is not really part of the prayer but a part of the "wudu" - ablution - and is considered acceptable when water or sand are unavailable.'

Bottom line: there are several ways for a believer to fulfill the cleansing requirements before prayer other than using a "foot bath". Clean sand - as stated in the Koran - in buckets or similar containers, can be placed in strategic corners of "quiet rooms" at airports such as in Philadelphia or other Christian locations.

But as I said, in the modern world, "going through the motions of cleansing" has been sanctioned as valid for praying purposes - the believer can simply perform the cleansing process without sand or water and thus not offend or impose on the non-believers in his midst.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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