Friday, August 12, 2011

Why bring kids to the mosque?

Masjid Negara - low quality of photo
Today is 12th Ramadhan. I’d so far gotten the chance to perform Tarawih Prayer in the masjid (mosque) four times only. Aaron nowadays is not like Aaron a year back where I can perform solah as makmum while he played and crawled nearby. Aaron nowadays is a big boy already! (But he keeps claiming himself as baby). He runs, jumps, screams and cries whenever he likes. So, we must have new strategy to bring Aaron to the mosque.  We take turn.

Last Saturday, we went to Masjid Negara for Isya’ and Tarawih Prayer. Aaron was with the daddy for the first 8 rakaat. Then, I took him and let the daddy performed his Isya’ and 8 raka’at of Tarawih. This strategy is so far the best we could‘ve done and it was not bad at all. Apparently, many other parents did the same thing.

The question is, why bring kids to the mosque? They are still too young to enjoy the solah and in fact, they may interrupt the praying and other makmum as well.

My answer is simple:  Exposure. Ramadhan is, if I could say, the only month we are willing to spend our time go to the masjid (mosque) with sincere heart, without force. It’s the night where families congregate and go to the mosque to perform the solah together. It’s the night where we can meet relatives, neighbors, and friends. And it’s 30 nights! So you have 30 times of chances to go to the masjid and feel the excitement of the Ramadhan night (the prayer of course).

This is a good time to let our kids gain exposure of solah berjemaah. They may feel excited about the new environment. If usually they pray with us in the house, they now have the chance to see muslims from all races gather and perform the prayer together. It could also be a factor to uplift their spirit to perform the solah and make it as a routine, inshaAllah.

But kids will always be kids. They love to express their emotions out loud. They love sports in any kind, especially those involving racings like running. And they hate rules, especially those rules that seem to restrain them, physically and mentally. As masjid is the place full of serenity and most importantly is the place for Ibadah (solah), kids appear inappropriate to be in the masjid. Why? Because kids are noisy, and that against the rules.

That’s why parents have to be intelligent. Bring along all the kids’ necessity. Toys, books, drinks, pillow… But don’t expect too much. Kids will be kids. This is just to simplify your work, and decrease the chances of your kids getting frenzied.

 And it’s good to choose the big masjid that has bigger space at the back or outside so that the noise won’t really affect the makmum.

But if you think this will decrease you level of khusyu’ in solah (you can’t concentrate because you have to watch your kids and keep wondering whether they are all right with your spouse), then it’s better to perform solah in the house. InshaAllah, there’ll be next time.

But I personally don’t like the claim where kids in the mosque will disturb praying. Tell me, can you concentrate whole-heartily in a mute place? Really? Cause I can’t. I am an ordinary human being. I can’t achieve 100% concentration in my solah despite the soundless places. Yes I know we are not talking about 100% concentration here. We are talking about the chances of getting our concentration lesser. But it’s not fair to the kids as well if we put the blame on them while we by ourselves can’t achieve total concentration in our solah effortlessly. Come on! Let’s give the kids some prospects to feel the excitement of solah in the masjid (in their own way). It’s a good start for them to become accustomed to visit the mosque.  

And what about the parents who want to join solah berjemaah in the masjid but don’t have anyone else to take care of their children? They also want to feel the excitement, the nikmah of Ramadhan which comes only once a year. Give them a chance as well.

If you ask me, I am so delighted to see vibrant atmosphere in the masjid. It shows that the masjid has played its role in uniting the ummah, and obviously the best place to tighten ukhuwwah, shares happiness and educates children to the Islamic teachings practically. With all ages and all races of human in one roof performing the ibadaah, I feel so real. Islam is for all right?

P/s:  So to the caretaker of the masjid (mak guard actually), please don’t be so mean and kerek OK. In real daily life pun standard kan solah bising2 bunyi tvla, orang cakap2 la… Silap2 selalu kat surau pun orang besar yang bising. Bukan budak kecik.

P/s 2: can’t wait this coming Saturday. We plan to have iftor together (big family). Later I’ll upload more photos, inshaAllah.


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