Art gallery designated as new prayer space


Sana Kanwal

Merab Khan in the Art Gallery praying in the direction of the Qiblah, the sacred Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Muslims face this direction when engaged in prayer.

By Sana Kanwal, Reporter

Spring forward, fall back. 

The end of daylight savings has a substantial influence on a Muslim’s daily routine. In Islam, there are five prayers, known as Namaz or Salah, throughout the day, which have specific time slots in which they take place. The time for prayers is determined by the position of the sun.

Starting this school year, Room 147, the Art Gallery, has become the designated space to complete the afternoon prayer, available from periods six to eight. This creates an opportunity to perform Dhuhr before the next prayer, Asr. The period of Asr prayer begins approximately when the sun is halfway down from noon to sunset.   

Dhuhr, the second prayer, begins when the sun appears the highest in the sky. This prayer falls during school hours and students needed a dedicated space where they can go pray. This new quiet place is aimed to help them concentrate without people walking in front of them while in prayer, which is not permissible.  

  Further, because Lane accepts students from all over the city, many students have long commutes to school. With shortened days and clocks turned back, students tend to miss the afternoon prayer by the time they reach home. 

Lane’s Muslim Club president, Zaynab Vahora, has been a member of the club since her freshman year. She was one of the main advocates for this new opportunity for students. 

“As a president, I felt it was my duty to not want to get a space for myself but everyone else as well,” Vahora said. 

Praying is an important part of a Muslim’s daily life as it one of the five pillars of Islam. Ever since she became a president in 2021,Vahora strived to get a prayer space that would be accessible to students. 

In previous years, the library was used by students to pray. However, due to COVID-19, and the influx of students there during lunch periods, it was not an option anymore. 

“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Merab Khan, vice president of Muslim Club. Khan said she believes that the prayer space will make students feel more confident since they will be able to balance school with personal life.     

“It’s part of my routine. I feel like if I don’t do it, something’s missing,” junior Shahd Nimir said. “Now that I have an actual space to [pray], it really has put me at ease.”

While some students pray at the Art Gallery during their sixth period lunch, others pray during the afternoon passing periods. Vahora informs students whenever the Art Gallery won’t be available. 

“We just wanted to take this important, more concrete step to make sure that current Muslim students and students in the future continue to have this opportunity,” Khan said.