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First Masjid Visit... Help!!

Posted by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 5:35 PM
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Sometime in the next week or so, my husband has promised to take me to a masjid so I can make Shahada publicly, rather than in private as I did during Ramadan. I have never been in a mosque before, as there was not one where i lived when I previously practiced Islam. 


Can someone help me? What do I expect?? I know I have to take off my shoes, and I know I have to make ablution, but that's ALL I know. Here are some questions: 

1. If I don't go during a prayer time, do I still have to do the two rakat prayer? I am still reading my prayer and think this is probably not acceptable. 

2. What do you do if you don't remember your prayers while in the mosque? 

3. When exactly am I supposed to remove my shoes. Someone told me something about slippers? Do I bring my own, or what? 

4. How much of me needs to be covered? Hands, feet, face showing is fine, right? 

5. I have yet to be able to afford to order abaya online, and dress Western within the Islamic dress code. Long sleeve shirts, often with a loose t-shirt over them if they are too tight, over long skirts. I am tall and have trouble finding skirts long enough, so usually wear black leggings under my skirt, and sandals. And hijab of course.  Is this acceptable in a mosque? 


by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 5:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
indowifey
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Assalamu'alaikum sister. Here us a link that Inshaa'Allah you will find useful. Sorry I'm mobile so it's not clicky...Inshaa'Allah just cut & paste.

http://islam1.org/khutub/Etiquette_of_Masjid.htm

Don't be nervous. And you absolutely can read your prayers since you're still learning. Allah is the most merciful and compassionate!
indowifey
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Also the masjid will have a shoe rack or rug more than likely right inside the door for your shoes. I always wear/take socks no slippers...some women are barefoot. Just cover to the ankles & wrist...loose clothing.
-Cassandra-
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 12:06 AM
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1. By prayer time do you mean during the Friday Jumah prayer?  You can pray at a mosque anytime you want.  But your not required to make prayers just because your there.  If you know when your going (day/time) then you might want to call ahead and ask if the imam can be present so you can re-state you shahada and recomit yourself to Islam.  Then you will also be able to ask any questions you have too.

2.  You can bring along a print out to follow along if your praying by yourself.  If your participating in a group prayer then just follow along and say in your head the things you remember and listen to anything that people say outloud to help remind you.

Most mosques have a general entry way and close by is usually doors to the prayer area.  Some are shared rooms in which brithers and sisters pray in the same room but sister pray behind the brothers.  Somtimes this type of room is sectioned off by room dividers, half walls, or curtains.  Other mosques will have seperate rooms for women and men.  Your shoes don't need to come off in the common areas just when you enter the prayer room.  Even slippers are not worn in the prayer room.  They are usually only used in the bathoom if you need to make wudu (ablution).  Every mosque I've been in has ones near the bathroom for anyone to use although I don't like the idea of shared slippers so I never use them unless absolutely necessary (= once for a bathroom emergency).

4.  You should have nothing showing but your hands and face.  Feet is debatable as there's some disagreement but I recomend wearing some socks just to be on the safe side.

5. Western dress is fine as long as it's loose.  You could do loose slacks or a long skirt.  Tights or leggings under skirts are a good idea in case anypart of your leg is visible (from standing, walking, sitting, etc...  Hijab should be worn.  Ideally shirts should come down enough to loosely cover your butt even in a bent position.  This should be acceptable to most mosques.

PeacefulLotus
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 2:15 AM
Salam and thank you for answering! I figured I could pop in right after a prayer time but I will check to make sure imam is there at the time. Shahada does have to be in Arabic, right? I know it but I may get stage fright. Will they help me if I stumble?

Our mosque has one room with women in the back. I always wear flip flops. Should I take socks with me to pit on after removing my shoes?

My typical Muslim garb right now is a long skirt with leggings. The skirt is loose and flowy. Over that, a long sleeve shirt that is not tight but not huge either. And then I drape my hijab to cover the curve of ny bust. I do have a short loose dress I could wear over the longsleeve top if length is needed...

I don't want to participate in group prayer until I know my prayers by heart. The imam will not request that I pray prior to saying Shahada? Someone told me two rakats were necessary upon entrance of the masjid.


Quoting -Cassandra-:

1. By prayer time do you mean during the Friday Jumah prayer?  You can pray at a mosque anytime you want.  But your not required to make prayers just because your there.  If you know when your going (day/time) then you might want to call ahead and ask if the imam can be present so you can re-state you shahada and recomit yourself to Islam.  Then you will also be able to ask any questions you have too.

2.  You can bring along a print out to follow along if your praying by yourself.  If your participating in a group prayer then just follow along and say in your head the things you remember and listen to anything that people say outloud to help remind you.

Most mosques have a general entry way and close by is usually doors to the prayer area.  Some are shared rooms in which brithers and sisters pray in the same room but sister pray behind the brothers.  Somtimes this type of room is sectioned off by room dividers, half walls, or curtains.  Other mosques will have seperate rooms for women and men.  Your shoes don't need to come off in the common areas just when you enter the prayer room.  Even slippers are not worn in the prayer room.  They are usually only used in the bathoom if you need to make wudu (ablution).  Every mosque I've been in has ones near the bathroom for anyone to use although I don't like the idea of shared slippers so I never use them unless absolutely necessary (= once for a bathroom emergency).

4.  You should have nothing showing but your hands and face.  Feet is debatable as there's some disagreement but I recomend wearing some socks just to be on the safe side.

5. Western dress is fine as long as it's loose.  You could do loose slacks or a long skirt.  Tights or leggings under skirts are a good idea in case anypart of your leg is visible (from standing, walking, sitting, etc...  Hijab should be worn.  Ideally shirts should come down enough to loosely cover your butt even in a bent position.  This should be acceptable to most mosques.


PeacefulLotus
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 2:22 AM
Oh God. Reading all of that , I am certain to mess something up!


Quoting indowifey:

Assalamu'alaikum sister. Here us a link that Inshaa'Allah you will find useful. Sorry I'm mobile so it's not clicky...Inshaa'Allah just cut & paste.



http://islam1.org/khutub/Etiquette_of_Masjid.htm



Don't be nervous. And you absolutely can read your prayers since you're still learning. Allah is the most merciful and compassionate!

Laurin283
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 8:53 AM

When u enter the masjid, praying two rakats is sunnah, not mandatory.  Usually the Imam will also ask you to repeat him in saying the shahadah, so that should make it easier.

proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM
1 mom liked this

Assalamu alaikum dear sister. 

don't obsess, and don't panic.. lol. don't over think it.. 

you already said you wear conservative clothing masha Allah, so that should not be an issue, Abaya or not. so long as you are covered in loose clothing, hands, feet and face showing is ok.. you should be fine In Shaa Allah (God willing) once you step into the masjid, you will see where the sisters put their shoes, either a rack, or a rug. depending on the size of the masjid and congregation I guess. 

like sister laurin said, the two rakas are sunnah, and IN Shaa Allah even if you do forget some words and use your cards for help, you should be fine.. 

the Imam will recite the Shahaadah for you, so you will simply repeat after him, so dont' worry about forgetting the words.. 

In Shaa Allah this will be a beautiful experience for you.. my fondest  memories of our masjid in Louisiana ware the days we had  new Shahaadahs  .. it was so humbling, and moving. we all cried and the men started with takbeer.. alhamdulilaah.. 

take it easy my dear.. breathe.. lol.. and just go with the flow.. In Shaa Allah this will be a day to remember.. cant' wait to read what you have to say about it.. please keep us posted.. 

oh, and welcome to the wonderful fold of Islam.. (((((hugs))))))

Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

PeacefulLotus
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 9:51 PM

I am simply quivering with excitement, sister! Insha'allah there will not be too many people to witness LOL. I am shy,... but insha'allah I will be fine. Repeating after the imam will make it easier. I am hoping to go on wednesday... insha'allah. I am also happy to hear the two rakats are not mandatory. I  am nervous about praying in front of people. Im sure I  look silly reading from my cell phone. I dont know why I am so nervous. Perhaps it is that I feel I have come  into a great nd wealthy house, and fear displeasing its master...


Quoting proud2bmom3:

Assalamu alaikum dear sister. 

don't obsess, and don't panic.. lol. don't over think it.. 

you already said you wear conservative clothing masha Allah, so that should not be an issue, Abaya or not. so long as you are covered in loose clothing, hands, feet and face showing is ok.. you should be fine In Shaa Allah (God willing) once you step into the masjid, you will see where the sisters put their shoes, either a rack, or a rug. depending on the size of the masjid and congregation I guess. 

like sister laurin said, the two rakas are sunnah, and IN Shaa Allah even if you do forget some words and use your cards for help, you should be fine.. 

the Imam will recite the Shahaadah for you, so you will simply repeat after him, so dont' worry about forgetting the words.. 

In Shaa Allah this will be a beautiful experience for you.. my fondest  memories of our masjid in Louisiana ware the days we had  new Shahaadahs  .. it was so humbling, and moving. we all cried and the men started with takbeer.. alhamdulilaah.. 

take it easy my dear.. breathe.. lol.. and just go with the flow.. In Shaa Allah this will be a day to remember.. cant' wait to read what you have to say about it.. please keep us posted.. 

oh, and welcome to the wonderful fold of Islam.. (((((hugs))))))



MrsSippyCup
by on Aug. 24, 2013 at 11:56 PM
First take a deep breath :)
I remember my first trip to the mosque when I met with the imam for my marriage and re did my shahada in front of witnesses. I was really nervous! Best bet woulda be to make it for prayer this way you can just follow the imam. This year was my first year doing tarahwee during Ramadan and I kept getting confused but I just followed the sisters next to me if I got lost and did my prayers in my head :) I wear an Abaya and hijab. I don't wear socks but some women do. Make wudu before you get there or you can do it there. You can wear your shoes until you enter the prayer area. You will see the rack of shoes. I just found out about doing the two rakats for the masjid this year when my sister in law told me! So if you want to pray right when the adhan goes off so you can just follow the imam go a little early so you don't feel confused and do the two rakats before prayer.
Don't feel like you can't ask someone for help either. I've had to ask questions and sisters are always eager to help when I tell them I don't know because I'm a new convert.
MrsSippyCup
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Oh and I always feel silly speaking in Arabic but you will be fine you can practice before you get there:
Ashahadu an la ilaha illAllah
Wa ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasulallah

:)
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