DOES THIS HAPPEN IN YOUR MOSQUE?

It happened last Friday………
(Based on a true story)
GUEST AUTHOR:  Asma bint Shameem
The Khutbah had already started. She knew that she was late, but she wanted to attend the Jumuah prayers anyway. She quickly picked up her baby and stepped anxiously into the Masjid, looking to the right and the left. After all, this was the first time she was here; she had just moved to the area and didn’t know anybody.
As she sat down in the Sister’s Prayer Hall with the baby in her lap, her heart was thumping in her chest. She could feel curious eyes turn in her direction, but she stared hard at the ground, too nervous to meet their gaze and tried to concentrate on what the Imam was saying.
But her baby was nervous too. He didn’t know this new place….all these new faces, all the curious eyes. He had never been in a Masjid before. He wanted to go home.
She knew her baby would be uncomfortable in the new setting, but she thought she could manage. She herself had not been very ‘practicing’ all her life, but now that she was a mother herself, she felt the importance of an Islaamic upbringing. She was determined to teach her baby all about this religion right from the very beginning, but first she had to work on herself. She wanted to learn, too. She decided that the best place to start learning about Islaam would be the masjid, and this was her first visit.
But the baby was getting restless and she could see that he had already started to whimper. Yet, she hoped she could console him long enough to last through the Prayer. However, much to her dismay, just as the Imam finished the khutbah and said, “Allaahu Akbar,” her baby started crying. At first it was low wail and a whine, but then he let it all out. And she was certainly not prepared for the ear-splitting howl that followed, nor the hysterically loud sobbing that accompanied it. WAAWWW!!!
                                                                            
Oh my GOD! What a terrible noise he was making!
What should I do??!! What can I do??!!! She thought to herself, panicking.
She didn’t want to break her prayer!
She tried to pick him up, but he was squirming too much!
She realized that he was wailing loudly, but there was nothing much she could really do. “After all, he WAS a baby!” she said to herself. “I am sure they all understand.”
She wished that the prayer would be over quickly so that she could console her baby.
But before the Imam had hardly finished saying the ‘Salaam’, that they all jumped on her!
“WHY DON’T YOU KEEP THE BABY QUIET!”, they screamed! “DON’T YOU SEE WE ARE PRAYING?”
“Why did you come to the Masjid?” Someone muttered, grinding her teeth.
“STAY HOME, NEXT TIME!” Another one hissed.
“Bb….but…ummm…..I…uh…..I’m so sorry.” she whispered.
With her head bent low, her eyes downcast, she blinked hard to fight back the tears that suddenly welled up in her eyes….
…..as she tried so hard to swallow the HUGE lump in her throat.
She thought this was the Masjid….this was the place where she and her baby would be welcome…..this was the place she wanted to be……to learn Islaam and to teach it to her child!
How can they be so mean to her like that?!!
Didn’t they realize that it wasn’ t her fault that the baby started crying!
Without saying a single word more, she hurriedly gathered her things, picked up her baby and quickly left the Masjid, WITHOUT EVEN ONCE LOOKING BACK……
Now let’s go back to another scenario……1400 years ago…..in a better time…..in a better place…..in another Masjid…..when a Bedouin enters the Masjid and begins urinating in it.
The Sahabah want to stop him, but what does the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) do???
Does he shout at him? Does he kick him out of the Masjid?
NO!
                                                                
Instead, he (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) kindly calls the bedouin to him and gently makes him understand that the masaajid are not places meant for urine and filth, but are only for the remembrance of Allaah, prayer and the recitation of the Qur’aan. He  (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) then asks one of the people to pour a bucket of water over it. (Muslim)
And what did he tell the Sahaabah? He (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said to them:
“You are sent to make things easy and not to make things difficult” (Bukhaari).
This illustrates for us the perfect example of how OUR behavior should have been. It shows us an unwavering principle of Islaam, that is, if in our social life, when any unpleasant incident takes place, we should keep our cool and show tolerance and patience. We should concentrate on finding a solution to the problem and not just think in terms of what punishment to hand out to the problem-maker.
We should find means that would alleviate rather than aggravate the problem.
Where is our sense of tolerance and patience? Where is our feeling of compassion and mercy? When and where will we show it, if not in the masjid, of all the places?
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said:
“He who does not show mercy to others, will not be shown mercy.” (Bukhaari)
Did the sisters forget the time when they had little babies of their own and they cried too?
The Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) understood the agony that a mother goes through at such times. That’s why he (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) said:
“When I enter the prayer I intend to prolong it. Then I hear the crying of a child, so I shorten it knowing the difficulty his mother will have with him crying.” (Bukhaari)
And aren’t we supposed to warmly receive a newcomer, and make them feel wanted and welcomed….especially one who is just coming back to Islaam?
Isn’t being kind and tolerable, the very basis of our deen….the very essence of our Da’wah?
As Allaah says to the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam):
“By the grace of Allaah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and ill-tempered, they would have dispersed from round about you” (Surah Aal-‘Imraan:159)
Aren’t we supposed to behave courteously towards one another? Didn’t the Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alayhi wa sallam) tell us:
“He is a bad person in the sight of Allah who does not behave courteously and people shun his company because of his bad manners.” (Bukhaari)
SubhaanAllaah!
Was this the way to behave with the new sister?
Why weren’t we gentle and merciful to her?
Why couldn’t we be patient with her and her little baby?
Couldn’t we have dealt with the situation better?
Were we a means of pushing her away from coming to the Masjid?
Did we push her away from Islaam itself??!!
These are some of the questions that we seriously need to ask ourselves.

17 thoughts on “DOES THIS HAPPEN IN YOUR MOSQUE?

  1. if those people ..give an advice to the victimhood instead of pushng her out..that will made a SINCERE in her next prayer and even it was felt like a warm welcomng for a person to enter in our great dinulislam..

  2. As a community i think we need to work harder to make the mosque a serene environment for both kids and adults. If that kid is screaming and the mom is ignoring him…she’s being inconsiderate of the other people seeking peace. So are the women who yelled at her with so much hate and malice – but how many of us haven’t felt that? An inward sigh at best, to full blown rage when this happens? You get ready for taraweeh after a long day of fasting, looking forward to the salah, get dressed, race to the mosque, ready for some beautiful quran recitation to end your long day and bam, there’s a woman next to you jostling her baby in the warm stuffy room, who starts wailing, while another 2 kids run in front of you racing and playing tag. It’s not quite a spiritual experience. Even if you discipline your nafs by staying silent, you have that resentment in your heart. Sure we can all say how peace comes from the inside, but survey any of those congregants and all of them will say they heard that baby. It is rude to ignore your baby’s cries and try to just pray through it and hope everyone else will do the same!! As a community we can’t ignore this, and yet it happens every time a lot of women get together – eid, taraweeh, jumah! Imagine if you were at a fancy state dinner, the room is pindrop silent and the president is speaking and your baby starts to cry, so loud EVERYBODY hears – would you just ignore it, and hope the rest of the audience does too? No, you’d likely step out and console your child. Why can’t we extend our fellow muslims, our imam, and the masjid the same consideration? True the man who urinated in the mosque was left alone by the Prophet sws- why are we comparing this woman to a nonmuslim jaahil?? She is muslim – she can be considerate of her masjid and fellow muslims, and maybe even of her baby. This victimhood and the tears and the “aw i just wanted to pray” are a little played out

    • ASA, Sr S The crux of the problem lies in the multi culturalism of the US muslims who have no access to wisdom and Deen of the elders and have no time or support system to learn the tarbiyah of children before they get married and are slammed into motherhood.
      On the other hand the single folks and older women (with grown children) are totally intolerant of any noise)
      We all have to remember the Haram………where people step over your head when you are in sajdah and you do not squeak a word because your focus is The Lord!

  3. In Friday prayer, woman in my country do not attend Jumaah. But it happens in normal time prayer and Tarawih.
    To solve this problem, normally imam will dp nasihat tp both parties (the critique and victim)- in others time. But of course the critiquers have done it aggressively.

    • Asalaam o alaikum Brother S,
      I am saddened to know that this intolerance on part of the women without children and lack of control over children by their mothers is a world wide problem. In order to accommodate a muslim brother or sister one always has to make sacrifices, however in this case if the children stay away from the mosque then they will end up like the lost children of muslim parents in Australia where it all started with intolerance of children in the mosque and they lost a whole generation.
      JazaikAllah hu Khairan, I was curious why women in your country do not go for Jumma but go for Taravih?

      • We can pay for a baby sitter to look after the babies during salt, women can share with each other, baby sitting on alternately. Come on, be considerate of others.

      • Thank you Shallu, Good suggestions! I pray that the two groups can come to a mutual agreement. After all salah is never silent even in the Haram, is it? Tarbiyah classes are needed for young mothers and a support system as the elders are missing:(

      • Wa alaikummusalam,

        By Hadith :
        Friday Prayer are obligatory to all Muslim except 4 kind – Slave, Female, non-baligh kid, and patient. (Abu Dawud)
        and
        Hadith : Don’t you object your wife and your daughter if they want to pray at mosque; but it better for them to pray at home. (Bukhari /Muslim)

        Because the Friday prayer is obligatory to male only, for sure Friday prayer congested with people. Even in my country have a lot of mosque, we still congested with people, they going to prayer outside the mosque. It will make harder for everybody.

        So to prevent the problem, it already a common situation in my country that female don’t go Friday prayer.
        So in this case priority of male (wajib- obligatory) overrules female (sunat- recommended).

        but Tarawih/ and daily prayer, not all go people. So mosque is quite empty. It was recommended for female to attend prayer in that time.

        To prevent crying baby; normally imam masjid encourage to bring the kid at least after they mumaiyiz (4-5 years and above).If people bring kid below 4 years old, the parent need to observe very careful, so jemaah can pray very peacefully. (Noise, etc) So here, the priority of jemaah overrules the priority of individual.
        Sometimes, both (jemaah and individual) need to understand each others.

      • Jazaikallah hu Khairan,
        Our situation in the west is quite different, women go everywhere without difficulty and the mosques are quite empty all the time except Eid. History has shown that if the children are not in the habit of coming to the mosque since they are babies and toddlers once they start secular school at age five they do not feel comfortable in the mosque environment especially if it is hostile to children.

        This lesson was well learned in the Australian experience in the 1900 when the men asked the women and children to stay home, because the children were noisy. The women were aborigine converts and the men were Afghan cameleers and Malays. The result was that the women went to the churches they were familiar with or did not go at all and thus a whole generation of muslims were lost.
        Sometimes we have to learn from history.
        The two ahadith you quoted:
        1. number one is overruled by the Quran Surah Hajj ayah number 9 which does not designate the gender of the person, thus both men and women are commanded to pray jummah.(women have a rukhsa in dire circumstances as explained by the fuquha)
        2. the second hadith is reported to be weak (reference: The sunna of the Prophet: by Ghazali).
        I am not a faqih, but this is my understanding from my studies of the Quran and sunnah so far. I pray to Allah to prevent me from making mistakes and forgive me if I inadvertently make them.
        Allah knows best!

      • Yes, different country have their own problem.
        Not to mention about West and East, sometime different state have differ fatwa. Shockingly, they also correct based on their problem. So it hard to say right or wrong if we don’t live in that particular time and place.

        Just to check with you. How West Muslim define woman pray in Friday prayer.Is it Surah Hajj ayah number 9 which does not designate the gender of the person, thus both men and women are commanded to pray jummah?
        Sorry, it not happen in my country, so I don’t know how it define. May be you can share it.

      • JazaikAllah hu khairan, I will leave that to the faqihs. Meanwhile please keep me in your duas and on the right path:)

      • Insyaallah,
        Actually I have check. In my country also have open Friday for female but not many and rare. May be I will ask some sheikh regarding this. Thanks.

      • Asalaam o alaikum, Thank you!
        It is important for sisters to come for Jumma for if they come, the children will get into the habit of coming and then it will become a family event which is the nature of Jumma.
        May Allah put barakah in our actions.

  4. La hawla wala qowatta illa billah. I gasped when I read “But before the Imam had hardly finished saying the ‘Salaam’, that they all jumped on her!”
    But then when I read “STAY HOME, NEXT TIME!” I remembered Allah said:
    وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ مَنَعَ مَسَاجِدَ اللَّهِ أَنْ
    يُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ وَسَعَى فِي خَرَابِهَا أُولَئِكَ مَا كَانَ
    لَهُمْ أَنْ يَدْخُلُوهَا إِلاَّ خَائِفِينَ لَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا خِزْيٌ
    وَلَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ) (البقرة:114)

    “And who are more unjust than those who prevent the name of Allah from being mentioned in His mosques and strive toward their destruction. It is not for them to enter them except in fear. For them in this world is disgrace, and they will have in the Hereafter a great punishment.” Al Baqara 2:114

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