I am en route ultimately to Medellín, Colombia several weeks ahead of the Seventh World Urban Forum.
Originally, I decided that once I arrive in Florida, that is where I could catch up my Sunset and Night Prayer as this connection in Charlotte, North Carolina was too short to risk taking a few minutes break to pray.
Upon arriving in Charlotte Douglass Airport, my connecting flight was delayed about 40 minutes. Alhumdullilah, I could pray and InshAllah arrive in Florida having completed even my Isha Prayers on time.
A quick look at the CLT airport map and the Chapel was easy enough to locate. It’s on the second floor in the middle of the Terminal connecting all the gates. To find it, immediately go up the stairs where it says USO. Walk left, and there on the first corner on your right, is the Multi-Faith Chapel.
Right away, I recognize a Yusuf Ali English Translation of the Qur’an placed upon the Altar beside the Bible and Torah.
I felt surprised for some reason, though I should not have been.
It’s a nice enough space with nice enough rules:
On one wall in the Chapel hangs the well recognizable Multi-Faith “Golden Rule” poster, showing a shared heritage and admonition amongst the different ways of Life.
This compass hanging in one corner of the Chapel is what I used to determine the Qiblah, the direction towards Makkah, in which I needed to face during Formal Prayer.
Underneath the framed picture of the Compass was a basket of Muslim prayer mats. Again I was surprised, though I should not have been at all.
After laying down a single prayer mat, I decided why not pray using ALL the prayer rugs in the basket, with one atop another.
On The Day of Judgement, all and not just one of these prayer mats will be recorded in my favour.
This thin red portable prayer mat has been with me for perhaps half my Life. It has been across Canada, to Brazil, I have prayed upon it in Makkah and Madinah, and tonight I would be praying upon it in The Charlotte Douglas Airport Chapel.
Before leaving, I felt I must sign the Guestbook… yet again I am for some strange reason surprised at the number of Muslims who have prayed in this Airport Chapel. Including a Muslim Brother named “Murat” who was the last one to sign, before me…
As I prepared to exit the Chapel, having completed my Maghrib Prayer and Isha Prayer, I was feeling less the Weight of The World for having skipped out on doing my Maghrib Prayer on time while in flight and relieved that I was now caught up.
To Travelers of ANY Faith or NO Faith who find themselves in transit at Charlotte Douglas Airport who are in need of a few moments to gather themselves and reflect, the Chapel will you give that and more.
You just might even be Surprised once, twice, even three times during your visit!