“The State of State Mosque“
It is the first taraweeh of Ramadan. We decide to take our chances and see if our daughter is finally tall enough (or old enough) to get into the main hall rather than the noisy area right outside the toilets dedicated to mums and children.
There are only a few G4S security guards and whilst one was engaged in arguing with a mother of younger children we walk past her, very fast. She had been prepped to stand tall and look old. We held our breath and passed the other security guard. Yes. We made it to the stairs. And up we went. She joined in with every single rakah, did not speak or wander off and cause anyone any bother MashAllah. She’d made it, she was 9-years-old and had passed their entrance criteria … or so we thought.
Day two and three are spent at two other mosques without much incident, then day four we decide to go to State Mosque again. This time a lot more confident than before. We walk fast and hit the first security guard. There seem to be more of them today. She asks my daughter’s age. When told 9, we are informed the age requirement is 10. She won’t listen to the argument that she prayed perfectly fine last time but after we were insisting she sent us to speak to the supervisor. My mother-in-law is visiting us from the UK and begs the woman on the grounds that we’re visitors to the country and really want to be part of the main congregation. Alhamdulillah she relents and we go up to pray a bit stressed by the hassle but still ready for taraweeh.
The recitation is beautiful MashAllah, the mosque is very grand and impressive. We are all concentrating on prayer. Then mid-prayer we hear a woman at the back of the hall having a long chat on her phone. All through at least two rakahs.
So tell me this: Should my 9-year-old daughter who was praying all the rakas in silence have been harassed by the G4S security guards or should the woman who was not there to pray but to catch up on the latest gossip been stopped from entering?