Article Op-Ed

Kids - The Masjid Menace

Kids - The Masjid Menace

Author Shuiab Haneif by

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Photo: Adeel Anwer

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"Be QUIET!! People are praying. Go outside NOW!!"

Imagine these words coming from a towering 6 foot, 230 pound man with angry, bulging eyes, yelling at a 5 year old girl. The girl's offence--being a kid at the masjid.

Sadly, you don't have to imagine this; it actually happened. When I asked the man why he was yelling at the kid, he complained that this kid was disturbing others while they were praying (ironically, that girl was not the guilty one; she just happened to be there at the wrong place, wrong time. The trouble maker had already run off).

The angry man's khushoo was destroyed, he claims.

How about we ban all kids entirely from the masjid? If you feel the need for the masjid to be a part of kid's life, please, bring them in a straight jacket with their mouth duct taped. If you must bring small babies, please pray outside in the parking lot. This would cause the masjid to be devoid of kids - a dream come true for many adults like the angry man. Ten years later, the only memory the kids will have of the masjid is a crazy uncle or aunty screaming at them--an unpleasant memory any one would avoid.

Yes, they will disturb you once in a while, but the price of them hating the masjid forever is too great a price.

Angry man-- I guarantee you that most parents tell the kids to behave at the mosque as they're getting ready, as they're driving to the masjid and as they're parking at the masjid. Sometimes, these little critters do not have the strength to stand for 1 hour straight in a taraweeh. So, they may run once in a while in the very back row (not playing horsey with the imam during prayer like Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain did with the Prophet Muhammed PBUH himself). They may say something to another kid and while the parent is praying and therefore cannot stop him right away. As a parent, I try hard to create positive and good associations for my kids with the masjid. In your quest to perform prayers in absolute silence, you have now set the ground for these kids to never come to the masjid when they grow up.

If you see a random adult bullying kids, please have the courage to gently remind the bully to show some kindness to those impressionable kids. Yes, they will disturb you once in a while, but the price of them hating the masjid forever is too great a price.

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