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Things to Remember in Ramadan…*Updated*

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

Some things to remember when frequenting the Masjid during Ramadan:

  • Clean up after yourself. The Masjid is a place of worship and it shouldn’t be polluted by a human’s tangible and intangible negative habits. What this means is that if you use the toilet seat, please make sure that it is like how it was before you used it. If you splash water anywhere whether while doing WuDoo’ or otherwise, please use toilet paper to wipe the area. Or if you wet the washroom slippers, be considerate and dry them with a paper towel just in case somebody finds wet slippers annoying. It only takes a few seconds and it saves the other person coming in from being inconvenienced unnecessarily. Prophet Ibrahim and Isma’eel AS were instructed by Allah SWT to purify the Ka’bah for the worshippers. So maintaining a Masjid is a noble and glorified deed and nobody should think that they’re above this deed. This is especially for those who go for I’tikaaf. Just because you’re staying in the Masjid doesn’t mean you have the right to behave as if you own it and throw things here and there. If you do Suhoor at the Masjid, pick up those disposable plates and dispose them. Remove any trash and get it removed regularly from the Masjid. And that includes the place where women worship because contrary to what most men think, some women do come to the Masjid and they do have the right to a clean space. Air-freshners can be used too. Please be wary of all this.
  • Don’t come for Nafl by missing FarD. It doesn’t make sense to miss Ishaa’ and then come for Taraweeh y’know. Likewise it doesn’t make sense that you stay up for Qiyaam al Layl and miss Fajr either on your own or in Jama’h.
  • Special Instructions for women
    • Imam Ahmad transmits along with Abu Dawood with an authentic chain from Abu Hurairah (radiallahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Do not forbid the bondwomen of Allah from the houses of Allah, and let them go out tafilaat.” The meaning of the word “tafilaat” is: Not beautified with adornments or perfumed.
    • Women must cover themselves properly during Salah. It is preferrable to wear your old (clean) ‘Abaya/jilbab than to wear your brand new traditional dress which doesn’t even cover your arms properly or is tight. If you don’t own one, don’t feel ashamed to borrow!
    • Wear a Hijab that covers your back and front and doesn’t slip easily by making sure it is fastened firmly. If you’re having trouble, please don’t hesitate to ask any sister’s help because mostly people are willing to help out. Also, ensure that little girls wear Hijab properly. Sure it’s not obligatory for them but what’s the point if they don’t wear it properly? That’s not proper teaching.
    • Please don’t wear flashy anything. You look beautiful enough without them.
    • Please for Allah SWT’s sake don’t wear those silly hijab flowers/bands that some have started wearing because you’re just making a fool out of yourself. It doesn’t make you look pretty but rather it makes you look like a confused Muslim woman. You’re not coming to a fashion show and it’s not a competition.
    • Please wear a dress that covers your feet or if it doesn’t cover properly, at least wear socks. There are two opinions on this. The most preferable opinion in the Hanafi madh-hab, and that of Imam Ibnu Taiymiyyah (R) and some contemporary scholars is that women are not obligated to cover their feet for Salah because they are treated like the hands. However they say that they must cover them outside of Salah. As for Imam Maalik (R), Imam ash-Shaafi’ee (R), Imam Ahmad (R) and majority of Hanabila – they are of the opinion that women should cover their feet in Salah and outside of Salah. Since you’re praying outside your house if you are planning to do so in the Masjid then you’ll be covering your feet anyway so I guess this may be only important to worry about if you’re praying at home. Always remember that it is better to be safe than sorry on Youmul Qiyamah.
    • Make sure that the shoes you wear don’t make sound or have those ridiculous heels especially if you have a long way to walk to the Masjid.
    • You don’t need to wear coloured contact lenses. Again, you look pretty enough and might I add very normal without them.
    • Avoid jewellery and make-up. If you do use make-up (such as powder and foundation, make sure you remove them before WuDoo’ because most are waterproof. Mascaras are waterproof as well. Please don’t belittle this point.)
    • In summary, please note it’s not the right time and place to deck out on your accessories and thus beauty.
  • Keep away your little children unless you want everyone to give you a dirty look. 
    • As cute as they are , please don’t bring your little ones just during Ramadan to show them what it’s like to be a Muslim. Because mostly they see open space and go wild at the prospect of just doing about everything in a huge area without parents monitoring them. They destroy the Khushoo’ of others, come in the way when you’re praying and make everyone irritable when they’ve tried so hard to block all dunia-related matters to focus on their soul for a month. So if you really want to teach them then begin 6 months before Ramadan so they learn the etiquettes and don’t instead become a nuisance for others. If possible, volunteer to babysit others children and get others to babysit yours, alternating nights.
    • For older children, please teach them to not speak during Salah if they decide to drop out from Taraweeh. Usually they speak so loud that they test others’ patience. It’s not fun to listen to the conversations of kids these days anyway.
    • Sisters, don’t despair. Inshaa’Allah Allah SWT will reward you even if you end up praying at home ( in fact the reward is greater for women if they pray at home). Make sure you make the intention of staying back to please Allah SWT by preventing the Musaleen from getting annoyed.
  • Men, please teach your women about congregational prayer. Teach them how to stand for congregation. Most don’t understand the concept of filling in the gaps and take offense if politely asked to fill them. Others don’t know that whatever you do to your nails- even if  that’s getting a manicure done with ‘French nails’ or adding on fake nails – it ALL should be gotten rid of before you make WuDoo’. Although it is beyond me why people make life complicated when it’s much cleaner and Sunnah-istic if you keep them short and clean BUT people do it and they should be reminded.
  • Be aware of  your environment. Please brothers don’t block the sisters’ areas or those that lead to them. And make sure your ears are open even when conversing with your buddies so that if a sister wishes you to move away from the area (since  you’re conveniently blocking it) then you’re able to at least hear her speak. This is a serious annoyance which I don’t know why brothers don’t understand. It’s sad enough that she has to make you aware. How much more worse is it that now she has to scream to get your attention! Same goes for the sisters.
  • Be neat and clean. Brush, floss and siwak your teeth before you come (if you’re fasting, better to not use toothpaste). Men can use scented oils while women can use other non-provocative means to smell pleasant. Former: for themselves and others, while latter should keep the fragrance to themselves.
  • Keep your socialization on check. Avoid long unnecessary talks in the Masjid. It is good to socialize with the right balance but don’t disturb a person who’s reciting the Qur’aan or doing something that is more beneficial than having a conversation with you.
  • Handshake is Sunnah on daily meetings and not hugging. Sisters (and brothers), be aware of this. Click here to find out more. I don’t know how one can dodge a hug politely but you can let it be known verbally.
  • Stay hydrated. Carry your own water bottles just in case. On the same note, please if you stay hydrated don’t spend a lot of time in the washroom so that others can use it too to be part of the Jama’h in time. Again if you do bring along children, allow adults to use the washroom before your children unless it’s urgent so that they can be there in time for Salah.
  • Sharing is caring. Share food, love and warmth with people without any inhibitions with the intention to please Allah SWT.
  • Food-related matters.
    • Stating the obvious but avoid Iftaars at friends’ places because such invitations usually make you miss Taraweeh. Unless of course they’re on the same page as you then you can go for Taraweeh together. You can also suggest them to bring food in the Masjid because the point of it all was to sit and eat together any way and so both can benefit from praying Maghrib and Ishaa’ (+Taraweeh) in the Masjid.
    • I personally think even a date is enough to revitalize oneself after breaking the fast because your body’s so used to not eating. Make sure to keep your tummy empty enough to be able to stand up for Salah inshaa’Allah. I know it may be tempting for some to eat more than required but have patience for a few minutes and you’ll be thankful because (a) you’ll notice that you’ll feel satiated with less if you control and (b) you’ll be awake for Taraweeh without your eyes getting heavy. Taraweeh in the West is going to stretch closer to or past midnight anyway so might as well do every little thing to stay awake.
    • Things which are non-manufactured are better for example fruits versus home-made fried items. But again if you want to, instead of grabbing 5 friend items, have 2 and limit yourself and include more fruits.
  • Regular is better. Whether that’s giving one cent in charity everyday or a smile. Aim to do it regularly.
  • Initiate the salaam. Don’t wait for others to do it. Be the first one and don’t complain if somebody didn’t initiate it.
  • Have the extras. It could be tissues, gum, candy, and/or painkillers. If you’re planning to stay after Iftar for Taraweeh then it is possible that somebody might need any of the above.

This is it for now. Anything else that I remember, I will add it in inshaa’Allah. Although this post contains nothing new, please be aware of the concerns I’ve raised, make it known to others as well by either sharing this in the form of email or verbally telling them yourselves with tact of course. This post by no means reflects that I am better than anyone. It is in fact a reminder for myself foremost and then others.

And Allah SWT knows best.

Wishing everyone a great rest of Sha’baan and a glorious Ramadan!

Best wishes,

-Umm Sulaym

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