“So we will be roommates for a week,” I said as I was carrying my suitcases into the hotel room. We arrived from Turkey. We had to be in quarantine for a week as per government regulations.
“Yes,” he said smiling.
We shook hands. He was from Samarkand [second largest city of Uzbekistan].
I opened my suitcase and took some stuff out and started putting them in the closet.
“I gotta tell you something,” I said to my roommate. “I pray during the day. Do you have anything against that?”
“No, of course not,” he said with tone of voice as if saying “what kind of person I have to be so I’m against you praying.”
“Do you pray 5 times [a day]?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I nodded.
“That’s good. I used to pray too… many years ago,” he said. “But then people started saying that it is getting dangerous, police is jailing religious people. So I stopped praying. I didn’t need any problems.”
I want to believe this was the case only many years ago. I hope now the times have changed and we should not be afraid to pray obligatory five prayers in my country.
After all, we are not doing anything wrong. We are just praying to our Lord. To the One Who created this Earth and heavens. To the One Who gave us this life.
I want to believe that now it is safe in Uzbekistan. Those times are gone inshaallah.