Sunday, October 01, 2006

Think Fast

So it's a week into Ramadan, alhamdulillah... fasting gets easier, I suppose, but not really. I'm hungry, tired. But it is becoming easier to concentrate throughout the day (difficult at first) and... what else.... umm.... ;-)

I've been to taraweeh prayers a few times now. Some of the sisters are starting to "crack down" about the gaps. A chronic problem at my mosque is that the women don't like to stand "too close" together, often leaving gaps. Plus many sit in chairs in the middle of the row and refuse to move the chair to slide down, and it's hard sometimes to get someone from the other side to move around. The biggest problem though is the rugs. You see, where the women pray is not carpeted. The musallah is not big enough to accommodate all the worshippers that come for tarawih. (In fact, it can't even handle 1/3 of the worshippers that come for Jumm'ah!) So women are pushed into the gym behind the musallah. They start lining up at the back. The men usually overflow the musallah and line up in the front of the gym but women expect to be there. So it's the gym... no carpet, of course.

In case you have ever prayed on a gym floor, it isn't particularly comfortable. Not to stand for an hour (including large portions without moving) and not to kneel down on (oh my knees) and not to prostrate on (tendency to sliiiiiiiide). So the women usually bring rugs with them... but not everyone brings a rug. Sometimes a row has more than enough (usually the back row) and some rows don't have enough (the rows in the front.) This causes several problems.

First of all, being on a rug... the rug slides, it doesn't grip the floor. So you still have to be careful.
Next, if there aren't enough they are sometimes turned sideways to that 2-3 people can put their face at least on the same rug even if they don't stand on it. But then more people come with their own rugs and try to take up more space. Most rugs are more than wide enough for one person, and will probably accommodate 1 1/2 in jamm'at. So even if they aren't laid long-ways, people still end up having to move down to pray in congregation. This means that many women aren't praying on their own rug! So what? I don't care. It's just a rug. All the same. Only they aren't all the same. Some women bring blankets, or large pieces of thin fabric... like the one I prayed on last night. First of all, it slipped. It was big enough for three people to lay down on, and there were three of us praying on it. So it would slide when we got down on the floor, but the worst part was the sliding while prostrating. It was very uncomfortable... I'm not sure how to describe, except to say that it added practically no benefit and praying straight on the gym floor would have been easier and more comfortable. So the rugs are trouble to start with, women don't want to move (yeah, it's a pain to move your rug along with you and sometimes you pray on someone else's) and so there is always a problem with gaps, unfortunately. Consistently at jumm'ah for example. But now in taraweeh some sisters are pushing others over to make them fill in the gaps so it's not too bad. Alhamdulillah.

I'm very disinterested in my sorority at this point... it's a shame, really, considering I should be helping them much more than I am. But then it feels more like something I have to do instead of something I actually want to do. Fall Breaks are coming up soon. I've been invited to a few iftars later this month, which is nice. Mondays and Wednesdays they have iftars at the mosque (I don't know if they do on other nights or not... perhaps not!) Thursdays the MSA has an iftar, but this Thursday I was invited to someone's house so I guess I'm going there with my roommate, because she couldn't go on a different night. I have to say that it's really nice to break fast with other Muslims. Some nights I've been on my own, but I've enjoyed it more being with other Muslims... even if I don't know them.

I missed Islamic studies today again, unfortunately. After working Sunday morning I tend to just come home and sleep... and then end up sleeping through the start of the class until it's almost over and not worth going... like today. Oh well. Inshallah, next week. I think Fatimah is going to have a cow if she sees me though... oh well.

Anything else exciting this week happen? No, not really, sorry. I did buy a router but have yet to install it. One of these days, inshallah...

3 comments:

Bint Larry Ibn William said...

A padded prayer rug could be heaven! Try one.

Anonymous said...

Salam

How are you Amy? How about trying to address this problem with the guys who run the masjid? Surely they have enough cash to buy a few rugs.

Wasalam,
Hamayoun

Gold said...

A padded prayer rug with a rubber bottom.. that could be an invention to think about, seriously.. I face this problem alot when i have to pray with a rug on solid ground..

And about the lines problem, we have them in here also, people just don't seem to get the ides of lining up for praying, and first lines first, the line starts from behind the Imam and then filled up with people left and right till it is complete, then the line behind it and so forth.. in any mosque this issue is resolved ONLY when the imam stresses on it before praying, later on it becomes second nature.. specially when the Imam says "Allah does not look at the curved (or instraight) line"..

I think the Imam might needa hint ;)

Cheers.. keep us updated :)