As a child, the benevolence of Islam made a huge impression on me. At the end of Ramadan, "free money" (as I called it then) would be distributed to the poor, and at the end of Hajj "free meat" (as I called it then) would also be distributed to the poor. I would take my place seated on the ground among the poor, patiently awaiting my handout, to the bewilderment of the devotees at the mosque, for after all I should have been helping out with the distribution not getting distributed to myself. I looked forward to those two days, as I would return home, to the great delight of my mother, loaded with coins and meat. Unfortunately, my childhood involvement in Islam came to an end because of the daily harassment I faced while on my way to the Mosque. However, the memory of the wonderful experience and insight during my involvement with that faith will always stay with me.
[The photograph above is of the Mosque I attended as a child in Peter's Hall, Guyana. It still looks the same after all these years. Photograph courtesy of Rakesh Rampertab http://www.guyanaundersiege.com]