THE IMAM OF OUR MOSQUE – Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

The imam of our mosque has the curious habit450px-Nasr_ol_Molk_mosque_inside_colorful

of arriving on horseback


except that he hasn’t got a horse so he makes those

Monty Python clippity-clop sounds with his tongue

and insists on dismounting just outside the


mosque door giving the invisible reins to one of the

kufi’d and robed boys to look after during his



It wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t neigh very loudly

during the first half and make that


blubbery mouth sound during the second


One Friday he came as a goldfish in a bowl

and gave his sermon from the steps of the mimbar with the


microphone right up against the glass

which was all right until it came


time to do the prayer and we couldn’t tell

when he was in sajda


One Friday he came as a swarm of bees through the

side window and swarmed onto the wooden sides of the


mimbar so loudly we could hardly hear his words

for the magnificence of his buzzing


Once he came as a penguin

and the Mosque Committee welcomed him all


dressed in their tuxes with their

hands behind their backs and their ties askew


and he managed to weave into his sermon

various exotic Antarctic experiences and the long hours spent


incubating his wife’s egg under his feet


A trapeze artists a vase of flowers a

sea wave sloshing back and forth in a tank


even once as a minor earthquake and then

with his spectacles tilted on his nose and the shakes of the

aftershocks evident in his twitches he told of the


mysteries at the center of the earth to which we are

normally not privy except through his kind of mouthpiece


Next week he’s coming as the Spiral Galaxy

which should be illuminating and we’ve


vacuumed and painted the walls so the increased

light given off by it sun and planets won’t show the bad


stains and cracks that have come from our

sins supplications and above all negligence


And when he comes next month as the cries of a distant shepherd

calling his sheep I hope we’ll behave


well enough to benefit from his care and his crook

to not wander as wantonly over the pastures and hills


but arrive safely under God’s

bright blue sky in the open air



–Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

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