Thursday, December 11, 2008

Muslims... Please!!!

I will be honest with you. My experiences at masjids have been less than transcendental spiritually fulfilling respites from the world... They have been more like smelling salts that shock me back to the reality of what Muslims today are like in large groups. Now I don't know these sisters and brother's hearts... But I do know their manners. And this Eid was yet another rude awakening to the reality that the ummah here in the US (I don't know maybe everywhere) needs some serious spit shining before we can even claim to represent this deen.

At my insistence we went to Denver to visit family the day before Eid so we would be able to go with them to the Eid prayer. This was the first time in 10 years that I have been in the larger mosque in Denver for the Eid prayer and it was CRAZY.

First, I was sitting on the side since I wasn't praying (ya'll know what I mean) and I tried to line up the older kids close to me on the ends. Sisters kept pushing them this way and that and no one on the edge was making a discernable effort to make a row, so the youngest got all flustered and came to me crying that he had no place to pray. OK, I can deal. Then after the salams all the sisters started getting up and going over to admire each other's outfits or something and no one seemed to have the slightest idea that there would be a khutba going on after the prayer... Uhhh, HELLO!!! So I made me way the center where the TV and speakers are and someone had turned the volume off. I could see, but since I don't read lips I have no idea what the brother was saying.

Then I went out to a patio area where people were milling around only to be leafleted to death. Of course said leaflets were flying all over the area in the wind within minutes. As were wrappers and balloons the kids had been given. My DH wasn't there so I started to people watch... Of course that means that I saw all the sisters with their scarves carefully perched on top of perfect hairdos which were revealed as soon as they stepped out of the mosque. And I saw the brothers drive up in customized Mercedes and Hummers which I KNOW cost more than you would ever imagine. Of course you can imagine that seeing the brothers driving their family of six off in their cab... Those cars can't be a good use of the wealth they have been given (IMHO).

So I started having my kids pick up all the trash before it blew away once the crowd was gone. Only to have a brother come and yell at them for stepping on the clothe they had spread for those praying outside. Now mind you about 10 minutes earlier the entire female congregation put on their shoes inside and then exited tramping all over that same carpet. But my kids were CLEARLY causing damage:P

Well, you see what I'm getting at. It's hard to have a religious experience when surrounded by this. I don't know what the solution is, but it's clearly a problem. So now I remember why my real religious moments in mosques have all happened during prayers that very few people attend!LOL


Kris said...

Walaikum salam
I know what you mean about being really irritated and unimpressed at the mosque. I guess all I can say is wait to go back until its not Eid and the serious people are there. I remember the first Eid prayer I went to, it was horrible. I thought that it was supposed to be serious, only to be very shocked to see the women talking and some not wearing hijab. It was a rude awakening. In the years since then, I am trying to just focus on myself and doing my prayers right and not letting those bad experiences ruin things for me. Eid prayers are a good reminder(in my opinion) that if we don't do our best with our kids, they might grow up to act like some of those ladies. My goal, inshallah is to have a child that takes the prayer seriously and does not add to the chaos.
Mashallah its so good that you were trying to help keep the trash from blowing around. Just know that you and your kids did the right thing. May Allah swt bless you and your children and keep us all on the straight path. Ameen

Mona said...

UGH so frustrating. I'd like to hear if there are any organized mosques anywhere. One where order prevails and people act right!

Anonymous said...

as salamu alaykum

sorry to hear that! maybe u could write to the imam of the mosque and tell him to remind the "good manners" of a muslim during a Friday khutba? insh'Allah it might help

Anonymous said...

That was the Religious experience!!!

The same way I experience it every time I visit the mosque. Which is why a remain a spiritual being, solo practitioner and a free agent.

Pushing and shoving for food is rude and obscene. I don't care what struggling country you are from. Talking suring prayers and Kutbahs is disrespectful even if you don;t know the language or the AP system is full of static.

I've yet to have a bonifide spiritual experience in a mosque anywhere. I actually get more out of listening to nasheeds on youtube!

Sorry for your experience but it's the smae everywhere I go.