It’s a little odd for me, praying in public places, because I stand up for qiyaam and ruku, but I need a chair for sujjood. The ligaments in my right knee have been painfully troublesome ever since the accident in October, and if I pray sitting on the ground, my knee hurts so bad I have a hard time walking. I’ve been to a variety of orthopedic surgeons, each of which have prescribed me progressively bigger and bigger knee braces- the most recent one being a ‘hinged knee brace’ with enough padding, gears and velcro to make me look like a cross between a football player and a cyborg. It went from my calf to half-way up my thigh in all its immobilizational glory, and after trying it on over my pants (because there was no way it could fit inside) and feeling no better and no more immobilized than the previous brace, I decided to pass.
So I have another date with another Ortho, who will hopefully prescribe me something other than yet another brace, but in the mean time, half of my prayer is in a chair. And I know it must seem odd, a perfectly healthy-looking, Alhamdulillah, young, non-limping, non-pregnant woman walks into a masjid and pulls up a chair. The chairs are usually reserved for those who are old or extremely pregnant, and me being neither, sometimes people stare.
Sometimes, they turn around and stare alot. Last week, a woman sitting on the ground near me, who had finished her prayer, kept trying to look up into my face as if to ask, “What’s your excuse?” Needless to say, that really makes concentrating on prayer difficult. Sometimes I wonder if I should have gotten the Cyborg Football Player From Outer Space leg brace just to make things obvious. Or maybe I should be paying more attention to my prayer. Heh