I've been having the urge to go pray in the masjid. I've been craving the comfort that comes with worship in unity during these demanding times. It's kind of funny that I want to now because I was bad with going to the masjid during Ramadan when the crowd is exponentially larger and the rewards greater.
The first time I decided I really wanted to go the masjid for Isha I realized I had no clue what time they pray or whether the women section remains open during off peak times. However sub7anallah at the athan of Isha I found myself in the masjid parking lot. The lot was empty except for like 2 cars. I saw no lights on anywhere and nobody walking around. I sat in the car and contemplated whether I should go down or not. I ended up waiting 5 minutes then just drove away hoping noone spotted me looking like a stalker.
The next day I decided what I did was a stupid waste of time and kind of weird. So I did some googling to get the number of the masjid. Thankfully someone answered to tell me they pray at 8 and assured me the women section will be open. Eureka!
I came back at 7:50 PM the next day feeling more confident and thank God I found a balled up abaya in the backseat which has probably been there since Ramadan. Again, there were barely any cars but hey I'm 10 minutes early. Indeed the women section was open and I had to turn the lights on. There were tables and chairs there as if someone was just having a class, and I was annoyed to see opened soda cans and water bottles littering this holy place. I bet you wouldn't see this in the men section.
I sat there cross-legged by myself and was relieved to hear some stirring in the men section. Someone mad Athan...then 8 oclock came and went and I'm still sitting, 8:05, 8:10.....hmmm should I just pray on my own and leave? Could it be they prayed and I don' teven hear them because the intercom is off? Maybe they're just waiting for more people. At 8:15 to my relief a lady walked in. A middle-aged most likely southeast Asain with an almost perfect american accent. She greeted me very warmly and told me they pray at 8:15.
I prayed probably the best Isha prayer I prayed in a while. Since that day, praying Isha at the masjid has been a common study break.