Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Woman's Guide to the Last 10 Nights of Ramadan

We're coming into the last ten days and nights of Ramadan, so sometimes we need a little bit of a guide on how to deal with some "situations" that may arise during this time at your local mosque... 1. What not to wear. Don't wear black shoes to the masjid. You'll thank me for this when you're done praying and there are 100 women trying to find their shoes in a small box-like area. At the same time. And all of their shoes are black. 2. Kids running through the lines of prayer & how to deal. Let me break it down for you: it's very distracting when children are running through the lines while you're praying. I'm not talking about really young kids who don't know what they're doing. I'm talking about the feisty 4-7 year olds who are playing hide-and-go-seek in your abaya and tag or soccer through the lines. You think I'm joking, but I'm not (I suppose this is only a problem in the women's section). What I used to do was ignore them, then get really mad while praying so that I could barely even attempt to concentrate. Right thing to do? Wrong. This is what you do: as the kid is running in front of you, grab him/her by the shirt and push him/her in the direction of the end of the line. Surprisingly, that is LESS of a distraction to you than ignoring it. Plus, the other women in the line who weren't brave enough to do this will silently appreciate your work. (If the situation involves a ball of some sort, and the child is...oh I don't know...throwing it at people's heads in sujood, take the ball away and ignore the child's cries.) 3. Placing your belongings in a safe place. Nothing sucks more than finishing your prayer and saying "Alhamdulillah that was nice," then finding out that your keys/wallet/phone/cookies have disappeared from your bag. I was at prayer a few days ago and I put my bag in front of me. Silly me, I left the zipper on it opened. So a little girl comes crawling through the aisle in front of me (yes, I'm calling them aisles from now on) and starts rummaging through my things. Specifically, I had a cookie in my bag that she took out and started playing with. So I was looking at her and thinking "oh man, when is the imam gonna finish, I need to secure my cookie!" Luckily the prayer was done shortly thereafter and I took the cookie away from her and zipped my bag shut (you may be shaking your head at how cruel I am, but she was a baby and probably wasn't capable of eating solids. Plus it was mine.) 4. What to wear, part two. Take a sweater with you, or a jacket. Because either it's going to be really hot, or really cold - depending on whether or not the mosque caretakers choose to crank up the air conditioning to an unhealthy level. And if they don't, pressing against people for an hour or two won't make it pleasant weather. It's best to be prepared, either way. 5. Hanging out at the entrace or exit of the mosque. We're not at the masjid to check out guys, but some guys are there to find their future wives. And since there is likely a divider between the women and men in the actual prayer hall, the outside of the masjid is perfect. So don't just stand there. And preferably, have some pepper spray on you just in case a guy looks at you in the wrong way (I kid, I kid! kind of). Of course, girls aren't totally innocent either. But in any case, it's Ramadan man. Have some respect for yourself and the place of worship. 6. Don't stop to buy halal marshmallows in the lobby. Look. I know they're halal and they taste good, so the temptation is really great. But you're already getting fat enough in Ramadan. 7. What really matters: good intentions. Make your intention to please Allah (swt), that's really all that matters. Ramadan is a time where people are freed from the fire, so let's try to be among those, inshaAllah.


Squeeky said...

Assalaamu Alaikum :)

haha Masha'Allah, excellent post. I can't believe the last 10 days are already approaching :( *deep sigh* Anyways, I would of course stop for halal marshmallows ... rice krispie squares are YUMMY! Speaking of which, maybe I'll make some soon.

sh said...

heh heh, asmaa grabbing the shirt of the kid running through the lines was funny. poor child; although he was throwing the ball at our heads...

oh, and about the little girl who grabbed asmaa's cookies. she was NOT a baby and OF COURSE she was eating solids. asmaa was just trying to make her crime seem less heinous.

Nusaybah said...

Hahaha, nice post Asmaa. I haven't been on for so long! But I do not, I repeat DO NOT miss this blog. Anyways yeah ramadan is finally coming to an end, so I can stuff my face and yeah! Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating this month or anything but I just don't like being starved.

What you said was true, especially those kids who were like, throwing the ball at my head the whole prayer. Can they stop? sheesh kapeesh. Anyways I have to go and study for my geography test, which is a re-test because almost everybody failed the first one.

High school is tough! How am I going to get through the other grades if I think grade 9 is hard? But arabic is easy because its level one. Too easy that I'm so bored in class. Plus I'm arab so yeah, I rule the class which is filled with pakistanis and like, three arabs, two somalians. NO RACISM, HERE. Calm down.

In conclusion, I therefore state that I am talking more about myself than your post. Which is better, maybe people are more interested in MY life.

And you're the one that begged me to leave a comment on your blog. Haha, I'm kidding. You just pleaded.

Tasneem said...

haha. I admire the way you handle the children, much respect goes out to you. But now I wonder how your own kids will survive? :)

brotherhood said...


excellent advice mashallah.. shame about the cookie :p

Safiyyah said...

Girl, you're on drugs.
I feel sorry for the poor little babe who thought she'd found herself a treat only to have it hoisted away from her by an angry and rather distracted four-eyed lady. :-D Great post though. You seem to have a talent for the ludicrous.

Fro said...

Wow you snatched a cookie out of a baby's hand...what kind of a person are you? And that being the last 10 days of Ramadan! :P Thanks for the other tips.

Anonymous said...

Hehe, this post was hilarious. I didn't know they sold halal marshmallows at the masjid... don't really care for marshmallows anyways.

Elizabeth said...

kCan you tell me what halal marshmallows are? I mean, I know they're marshmallows that are made according to your dietary rules. But what does that mean? I ask, because we're vegetarians and don't eat (or try not to) marshmallows made with regular gelatin, because it's made from dead animals. When we're camping is the only time this is really an issue....this year when we were camping we couldn't find vegan marshmallows. So, if these use an alternate form of gelatin that's vegetarian, I'd like to know about it and where they can be obtained.

Nusaybah said...

Yuck, dead animals. :S

And I thought it was just taken from a pig's foot.

delectable, eh?

Asmaa said...

Squeeky, make some and post the pics on your blog...I miss those posts :(

sh, yeah...I think I really scared those kids that I grabbed and didn't allow to run in front o fus...and she WAS a baby.

Nusaybah, "In conclusion, I therefore state"?! You didn't have to write an essay.

Tasneem, yeah I don't know how they'll survive either...only time will tell ;)

Safiyyah, I do have a talent for the ludicrous, eh? Nice way of putting it. btw I'm not on drugs.

Fro, you're more than welcome ;)

Nauman, you don't care for halal marshmallows?! You're weird. You should buy a pack some time, then take a cookie and put a marshmallow on top of it. In the microwave until the marshmallow almost's so cool. Taste is secondary.

Elizabeth, sorry, the only reason we consider them "halal," or in accordance to our dietary rules is because the gelatin used comes from properly-slaughtered animals. So it still does come from animals, but I'm sure you can find stores around that use the kind of Chinese gelatin that comes from plants...

Nusa, yum.

Hamzah said...


Mars said...


Hillarious post Asmaa. Did u actually grab that kid? What I would pay to see that. *sigh*..

It's not the kids who are ill-mannered who tick me off; it's the parents. They are in prayer and TOTALLY ignore the situation. Like comon, you are not deaf, and certainly not in deep khushuh. Psht.. Raise ur kids right or leave them at home.

Asmaa, good for you for taking the cookie out of the girl's hands. Pshht who cares how old she was, that was your nurishment for the in-between-8-rakah-break.

I must say you forgot one thing. The whole shoulder-to-shoulder. It should be emphasized that it is not foot-upon-foot, or thigh-upon-thigh or butt-upon-butt. Certainly that wasn't the Sunnah.

'liya said...

Argh! Those kiddies! They take waterbottles too! I always have to search for mine afterwards and it's SO annoying because I don't know whether they've put all their germs onto it!

I really don't understand how parents can be so ignorant of their child's behaviour in the mosque. When I was little my sisters and I would always sit and colour in our colouring books in the corner or sleep in the back. That's what good children do. My poor brother was always forced to sit beside my dad and not move from his spot.

But really it's so ridiculous. They should just stay home if they can't control them. The saying kid's will be kid's does not apply here. Parents should be parents.

sheryza said...

i really enjoyed reading your blog just wanted to wish you a happy ramadan inshallah. i live in saudi and let me tell you its no different here in the masjids when it comes to those lil rugrats. but here its worse the kids are bigger. i agree with the shirt pulling hey i have 4 kids i'd yank them up to if they were running round me while i waws praying. and about the cookie...yo were fasting all day then i guess you had a right to defend your cookie....have a good one and thanks for the laughs.