Children are impressionable. What they experience and how they are treated has a major impact on them all through their lives. As Muslim parents we want our children to love Islam and yet time and time again the impressions they are left with by mosques and some of the people who attend the mosques are not favorable. This is the first year we decided to try and take both of our kids to all the taraweeh prayers. Previously our daughter had been deemed too young to enter many mosques and had been disheartened by the refusals to let her in. Now she is 9-years-old and MashaAllah it is time; we have been trying lots of different mosques as we have guests to show around town, but this time we decided to go local.
She did her wudu, donned her abaya and scarf and excitedly headed out to our local mosque with the rest of us. We walked past the spacious archway entrance for the men, past the smaller side door for more men, through an alleyway past some water tanks and exposed wires and up into the entrance for women. I will let her tell you in her own words one of unfortunately many unpleasant mosque stories she could share with you:
I went to the mosque to pray taraweeh. We were making special duaa when this boy (who had been wriggling around in the prayer) started edging towards me. He was in the row in front of us and was not even directly in front of me. He was trying to punch me in taraweeh! My mum stepped forward a bit to stop him, but he tried to get behind her. I felt really annoyed that this boy was doing this in taraweeh rather than when I could actually defend myself. As well as trying to punch me, he was poking me. At his age (6 or 7) he should have been down in the men’s hall praying or not at taraweeh; he was so disruptive. A bit of me felt annoyed with his parents for not telling him to pray and for leaving him with the maid. After taraweeh my mum talked to the maid and he said sorry, though you could tell he didn’t mean it.