As first, I assumed this young woman in a headscarf was a Muslim Sister, perhaps a newer Muslim who had embraced Islam locally?
I would learn she is a Student researching Islam and Muslims for her Senior Thesis.
Mariana has been present in Medellín’s only Masjid each Friday for the past several weeks. Salat al Jumah is really the only time Muslim Sisters are ever at the masjid. Hence, her research is taking a bit longer than one may think.
We ended up interviewing each other. Me for her research paper, and her for this 30Masjids blog post.
The Masjid is indeed small, a converted linear multi-room home itself converted from a garage.
The sisters on Friday have one of the three rooms.
Thus far, Mariana has learned much from Muslims whom she has met in person. Most of her research contradicts the headlines in the Colombian News when it comes to reporting about Islam.
This was a little bit of a surprise for her.
I learn that the Sisters’ attendance for Friday Prayers has been a yo-yo. Big numbers some Fridays, and then next to nothing the next week with maybe only Mariana and one other woman present.
Also, the faces change each Friday in the Sisters’ prayer area. Consequently, Mariana doesn’t seem to feel any sense of an overall wider Muslim Community in Medellín. However, she does recognize some “Regular” faces among the brothers.
It appears to her that Muslims here may be praying on Fridays together, yet during the rest of the week, and outside of prayer, she doesn’t sense much unity.
She asked Abdul Haq how many Muslim might be living in all of Medellín?
His answer was about 2,000.
But with only fifty to sixty attendees in the most recent Jumah Friday Prayer, there are more questions to be answered.
I invited Mariana to consider publishing a version of her final presentation here on 30Masjids as a Guest Blog post.
Hopefully, InshAllah, if and when that happens, we’ll learn more about this nascent Muslim Community from a Colombian Woman’s Point of View.