Eating Popcorn With A Spoon

06 August 2005

Muslim Prayer and American TV

Saturday night, and, after going out for dinner with the family, I was looking forward to vegging in front of the TV tonight, and what a night it is. First got to watch Batman, then Justice League, now Tomb Raider. (Already babbled about my love of comics yesterday, and I assume it's a topic that will resurface, so I won't go into detail today :P)

For some reason my mind drifted while watching Tomb Raider... Muslims pray five times a day, and not just a few words, but a full formal ritual prayer. 2 reps in the morning, 4 reps at noon, 4 reps late afternoon, 3 reps at sunset, and 4 reps after dark. Then, throughout the day, there are various other reps for 9 other voluntary prayers in the same format as the mandatory prayer. All total there are 14 different times of day for this formal prayer! It's amazing. Think about all that one-on-one time with God. Each prayer is a monotonous, almost hypnotic, repetition of verses from the Quran and various others phrases supposedly in use from the time of Muhammad and/or Abraham. That's a lot of meditation.

Logic of Allah and historical accuracy of the Quran aside, Muslims have something going for them. They dedicate a lot of time to religion. Just think if you, the reader, took time out, five times a day, to write your thoughts, to focus on the deeper meanings of life, to do some deep breathing exercises, or to contemplate god or gods as you understand. I'm not talking about a quick ten second break, but a full formal ritual: You first wash up, you position yourself, you go through specific routines, up to 14 times a day, each time ranging from five to ten minutes after you are in place.

The typical American probably does put in that much time in front of the TV, and much of that time, the viewer probably is spaced out :) But imagine if your day was broken down into segments, and at least five times a day you had to recite, from memory, segments of a TV show, with a couple of commercials thrown in for good measure. And these same shows and commercials were recited generation after generation for a thousand years.

This post really doesn't have a point. It's just a drifting thought I decided to capture. I'll leave it up to you to do something with it, if you want. I'm going back to Tomb Raider, then going to read some Batman comics.

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