Respect the decorum of mosques: UAE residents

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Respect the decorum of mosques: UAE residents

A major complaint from worshippers included women getting very young kids to the mosque, and then not being able to manage them.

by

Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Tue 20 Jun 2017, 10:52 PM

Last updated: Wed 21 Jun 2017, 12:57 AM

During the last 10 days of Ramadan, mosques see an influx of worshippers for night prayers to seek guidance from Allah.
However, at times some practices interfere with the sanctity of the place and interrupt people's focus during prayers. A major complaint from worshippers included women getting very young kids to the mosque, and then not being able to manage them.
Dubai resident Majida Al Safadi said the women's section of mosques are usually always packed and "children are too many."
"To be fair, you cannot ask a 5-year-old to sit idle for an hour, let alone three hours!"
She recalled an incident when a mother slapped her six-year-old while praying and forcefully grabbed him to stand next to her and pray. "He started crying and I couldn't take it. I just left and stopped going to the mosque from that time onwards. I couldn't say anything to the mother because she was supposedly praying. Forcing children to stay while the mother prays is heartbreaking. What does that teach them?" said Al Safadi.
Another resident Weaam Ahmed said crying children disrupt her focus during prayers. "Only a few mosques have special area for mothers with children. I understand the struggle of having a child and wanting to pray at the mosque, but there's only so much space for worshipers themselves," said Ahmed.
Another complaint mosque-goers have is people disrespecting people's private space. Sharjah resident Deena Stevens said, " At times people squish up against you because they don't want to leave any space between each other. This at times leaves me hardly any space to prostrate or offer my prayers comfortably."
Stevens noted there's a "huge lack of etiquette" among many mosque-goers. People need to have basic manners when they come to mosque, she said. "They leave empty water bottles or talk and laugh loudly while others are praying. Sometimes they even fight with one another for space, which is really disrespectful to a holy place," said Stevens.
Sharjah resident Abeer Ismail said she preferred praying at home due to the lack of focus she experiences at the mosque. "Children running and crying everywhere, judgmental women who walk around and comment on how others are dressed, or occasional ringing mobile phones: these are some situations you experience that make you less focused," said Ismail.
"There are cases you find women reserving spots for their friends or family members, which defeats the purpose of going to a mosque and finding a place to pray peacefully," added Ismail.
- sherouk@khaleejtimes.com



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