Yesterday, as I wandered through the graveyard on my way home from Friday prayer, a fellow visiting his father’s grave decided to share his interesting insights with me.
“You are not alone in not being able to understand the imam,” he said. Apart from a handful of old men, nobody can understand the imam! If he momentarily skips into Punjabi, then there is hope for the second generation, now in their 40s and 50s. But the Urdu flies over their heads. As for anyone under 30: they understand a little of the mother tongue, but are too embarrassed to speak in the language, their grasp of it too broken.
In short, the imam is a leader of men who cannot understand him. In this, we are all in the same boat. There may have been a conclusion to follow, but alas our conversation ended there, for he arrived at his father’s grave and we went our separate ways.
I took his words as encouragement: chin up, perhaps. Or: you’re not alone.