نشر في 15 September 2010
By MAHA SULEIMAN ALWABEL | AL-WATAN
Published: Sep 13, 2010 23:20 Updated: Sep 13, 2010 23:20
Iagreed to go to a mosque for taraweeh prayer during Ramadan when mydaughter insisted that I should go with her. I have been keeping myself away from mosques for several years not only because of my belief that it is better for women to pray at home but also because of the poor and sickening condition of the women’s sections.
Mosque authorities make a lot of arrangements at women’s sections, but people do not use the facilities properly. It begins from the haphazard way of leaving footwear at the entrance of the mosque, despite the presence of special shelves to keep them.
I have noticed a number of negative aspects at women’s sections of mosques that I wanted to share with you with the hope people would change their ways to improve the situation.
First, many women sit in groups to chit-chat and gossip, forgetting the whole purpose of their visit to the mosque. I had overheard slanderous comments at the mosque, which makes me sick considering the sinful act is taking place in the house of God.
Second, many women wear abayas that are not properly clean, often smelling like the food they prepare. It’s so bad that I can distinguish which women cooked rice with chicken and which made a pasta dish simply from the smell of their unwashed abayas. If they were attending a wedding party I am sure they would not be dressed so poorly. I take this opportunity to advise our sisters to wear clean clothing while going for prayer at mosques in order to respect the sanctity of the place.
Another problem is women who show up with young children who cry and disturb the serenity of the place. I advise women whose children are still of breastfeeding ages to pray at home.
I’ve also noticed that when women leave, copies of the Holy Qur’an are not returned to the shelves.
And the toilets! I pitied the worshippers after seeing the condition of the toilets. If that’s how bathrooms are treated in the house of God, I can only wonder what the homes of some of these women look like.
The conditions of the women’s sections of mosques is disappointing. Why aren’t people giving necessary care and respect for our places of worship? Even from the outside the mosque often seems more like a marketplace with so many vendors crowded around them after prayer.