Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sometimes I feel like Giant Meanie

Yes thats right... a giant meanie. I find that I lose patience with people way too much, and perhaps not deal with things in the best way. One example of this would be at Jummah about a week ago. I actually got a chance to go because I was taking 1/2 a day off to go to Vermont. Anyway, after the salah, I was doing sunnah prayers, right up against the divider wall. There were 2 little girls running and chasing each other. Weaving in and out of people, falling down, laughing. Normally I can block this out but this time is was very distracting. Especially when they decided to run in front of me. Mind you, I'm about 3 1/2 feet away from a wall. I realize that not every young child knows that you don't cross in front of someone praying, but I expect for their parents to be keeping an eye on what they are doing. Once I was done with prayer I went and asked the girls where their mum was. They brought me over to a group of women talking in the corner of the musallah. I said my salams and asked their mother if she knew that her kids were running in front of people praying? She said no and apologized. So right then and there I felt bad. Every other mother was looking at me with the death glare.

There are so many things that bother me about this. For one, the women that insist on talking in the corner could go out of the musallah to do it, and take their kids with them. There are quite a few sisters including myself that are trying to pray, make dhikr, etc, which is what the musallah is for! Next, I have a child too, and when we take him to the masjid he KNOWS to behave. My son is 9 and has autism, and he can manage to behave, so why can't other kids? Finally I get the feeling that the social aspect of going to Jummah is more important to some of these women then actually going for the purpose intended.

So in the end I feel like a giant meanie for saying something to the mother. I don't know why really, but I feel like the Masjid Police or something. Perhaps I just should have left and said nothing.


Amy said...

Masjid Police... lol

Assalaamu alaikum; I know many other revert sisters who have the same feeling, of being masjid police. (Including reverts from other countries who live here now.) A lot of times it comes from a different cultural understanding, perhaps from church, where you just DON'T talk.

Are we from such an uptight background?

I don't think so, really.

Because I've seen teachings about the importance of being quiet during a khutbah (such that you can't even tell someone else to be quiet during jummah). And also I've seen teachings about no unnecessary talk in the masjid.

So it's just something not being taught or ingrained in Muslims form an early age--the etiquette of the masjid.

Amy said...

I thought I'd add--one time at Eid I heard some sisters complaining about it being like a "police state," because there were sisters making rounds to keep the sisters all quiet during the Eid khutbah. Police state? Not hardly. Oh you should hear stories about the women police in Masjid An-Nabawi and Masjid Al-Haram. But I'd rather more people stood up to keep it quiet... it's important I think for people to understand it... and as far as I can tell being quiet is... well... sunnah? isn't it?

MedGirl said...

Salam Jamilah, you're not a meanie so don't feel bad. Sometimes I wish there were the basics of Jummah behavior written on a big poster on the wall for the sisters area. If there is anything that gives me the ultimate test of patience, its the babies and kids running around, and the sisters talking during the Khutbah. Worse part is, that if I tell them to be quiet during the Khutbah, it invalidates my prayers. What you did was correct to say it afterwards. I really hate the 'death stare' (it really is scary) too, there was no reason for them to give it, so don't feel bad. I often get it too, so I usually tell the kids directly. I just think that's more effective. I think you're nicer than me :(

Jamilah said...

Amy and Medgirl

Its good to know that it happens everywhere. Sometimes I find it humiliating that it seems to be just the women that do this (the talking during Jummah part), its almost a joke in the entire muslim community that women can't keep their mouth shut for 30 min!

I get mixed emotions about things. On one hand I want the masallah to be used for what it was intended for. It is NOT a playground. But who am I to enforce this rule when the imam does not even do anything. In the cooler days some of the teenagers come into the masallah and throw a football! They think that there is no one there until the ball comes flying back to our section and they run to get it. I do admit to the death glare then.

And I've tried the sign thing, it only gets ripped down by the offending sisters in a huff. On top of that the imam usually does not give us permission to post anything anyway.

Anonymous said...

GIANTS!!!!! :)


Jana's Journeys said...

that happened the first time I went to the mosque in my area, but the parents weren't acting much differently so why would the kids?! I have seen kids behave so poorly, Muslim kids and non-Muslim kids but I had a certain expectation that kids whose parents took them to the mosque would actually be a little more respectful.....not the case. Behaviour like this has turned me off from going to that mosque for a while, I simply can't concentrate when I pray there I fear my prayer might not be accepted like it would be if I was fully concentrating. It's the parents who are to blame and the best thing you did was to approach the parents, I mean how can you not know where your kid is and what they are doing?