Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Friday Fashions

Ever noticed how people look... different... at jumuah? I'm not talking about the ones who wear "ethnic" dress on that day, or who dress up and wear nicer clothes, that's all wonderful and nice to see. But from some others I see some strange behavior.

There are a few sisters who don't wear hijab, perhaps I should say they don't wear it yet inshaAllah, who don it to come in on Fridays. They come, I think that's great, and they cover while they're there, also great. Sometimes their bangs are sticking out of the scarf--it's not adjusted too well of course. Sometimes their shirts rise up when they bend over or turn around and their pants are a little on the snug side... but they come even though they don't have to, which I think is something special. So I hope that their iman grows and helps them to embrace other parts of Islam beyond congregational Friday prayers. But the sisters who wear prayer outfits... they really have me confused. I'm not sure why I can understand the others, but when I see a sister who comes in with a prayer garment top and jeans below, and she has brought her child and feeds her during the khutbah... this person I wonder about. I guess there shouldn't be anything "wrong" with it but it looks really strange to see people wearing those for anything other than prayer at home. It makes it difficult to do just about anything with your hands anyway... so I am confused.

But look at the brothers... never fails, so so so many brothers do this, it really makes me laugh. Their pants are too long. You know the "style" where the crotch sits right about at the knees, with a foot or so of fabric past the ankle? Or even if there isn't that much fabric left over, just a little bit... they roll them up. They don't roll them up outside... in fact, you might think they had just rolled them up so they wouldn't get wet when they made wudhu. But when you see them rolling up their britches as they walk across the floor... why? Is that going to make their prayer any better, suddenly not having fabric past their ankles? See, in the case of the women with the temporary hijabs, her prayer is not valid without it apparently... but for the men... does it even make a difference? Does rolling them up really make them feel better about wearing pants that are too long? I dunno. I think it's bizarre and funny to see so many men with their pants rolled up like they're taking a stroll on the beach.

Here's another one for you. When is a good time to take off your shoes? Before you walk into the musallah? Or after you walked across it? Now, to be fair, we pray in the gym technically. But there is a rack by the door the women come through to place their shoes. If you were coming through another door, and had to walk across the musallah to place your shoes on the rack... wouldn't you take them off first? I watched a sister come in on Friday on the "other" side of the masjid (most people don't use that door) with her daughter who was maybe about 2 years old. They both have shoes on... and they walk across the gym/musallah longways (imagine, from one "court" to the other "court") in front of all the sisters, then the sister takes off her own shoes, places them on the rack, then they walk back in front of all the sisters while her daughter still has her shoes on. What was the point of taking off their shoes and putting them on the rack!? It wasn't helping to keep the place clean which is the only reason to take them off in the first place. Moreover, she didn't take her daughter's shoes off, just let her walk back across the gym.

Maybe if there were carpet people wouldn't do things like this, and that's not what bothered me so much. It just seemed really dumb to walk all the way over there to do that, walking all that way in front of everybody. She could have left her shoes by the other door, or kept them with her. I don't understand though why she would do what she did.

So anyway, some strange behaviors that had me puzzled this past Friday while I was not listening to the khateeb rant about how not to let the kuffar raise our kids. We need a "formula" he said for raising kids in America. It's like kids are assembly line products where you put in A,B,C, and keep out any F, and they turn out ok. Suffice it to say, I thought it less than inspiring. I found out later he was really talking about how we should really limit any communication with non-Muslims, from ourselves and our kids. Remind me to complain to the masjid comittees that a) this khateeb talks too fast and b) fast talking is cannot be distinguished when broadcast over a PA system in a very "live" gymnasium. The echo all but made most of it incomprehensible; I think his accent took care of the rest. Yawn. Awaiting a good khutbah.

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