Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thumbs Up for Masjid Wilayah

9Since my last years’ experience bringing Amna to the nearby mosque near my house for Tarawikh prayer was not so successful, I was determined to realize my dream of bringing her to the mosque this year.

During last year’s Ramadhan, Amna just learnt to walk (about 1year 2 mo) hence this one fine night I brought her along while hoping she would play alone by my side when I perform my solat. Well it did not happen as expected. In my Isya’ prayer I was constantly anxious when she immediately got up and walk around, played with the sliding door (as the mosque is air conditioned) and almost got loose at the corridor. During my first 2 rakaat of terawih, she stumbled with another child and cried a bit. And then head straight to the door to go out as she was excited to see the older children played at the corridor. Then I managed to perform another 2 rakaat before I was left chasing around a small toddler whom happily running wild, almost trip the many, small stairs and almost got into the fountain in front of the mosque. So that was the only night I had my terawih in masjid in year 2013.

Hence this year, I was more prepared. Before Ramadhan I asked around for tips of bringing small child to a mosque for terawih prayers. One ustaz shared about few mosques that provided child care facilities (with caretaker) while the parents go for solat, among others are Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan (Jalan Duta) and Masjid UIA. One friend even shared similar service is provided by Masjid Hasanah, Bangi but this one is too far from my house. Another tips by a senior is to find mosque that performs 20 rakaat of solat terawih, and parents can take turns to take care of the children i.e. daddy can perform 8 rakaat, then take care of anak while Mummy can perform another 8 rakaat.

So when Ramadhan comes, in the earlier weeks I was not ready yet to go to the mosque due to many reasons – being fatigue, headache, Amna was being more energetic (uncontrollable?) than ever, etc. But most of all I think my mind was not ready and fully prepared yet. When 21 Ramadhan comes, I thought of giving it a try to optimize the Lailatulqadr hunt . Plus hubby came home with a good recommendation from his friend to go to Masjid Wilayah as the mosque is huge, child friendly, provides childcare, performs 20 rakaat of terawih and is the nearest to our house compared to Masjid UIA or Masjid Hasanah – the mosque fits all of our criteria perfectly. So off we go!

Well, Masjid Wilayah is indeed the most child friendly mosque I’ve ever been to. It provides a childcare center in a convenient location (very near to the prayer hall), with a lot of toys and mini playground to keep the children entertained. They even provides tv set and show Upin Ipin cartoon once in a while! I also like the policy of no parents/guardian allowed in the center, only the caretakers are allowed so it ensures safety of the kids (although parents yang tak pernah tinggal anak kat nursery like me felt quite unsure and odd at the
beginning when leaving my child there).

Of course there were some kids who refused to stay in the nursery, they are free to run around the mosque, even in the prayer hall. There were few masjid volunteers who guard the saf (especially the one between the male’s and female’s (no tirai) to make sure the kids would not interfere with the congregation prayer and saf. We even notice each of them hold some chocolates so if any kids get out of control, they handed them some  Never once I see or heard the masjid volunteers or even the Jemaah scold any kid for misbehave. I just love the ambience and experience.

When the scene had been set perfectly, one could only expect the best and ideal outcome – parents would be happily complete the solat terawih and children happily entertained in the nursery. However, I was not that lucky. It was ideal only on the first day, both me and hubby managed to performed solat while she was happy in the childcare. On the second day, we were late to arrive the mosque hence quite late to pick her up (need to complete our prayers). When hubby picked her up, she was already crying perhaps since most of the other kids had left and only a few still waiting for their parents. Mind you my child never been to nursery so this experience was kind of new to her. On the third day, perhaps still hurt from her previous day’s experience, when she entered the childcare door and realized that I was not following her, she tried to take my hand to join her. When I refused, dia pun refused to play in the room. I have no choice but to bring her along to the prayer hall where she enjoyed running around while eyeing my presence. So I need to wait until hubby finished, then only my turn for terawih. This time I need to pray by myself coz the mosque is having another majlis so they only do 8 rakaat + 3 witr.

Kalau nak ikut penat memang penat, rasa useless going to the mosque pun ada coz I don’t even had the chance to solat Jemaah but need to attend my kid instead. But look at it positively, bringing children to the mosque is not my personal affair alone, it is more to introduce mosque to the kids so they feel happy and enjoy the mosque ambience, and love the mosque even more when they grow up. Plus the least I can get is pahala iktikaf di masjid which was much better than praying at home right  Yes you heard me right, it doesn’t matter if you complete your terawih and witr or not, but look at the wholesome picture of getting the blessings in rumah Allah with your whole family  So parents of little kids, perhaps in the remaining few days of Ramadhan you can visit Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan for some family fun filled with barakah of Ramadhan, Insya Allah 

I would also like to extend my thanks to the masjid AJK and volunteers, for keeping the mosque clean, child friendly and inviting for the whole family. Oh did I mentioned there is a bazaar (trading place) at the lower level of the mosque? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Modesty Starts Early

 I am quite disturbed to see the bizarre trend of Muslim mummies dressing up small girls with revealing outfits or even the ones that imitates the adults' not-so-modest fashion i.e. leather jeggings, super short skirts,two pieces bathing suits etc.. I know they are still small and look very cute and they don't carry any sins yet by wearing those clothes, but really, what actually do the parents want at the end of the day for their child?
Of course these little angels are still small and not to be blamed at all since all the clothes were chosen by the parents.. but do the parents aware of the impact or how the public (read : some dirty minded people) will react when they see these cuties in such a skimpy outfits ? Let's face it – not everyone had the purest of the pure, clean hearts and mind out there. And by dressing our kids with skimpy and revealing outfits does not help at all to improve our society.
To be honest, as a mother to a 2 year old daughter, I admitted the occasional temptations to dress up my child with cute, a bit revealing clothes especially when she was a baby.. Hence once I bought a spaghetti strap top with matching pants – I am sure you can find loads of such clothes in the baby department. But at the end of day, I felt quite uneasy and decided not to dress up my baby (she was 6 months old at that time) like that anymore. And this was not felt by me alone, but also by my husband. Recently we spent overnight at a hotel near a mall, and I brought her normal cotton dress but forgot the legging pants (that I usually matched with the top). Out of desperation we just dressed her up with that cotton dress which falls about 2-3 cms above her knee (abit short as I was not aware she was getting taller). We were so uneasy and ended up buying new clothes for her!
You see, among the reasons of our feeling and reaction perhaps because our little girl is very active and always runs around and more often than not, lying on the floor of shopping malls or hotels especially on the shiny tiles and carpets.. So sangatlah tidak sopan nampaknye if she wears revealing clothes or short dresses for that matter. Plus I don't like to see girls with skimpy outfits, either little or big girls as I am afraid that the parents will have a difficult time to explain when the time comes for them to cover their aurat.. How would I want to convince my child to cover up if I was the one who dressed her the opposite for the past 8-10 years (nauzubillah)? That is actually my greatest fear.
Hence please I hope all Muslim (or even the non-Muslim) mummies out there to start dressing up our girls modestly for the benefit of all. For example if you're buying swimming suit for your little girl, perhaps you can choose a wetsuit instead of bikinis.. For daily wear, I guess shirt and ¾ or long pants will do to replace the short pants and spaghetti straps.. Dresses are okay but match them up with long pantyhose or leggings to compliment the modest look. I mean, little girls are always cute no matter what they wear J
Let's instill the modesty in the early age so our work will be easier when they grow older. I don't believe in forcing people (or my own children) to cover aurah, perform solah etc, but I prefer if it comes with god understanding and volunteered by the girl herself. But isn't it best to nurture our own future caliphs since they were small J as the hadith saying (quoted loosely) children are like clean sheet white cloths, it's the parents who paints is red, blue or yellow.