Today I met with Fari for lunch. Up until a month ago, this was almost like a scheduled appointment. We meet at the Indonesian Embassy, pray Jum’ah together, have lunch, and explore DC. Before today, I tried setting up a similar meeting again in mid-July, and it didn’t work out very well. I ended up coming late for the prayer, scrambling for a fast-food lunch, and rushing to get back to work, all in the middle of afternoon rain.
So, I tried something new today. I scheduled to meet up with Fari for lunch in Georgetown. He happened to plan on visiting the Banana Republic. Since the store is just two blocks away from where I work, I can quickly meet up for lunch. And instead of doing the prayer at the Indonesian Embassy, I did it at the basement of the Presbyterian Church near George Washington University (intersection 24th and G). It turns out that the MSA of GW has organized it regularly for the whole summer. I don’t know if they always had it there or just for the summer. Regardless, I could come in just 30 minutes from my workplace instead of almost an hour trying to get to the Embassy.
I found the khutba (sermon) here to be intellectually stimulating. Instead of repetitive ideologies and dogmas, the speakers talk about contemporary and philosophical issues. So, I found it very refreshing and engaging to listen to what the speakers had to say. It’s been a while since I listened to khutbas of this type. I am not sure if it’s indicative of DC sermons in general or an isolated case. Consider this speech from the last khutba, “…Islam has lost its heart, its conscience, its morality… why is it that when people face crises, they turn to the trivialities of religion such as hudud laws…” Hmmm…
Anyway, the lunch went through, albeit with a slight hitch (Fari took the wrong bus in the opposite direction, but he made it nonetheless).