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First time at mosque Advice please

Posted by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 3:25 PM
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Hi ladies,

I am going to the mosque for the first time tonight.  I converted to Islam in December.  Are there any rules I should know?  Anything I shouldnt do or say there?  What will the experience be like? Advice please?!?!?  I am so nervous.  I am going to look like such an outcast.

Thank you!

 


by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 3:25 PM
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zanzeebeel
by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Asalam alaikum,

i'm not sure i have any advice but i would just like to wish you well, inshallah it will go fine. Heres hoping the sisters make you feel welcome. Inshallah you wont do anything wrong but if you do , Allah judges on our intentions, so if the intention was good, dont worry too much. I remember one of the  times i went to the mosque while new I shocked a sister my verbally saying bismillah in the toilet to start the wudu, it was pretty easy to work out i had done someyhing wrong as she shot out with a look of horrror on her face , without even bothering to tell me that you are not supposed to do that. And the first time i prayed a sister  who hadnt prayed and was watching came up and actually said, "What was that" !!!!!!  lol , But it didnt take very long to get use to mosque behaviour, so dont be put off , keep going until you get use to it.

So if you do wudu there dont verbally say bismillah in the toilet. LOL.

May Allah make Ramadan a month of blessings for you.

practicingislam
by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 4:34 PM

asalamu alaikum dear sister in islam, CONGRADULATIONS CONGRADULATIONS CONGRADULATIONS mash'Allah how awesome Allahs mercy he has blessed on you......

sis zanzebeel said some great information, but i wanted to add All mosques are for all of Allahs servants, its all of our homes to worship him alone.....

Theres not alot to know when going there only just keep going when u can as zanzebeel suggested til u get use to it, you should leave your shoes outside the mosque before entering,

The main thing that you should do it is sunnah but it is strongly suggested when u come to the mosque make two rakat (sunnah) when u get in, if they are already in Salat you can do them insh'Allah once the salat is done.  Join the Salat first that in process if you get there...then when the salat is done you can stand by yourself an do the sunnah 2 rakats

Basically its just being respectful to Allahs mosque when you go in, unfortunately you will probably see alot of sisters chit chatting while there is a khutbah, try to refrain from talking among each other while the iman is giving the khutbah, unless its necessary......also, of course we stay behind the men ask your hubby where the sisters side is, im sure he'll tell u anyways.....

The one time it is A MUST not to speak at all is during Jummah Prayer, it is obligatory to keep silent til the khutbah and salat are done this is for Jummah prayer on Fridays ....

 

i hope this helps   :)

zanzeebeel
by on Aug. 29, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Aslam alaikum sister,

So how did it go ? Inshallah it was enjoyable and everything went fine. Or perhaps there was something we should have told you but didnt  ? !!!!!!!! LOL.

Let us know how it went !!!!!!!!!!!!

mommytobe921
by on Aug. 30, 2009 at 1:30 AM

It went very well!  I loved it!  All the ladies were so nice and everyone welcomed me to the religion with a kiss on both cheeks!  I said Shahada with the Imam.  I liked it so much that I went back tonight and me and my husband got married the Islamic and right way!  So happy!  I do have a question though.  I smoke cigarettes and so does my husband.  Can we smoke outside of the mosque?  I told DH I want to leave the cigarettes in the car and we can smoke when we are finished.

Quoting zanzeebeel:

Aslam alaikum sister,

So how did it go ? Inshallah it was enjoyable and everything went fine. Or perhaps there was something we should have told you but didnt  ? !!!!!!!! LOL.

Let us know how it went !!!!!!!!!!!!


zanzeebeel
by on Aug. 30, 2009 at 2:38 AM

Asalam alaik,

I'm so glad to hear that it went well. Alhamdulillah.

As to the smoking question, I wouldnt smoke outside the mosque, smoking at best is deemed not good. ----Inshallah someone will elaborate lol (proud2b ?).--- And smoking outside the mosque might offend some, and bring on you some disapproving looks.  In Islam is the idea that if we sin (which is preferable not to  !!!!!!!! ), that if we expose that sin it is worse because we might encourage someone else to commit that sin. so we should cover ourselves. As smoking will be looked upon as a sin , then you should cover that habit, and preferaby give it up. As an ex smoker, i sympathise, inshallah may Allah enable you to give up smoking. Its hard --- but it is possible inshallah, It took me three attempts, but i'm so glad that I did manage to break the habit. alhamdulillah.

So i would say no , dont smoke outside the mosque.

mommytobe921
by on Aug. 30, 2009 at 2:49 AM

The only thing I disapprove of is how women are treated versus men.  The men have a huge prayer area, but the women and kids have a small room with little air conditioning and everyone is cramming eachother to pray.  Also the women eat upstairs in a tiny room, but the men have beautiful tables to eat outside.  Women have to enter the mosque through a back door which kind of scares me actually.  I have my husband walk me to the door because it is not a very good area then he enters in the front normal door.  I feel like as a woman I am restricted of doing and saying things when I go there.  It makes me feel uncomfortable.  Anyone feel the same way?  Me and my husband actually had an argument today about smoking.  He told me its ok for him to smoke but I cannot smoke outside because I am a woman.  This made me so mad. 

 


zanzeebeel
by on Aug. 30, 2009 at 4:37 AM

Asalam alaik,

I'll start with the smoking, LOL, I'm not sure where your husband got the idea that it is alright for men to smoke from, and if there are men lighting up as soon as they leave the mosque it has my eyebrows raised, as I explained if you do do something wrong , you should hide it. Smoking, whether man or women is highly undesirable, so for them to light up outside shows an utter disrepect.

One thing that is worth pointing out, that is you are attending during Ramadan, this is a special time, and things can be a little diffrent during this month at the mosque. Its likely you will find more people attending the mosque than normal, and the numbers of women and children attending at this time can be elevated. So yes things might be a little more crowded than normal. Keep going after Ramadan and you might see a change in the attendance levels. And of course the food  is not normally something that a lot of mosques will do outside of ramadan. so just keep in mind that this is a special month.

The space issue is one that upsets some women, but it is more acceptable if you understand that attending the mosque has a different status for men and women. Men are highly encouraged to attend the mosque for communal prayers , whereas the the best prayer of the women is in her home. So that it is natural that a mosque caters for men, before the women. You will find women who are so wired up about their rights that they blindly see every difference between men and women is Islam as an insult to women. I pray in my home and i see this allowance as a blessing on me, The thought of having to attend a mosque for every prayer whilst looking after the house and offspring i find quite alarming, its a  challenge i would have difficulties in forfullinng , so i see praying in the home as a beautiful allowance for me.

And yes I'm afraid i sympathise with those who complain that the women and children can cause a problem at the mosque, Before I had children , and developed a sympathy for motherhood they drove me barmy LOL, I use to attend a mosque and I found the screaming children who wont sit still and jabbering women higly distracting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It made me very reluctant to attend with my own child, so i happily pray in my home with good thanks for this allowance on me, and without the slightest worry that this is a human rights violation lol,lol,lol , (as some women would try to persuade you.)

If you only had one door , you would be demanding a second lol,lol,lol, , I attended eid prayers once where there was only one small exit, and the idea that women go through the door first i discovered is a very old fashioned western one lol, Being newish to islam and impatient I hurled myself at the exit and got out , with a few other women in pursuit . i was chided for this afterwards, and if it happened in the present time , i would wait inshallah. Yes mashallah we grow in deen and in patience inshallah Allah Kareem. !!!!!!!!!! LOL

Inshallah your discomfort stems from being in a new enviroment, give it a little time and inshallah you will feel more relaxed as things become familar. As for feeling restricted as what you do and say in speech, then this isnt too surprising, because the masjid is a place of worship, its a house of God (Allah), and when the athan (call to prayer ) sounds Allah is inviting you to his house. So you should be more aware of not doing or saying anything that is undesirable. In fact we should try to take this feeling and keep it in our lives away from the mosque. The mosque is not just a place to meet other muslims and hang out, it is a place were we should have Allah , Islam , and its rules and regulations, very much in the forefront of our minds. and it should show in our behaviour in the mosque.

 inshallah I hope  this helps see things a little differently, as i said before keep going inshallah , and see how it feels over a longer period of time.

may allah bless us , have mercy on us , and forgive us our sins, if I have said anything in error then may Allah forgive me.

mommytobe921
by on Aug. 30, 2009 at 5:33 AM

Going through a seperate entrance doesnt bother me.  Not smoking at the mosque doesnt bother me (talked to my husband and we both agreed no more smoking until in the car).  Men eating outside doesnt bother me.  The space for women to pray bothers me.  I dont know if all mosques are the same, but at the one I attend the women get a room the size of my living room and the men get a room 3 times the size of my apartment.  Maybe women are taught to pray at home, but I think it is better if my children see me attending the mosque regularly.  Then they will follow in my footsteps.  It is going to take some adjusting especially as an American it is not easy.  The lifestyle is so different.  I do enjoy going to the mosque and meeting other women because they help me learn more and more everyday!  I feel like when I go to the mosque I am there to worship Allah and there are little distractions, but when I am home I can get caught up in many things!

Quoting zanzeebeel:

Asalam alaik,

I'll start with the smoking, LOL, I'm not sure where your husband got the idea that it is alright for men to smoke from, and if there are men lighting up as soon as they leave the mosque it has my eyebrows raised, as I explained if you do do something wrong , you should hide it. Smoking, whether man or women is highly undesirable, so for them to light up outside shows an utter disrepect.

One thing that is worth pointing out, that is you are attending during Ramadan, this is a special time, and things can be a little diffrent during this month at the mosque. Its likely you will find more people attending the mosque than normal, and the numbers of women and children attending at this time can be elevated. So yes things might be a little more crowded than normal. Keep going after Ramadan and you might see a change in the attendance levels. And of course the food  is not normally something that a lot of mosques will do outside of ramadan. so just keep in mind that this is a special month.

The space issue is one that upsets some women, but it is more acceptable if you understand that attending the mosque has a different status for men and women. Men are highly encouraged to attend the mosque for communal prayers , whereas the the best prayer of the women is in her home. So that it is natural that a mosque caters for men, before the women. You will find women who are so wired up about their rights that they blindly see every difference between men and women is Islam as an insult to women. I pray in my home and i see this allowance as a blessing on me, The thought of having to attend a mosque for every prayer whilst looking after the house and offspring i find quite alarming, its a  challenge i would have difficulties in forfullinng , so i see praying in the home as a beautiful allowance for me.

And yes I'm afraid i sympathise with those who complain that the women and children can cause a problem at the mosque, Before I had children , and developed a sympathy for motherhood they drove me barmy LOL, I use to attend a mosque and I found the screaming children who wont sit still and jabbering women higly distracting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It made me very reluctant to attend with my own child, so i happily pray in my home with good thanks for this allowance on me, and without the slightest worry that this is a human rights violation lol,lol,lol , (as some women would try to persuade you.)

If you only had one door , you would be demanding a second lol,lol,lol, , I attended eid prayers once where there was only one small exit, and the idea that women go through the door first i discovered is a very old fashioned western one lol, Being newish to islam and impatient I hurled myself at the exit and got out , with a few other women in pursuit . i was chided for this afterwards, and if it happened in the present time , i would wait inshallah. Yes mashallah we grow in deen and in patience inshallah Allah Kareem. !!!!!!!!!! LOL

Inshallah your discomfort stems from being in a new enviroment, give it a little time and inshallah you will feel more relaxed as things become familar. As for feeling restricted as what you do and say in speech, then this isnt too surprising, because the masjid is a place of worship, its a house of God (Allah), and when the athan (call to prayer ) sounds Allah is inviting you to his house. So you should be more aware of not doing or saying anything that is undesirable. In fact we should try to take this feeling and keep it in our lives away from the mosque. The mosque is not just a place to meet other muslims and hang out, it is a place were we should have Allah , Islam , and its rules and regulations, very much in the forefront of our minds. and it should show in our behaviour in the mosque.

 inshallah I hope  this helps see things a little differently, as i said before keep going inshallah , and see how it feels over a longer period of time.

may allah bless us , have mercy on us , and forgive us our sins, if I have said anything in error then may Allah forgive me.


proud2bmom3 Group Owner
by on Aug. 30, 2009 at 8:14 AM

assalamu alaikum sister,

sister zanzeebeel did a wonderful job answering your questions and concerns. I would just like to take it up a notch , and well. use more forceful terms if I may. for example: smoking , it is now deemed haram ( forbidden) by the scholars of Islam for many many reasons. some of which are addiction, harming oneself and others, and waste of money. I will insah' Allah post the ruling on smoking some time this week.

but for you as a new Muslim , I know it is hard to take right now. as you are still working on the basics of your faith. as we tell all new Muslims. take baby steps. you dont' have to give up everything all at once and then find yourself unable to go on. that is not  the right way to go about it. but I needed you to have the knowledge of the stance of Islam on smoking. so it would be something you would aspire to work on in the future as your faith grows  insha' Allah.

so like my sister said. I would not smoke out in the open. as we are told to conceal our sins. especially not at the mosque

the two doors:

there is something in Islam called Hayaa' : which is shyness,  modesty,  fear of Allah, morality all balled up in one term.  and In Islam there are two types. natural , and acquired.  Natural hayaa' is what keeps us from doing wrong in front of others, or taking off our clothes. ..etc. acquired hayaa/ is that which we learn and develop within our deen ( faith)   .. with that said: if we had one door. or if men and women came out of the same door. then they would be crowding each other, bumping into each other, ( and yes, checking each other out.. as Satan is good, and tries to take advantage of every situation)

there was NO segregation in the time of prophet Muhammad  peace be upon him. men and women came in the same door, men prayed in the front. then the children, then the women and the women were the first to leave.as they were closer to the exit .but later in history, as women started attending the masjid in larger numbers and with less modestly the ummayat s started the segregation. which I think is a necessary step.  some women come to the masjid drenched in perfume. or wearing perfume, colors, tight clothes. they walk in without hijab and try to find something to cover  up with inside the masjid for the prayer.  imagine how much sin they are committing and how worse it would be if they were with the men.

men, especially in this country are exposed to all that all day long. they come to the masjid for  a spiritual boost to help them face all that temptation out side.  how cruel it would be of us women without hayaa' to force them to still see our bare heads, and smell our perfume in their  place of refuge away from all that.

I am not criticizing you sister, I hope you know that. I am just telling you some of the wisdom behind the segregation at the masjid.

not to mention the children who are not trained in masjid etiquette. women would be sitting and chatting while the children run about the prayer hall, distracting other worshippers. screaming. dancing. singing. talking during khutba.  how much sin is this woman committing by not allowing other worshippers who come to stand in the hands of Allah praying in congregation or wanting to listen to the khutba.

one should not prevent children from the masjid. but one SHOULD teach them proper mannerism in the masjid.

so let's boil it down to this. if we have one door and one hall. then the poor guy who is coming to worship Allah, is tempted by the colors and the perfume. and cannot concentrate because of all the children running around and crying or playing, eating, jumping, and screaming.  how can he have the calm in his heart required for salat? required for the boost to make him stronger to face all that outside the house of Allah?

even I as a woman, I get so annoyed at women chatting during khutba. or filling up the prayer hall with their perfume, while their child sticks his tongue at me while I pray , or runs around me.   ( sorry to say, I DO something about it.) lol ( but I can get away with it, as I am a teacher at Sunday school and some of these kids attend the school so they are already scared of me. and all it takes is a big stare and a firm pointing for them to sit down. )

 

as for the space.. like sister zanzeebeel said, the attendence is far less outside of Ramadan.  and yes women are better to pray at home. but I think in your case. in need of more support and knowldge you are better to attend and listen to the khutba and build some sistherood with the Muslimahs there. may they be a good influence on you insha' Allah.

men are not encouraged to pray in congregation. actually they are required. to do that.  that is why there are more men at the mosque than women because the rule of thumb is there SHOULD be more men than women. as men are obligated to come while women are encouraged to pray at home. 

I am so sorry this post had gotten so long. but I hope that it answerd your question

and last but definitely NOT least. welcome welcome to the fold of Islam. smilemasha' Allah. may Allah bless you and your family, may this month be a mercy upon you and yours and welcome to our family here on MM. please feel free to come to us with anything. insha' Allah you will find many sisterhoods on here.

I leave you in the trused care of Allah.

Love and salaam (peace)

 (proud2bmom3 Muslim Moms-- Owner. 

mommytobe921
by on Aug. 30, 2009 at 11:11 AM

Thank you ladies for all of the help!  I definitely need to take baby steps.  Inshallah I will quit smoking soon.  It is not easy to follow so many rules.  When I went to see the Imam to get married I had to sit with my hands on my lap.  I am going to bring my son to the mosque for the first time tonight.  Any advice about that?  He is two.  How do I pray with him there?

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