Lunchtime. At home in Björkrisvägen. I sit at my desk, staring out the window, studying for my exam. From the flat above comes the sound of Muslim chanting, presumably recorded, blaring forth from the sound system. Is it the call to prayer? Or just the sound of a musical culture unfamiliar to my ears.
I am reminded of the multi-cultural society in which we live. Our neighbours are from Somalia. The father of the family left a few months ago seeking work in Nairobi, Kenya. Four of the seven children went with him. His wife, together with the three youngest kids, remain upstairs, but will leave next month.
We never communicate more than a smile or a nod when we pass on the footpath out the front. I suspect that she has no English, and her Swedish is probably as bad as mine. She wears a head covering that reaches to her feet. Her face is not covered. The children are beautiful.
Islam has invaded Sweden, but not in the terroristic way which we hear so much of in the news. Reports from Britain sound alarming. Muslims in Sweden seem to live in peace, at least as much in peace as anyone else. They seem to fight among themselves as much as they fight against the rest of society.
Perhaps I can learn something from this commitment they have to prayer five times a day. Not that a legalistic observation of ritual will be of any eternal gain. But prayer five times a day may certainly bring some temporal gain in terms of my understanding of God and his ways. But the Bible says, “Pray without ceasing…”
I’m glad the music upstairs does not float down five times every day. The alarm clock at 7 o’clock each morning is sufficient for me…