Friday, August 28, 2009

Crying Kids at the Mosque

Rejoice!!! The Holy Month of Ramadan is upon us - give thanks and praise to God!!

The Islamic holy month of fasting has begun again - first week in and I'm doing ok, though I tend to be very sleepy throughout the day, its that whole waking up at 4:30am that is killing me.

As a refresher, Ramadan is the month when we Muslims fast for 30 days, each day from sunrise to sunset we absolve from food, drink, water, medicine, gum, basically anything nurishing. The fast is a way for us to gain self-improvement, enlightment, empathy for fellow man and closeness to God.

Its this last one I'm trying really hard to work on, or to build on and yet it seems my best efforts are being defeated by my fellow Muslims, in particular ladies with crying kids.

During this holy month, every night the Mosque has prayers, its part of the spiritualism of Ramadan, we are to read the entire Quran (our holy book) in the 30 days. As you might be aware, an Islamic congregation is split, with a men's section and a women's section. And mind you it is not obligatory for ladies to even go to the mosque. So guess who comes to the mosque anyway - women with crying kids. This bothers me to no end!! I am there trying to listen to the reading of our holy book and instead having little Ali wailing his lungs out the entire time, sitting right in front or beside or behind me. Is this fair to me??

I find these women especially obtuse and selfish. You come to get your prayers in but have no regards for others prayers. If you can't afford a babysitter, don't come! If your kid can't be quiet, don't come! If you are there to socialize, don't come! I am just very tired of it, to the point where I"m thinking of putting up signs in the mosque, anonymously of course (smile).

Am I in the wrong here? I just think its really rude when you know you don't even have to come and yet you do and bring your crying infant, who you know is going to cry and disturb the rest of us, go outside, pray on the front porch or something - sheesh!


Blogger mommanator said...

I agree somewhat, however coming from the mother/granny side. Why shouldn't I be permitted to come just because my child is there crying/wailing. Maybe they hunger-do they have to fast? are they crying out to God?
How would the children learn to be muslim-I know must be taught @ home too, but i give credit to the mom who brings the child to mosque/church. She is setting an example to the child isnt she?
No she doesnt HAVE to come, but she is making a sacrifice to come isn't she? OO I know I don't like it when children misbehave @ church, but we must encourage them to come if we are going to have any religion in our families and lives.

11:35 AM  
Blogger Darla D said...

I say, bring them but if they are wailing, just leave! Why disturb those around you? It's one thing when you're stuck on a plane with a crying infant with no options, but to inflict them on others when they are trying to pray or listen seems rude to me. It drives me crazy when library patrons insist on bringing babies and younger siblings to programs designed for older kids, and then they won't leave when the kids misbehave because they are bored, or the babies start crying. They actually look surprised by the concept of removing the noisemakers from the room, then returning when they've calmed down. So yeah, that's one of my buttons for sure! :-p

6:16 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

I think it's important to teach kids that they can go places with the big people as long as they behave. If they don't behave after one warning, you leave. When you leave, you go home and to bed, not to Chuck-E-Cheez (did I spell that right?) or to the custard stand. This is inconvenient to the adult, who sometimes has to sacrifice their pleasure in order to teach the child, but it's how they learn.

Most young kids are not developmentally ready to focus during an adult service of an hour or more, especially a service centered on prayer. They're really not going to get much from it. If they can't sit quietly and play with a doll or a book, they should be taken home.

Some churches offer alternate programs for young children during the service. Don't know whether or not this is possible, but maybe some of the moms could rotate the responsibility so that everyone gets a turn to go to pray a percentage of the time.

Too bad the kids can't sit with dad sometimes. Bet they'd listen a bit better if he was nearby!

Anyway, kids today are indulged, and anyone who suggests that parents give them structure or rules is viewed with disdain. Just take a deep breath and try to find the quietest seat in the house.

8:57 PM  
Blogger secret agent woman said...

Several churches I've been to have "crying rooms" where a parent can take a disruptive child and listen to the service through an intercom. I always thought that was a great idea. They need it at restaurants and movies, too!

4:58 PM  
Blogger mommanator said...

read all responses, and ya know what I just realised, after the lengthy thing I wrote. but am sure you all already know this. I have terrific grandkids, and a mother that knew how to raise them, they dont misbehave in church! they dont call granny mommanator for nothing! My daughter did this only once to her 4 children! she had taken them to a restaurant, she cant stand kids to misbehave anywhere but esp in restaurant. they ordered and the kids started to be ornery. She said to waitress. I am sorry my children dont know how to act would you please pack all the stuff we have to go home. They know when she says to behave they had better do it

11:46 PM  
Blogger Molly Malone said...

doesn't your Mosque have a cry room or a nursery? i know most of our churches provide one or the other or both?

kids are always going to make noise during times of quiet solitude, but that's what cry rooms and nurseries are for: to give you a place to observe and comfort your child, or a place to leave your child with a trusted individual while you worship, without disturbing the worship of others.

plus, i remember when i went to nursery in church, it wasn't just babysitting, we sang church songs and had bible stories, too, so we were getting the tradition there. most churches i've attended offer some kind of during-worship hour nursery or children's worship separate from the main sanctuary, so up through grade school, so kids can be more comfortable to cry, squirm, laugh and interrupt.

maybe you should talk to your mosque about offering those services.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Mommantor - You bring up a very good counter point, I guess the problem is how to we reach a happy medium??

Darla - Yes I agree why don't people realize its disturbing? I think its pure selfishness.

Merci - too much indulgence for sure (some of those kids need a good spanking as far as I'm concerned!). An alternative program is a great idea!

Secret Agent - and on airplanes!! (Virginia Gal dreams of such a happy place!).

Mommantor - you're like my mum, she doesn't put up with that nonsense at all! I think its the right way to be.

Molly - I really want a crying room, I think that is brilliant idea! I agree we need something that allows them to be kids while still in the house of worship.

1:02 PM  
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