Friday, June 29, 2007

“Render Unto Caesar . . .”

June 29, 2007

Today being Friday and the Moslem Holy Day, I was surprised to find this little independent shop open. Since a friend had told me about it, I stopped to check it out. There were two other customers there and two young male clerks. Hardly five minutes after I entered one of the clerks began lowering the shutters on the front of the shop. I thought they were preparing to close for lunch and didn’t want any more customers to enter which sometimes happens. Always the customers are encouraged to stay and continue their shopping. This was not the case today. The clerk told the three of us to leave so that they could go to pray! This has never happened to me before in all the years I have lived here. My first thought was, why did you open your shop on a Friday if you were so keen to attend noon prayers? All due respect to the religious practices of others, there is a time and a place for everything. If I was sitting in the dentist chair in the middle of a dental procedure and the dentist left me to pray, I would certainly question his professional behavior and his priorities. Then I would find another dentist!



Blogger Nas said...

well muslims are obliged to attend the noon prayers on friday unless they're sick and have a doctors note.

some take the whole day off, some open shop. the latter will close it for about an hour or two while they go to the prayer.

so with all due respect, you came during a wrong time of the day even though you knew there was a liklihood that any one open during that time is likely to start closing.

it's liking coming late to the mall and then blaming it for closing at night. and then asking why they bothered to open in the first place.

as for rendering on to ceaser...well thats about mosque and state as opposed to individual choice and practices, which is what we're looking at here. and considering the shop owner is a muslim i think biblical references cant really apply unless he or she is rendering parmesan cheese on to his or her caesar salad

Friday, June 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unlike Saudi Arabia, where closing shops during prayer time is a daily occurrence, shops in Jordan have generally never done this. Therefore, "knowing that there is a likelihood that a shop might close" is not something that one would think of. Yes, many choose not to open their businesses on a Friday and therefore whatever they do that day is only their concern. It is unusual though for someone who has opened their shop on a Friday to close it for prayers. I too, after 40+ years living here have never experienced this!

Monday, July 02, 2007  
Blogger Nas said...

shops close in saudia under law, and while no such laws exist in jordan to my knowledge it is very typical for muslims to close their shops in order for them to attend the prayers.

Monday, July 02, 2007  

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