by Nayaab Ahsan
Yesterday afternoon at Berkeley Masjid, 49-year-old Abdul Malik got a concussion while praying Asr, the late afternoon prayer, at astronomical speeds. He hit his head on the ground with excessive force when going down in prostration, damaging his front temporal lobe and leaving a very conspicuous mark on his forehead.
We talked to one mosque-goer, Hamza Khan, to find out more about what exactly happened.
“Well, Uncle Abdul is known throughout the community for praying too fast for his own good, so something like this was bound to happen. He usually prays at an average speed of 5 rakat per minute, but I heard that he had to go to his son’s soccer game after prayer today, so he was praying at a solid 8 rakat per minute. I definitely saw his skin flapping and his toupee almost blew off as he went down into sujood. There was a loud thud when his forehead made contact with the floor, and then he was down.”
Richmond recorded a 3.8 magnitude earthquake that day.
Various community members that were present suspected a concussion when Malik kept repeating "Allahu Akbar" with glazed-over eyes while sprawled out on his back. A small group took him to Oakland Children’s Hospital immediately following the incident. Upon his arrival, doctors were perplexed.
The medical team suspected some form of assault when they were told Malik was simply praying too fast.
“The doctors initially assumed he was in a fight or was playing some intense sport. They thought we might be trying to cover something up, so they called the cops.”
Khan explained that Officer Mike quickly put the doctors at ease when he told them: “I assure you, our top-secret hidden cameras inside the mosque captured the entire incident and Abdul Malik was, in fact, only praying when he was injured.”
Officer Mike continued, “Even though nothing suspicious was going on, we did a thorough investigation anyway and found that Abdul Malik had done something similar in the past. There’s nothing to be worried about.”
The doctor on-call finally categorized the injury as a “concussion from blunt force trauma caused by dangerous devotion.”
We spoke to the imam of the masjid to learn more about what could have caused such events to transpire. He said, “When we hosted a screening of Fast & Fatiha, we didn’t expect anyone to take it literally.”
We also tried to ask other mosque-goers about Abdul Malik’s place in the community, but they did not recognize the name. When we showed them his picture, they explained that he is simply known within the community by his nicknames, such as “2 Fast 4 Fajr,” “Supersonic Supplicator,” “The Speedy Servant,” and now “Man vs. Floor.”
Abdul Malik agreed to speak with us after being released from the hospital. When asked if this concussion would slow down his high-velocity praying habits, he answered, “I must admit, I got wrecked, but I will not be disheartened. Go hard or go haram. I have to maximize the amount of time in my day, so with my busy lifestyle, the time devoted to my prayers is naturally going to suffer. I just hope I can be an example to the next generation of Muslims by praying so fast that it becomes an exercise.”
Malik went on to explain that his only concern is how this injury will hurt his chances of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500-Rakat. He lamented that he will have to work harder to improve his naught-to-sujood speed if he wants to be taken seriously on a professional level.
Note: this is a work of satire.
'The Olive' is Al-Bayan's very own satire column. Stay tuned for more sarcasm.