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While Shopping, Rest Your Soul in Prayer Rooms

(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
By Abubakar Kasim
Freelance Writer- Canada
Prayer rooms
It seems ironic to me not to find a place where one can rest and meditate in the middle of the shopping madness that takes place during the holidays.

While consumers in holiday-season mode are heading to shopping malls in massive numbers, and while they will likely get the products they want, unfortunately something important that is dear to their hearts – perhaps dearer than the products they are going to buy – will not be found in the malls.

They will not be able to find a place where they can nourish their souls, meditate and keep their spirits up.

In spite of malls’ cutting-edge technology, the outstanding staff and the cleanliness of the facilities – all of which make a visit to a mall worthwhile – shopping center executives are short-sighted about the importance of having multi-faith chapels where believing men and women could regain inner peace – and more energy to continue shopping until they drop.

It seems ironic to me not to find a place where one can rest and meditate in the middle of the shopping madness that takes place during the holidays.

It is unfortunate and disappointing to say the least, that while shoppers’ physical needs are largely met spiritual needs have been disregarded and neglected.

Hospitals and airports have multi-faith centers to meet the spiritual needs of their visitors, and shopping centers should follow suit in offering such a vital service to their customers. It would help people who have “lost their minds” shopping regain their equilibrium.

Having simple prayer areas would allow a faithful consumer to stay a little longer in the mall and shop in peace without having to leave early in order to find a chapel, a mosque or synagogue to meditate.

Advantages

A multi-faith chapel in a shopping mall would make it more user-friendly and turn the atmosphere more welcoming – where everyone in our diverse, ethnic, religious and multicultural cities would feel more at home.

Multi-faith centers – consisting of a basic room and not much more – could revolutionize the shopping mall industry. This landmark evolution of our malls would prompt other shopping malls in North America to do the same.

Mall executives should not worry about the cost of such places. It should not require a lot of money to establish a small, decent and basic prayer room. Prayer halls are supposed to be ordinary: A place where a person meditating does not have distractions.

Multi-faith centers could increase business at shopping malls, attracting people who would otherwise not have come to shop or would come hastily so they would not miss their prayers. They would also show that shopping malls do not only care about the almighty dollar; that they care about people’s other needs.

Human beings do not only long for products. They also yearn for a place to feed their spiritual hunger by meditation or prayer. They have to take care of those needs as much as any others.

I found it disheartening that despite writing to several shopping mall executives and elected officials, no one has yet to come forward to respond to this need.

This tells me how little decision-makers care about people they are supposed to look after. It is my ultimate hope to see mall owners and managers consider this initiative, which would benefit everyone in the long run.

These places are vitally needed at our shopping centers in order to have a state of equilibrium between the world of consumerism and the world of spirituality.

This piece was first published on the Canadian Spec.com. It is republished here with kind permission from the author.

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