Year round The Muslims in America whine about the problem of unruly children in the masjid, but with Ramadan iftars in abundance and tarawee prayers upon us the complaintfest reaches a new frenzy. Personally, I don’t take my kids to the masjid during jummah or for tarawee because I’m sure that their presence (and all that entails) does disturb others and that inturn disturbs me too. However, I have frequently said that if you can’t pray with some kids making some noise, let’s hope you never have to pray on a battlefield or in a war zone.
Bukhari – Volume 2, Book 14, Number 64:
I asked Az-Zuhri, “Did the Prophet ever offer the Fear Prayer?” Az-Zuhri said, “I was told by Salim that ‘Abdullah bin Umar I had said, ‘I took part in a holy battle with Allah’s Apostle I in Najd. We faced the enemy and arranged ourselves in rows. Then Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) stood up to lead the prayer and one party stood to pray with him while the other faced the enemy. Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) and the former party bowed and performed two prostrations. Then that party left and took the place of those who had not
prayed. Allah’s Apostle prayed one Raka (with the latter) and performed two prostrations and finished his prayer with Taslim. Then everyone of them bowed once and performed two prostrations individually.’ ”
The main thing about these complaints that I find completely baseless is that the blame is so heavily laden on The Women. A few years ago a friend of mine was being absolutely bashed by her community for bringing her small (and very active) child to tarawee every night. The situation was becoming miserable for her, yet she kept showing up. Sisters were backbiting her throughout Ramadan. Yet she kept showing up. Turns out because the husband insisted. Did any brothers take him aside and ask him to get a grip on the kid? I dunno, but I hear that did not happen.
This morning I found this articlein my email. I was surprised (annoyed!) that it was posted on a group I belong to which is usually very good about offering information only with proper daleel/evidences, but with this topic they (he) were eager to jump on the women and children bashing bandwagon. This is a strictly op ed piece that again puts the blame squarely on women, who can not be restricted from going to the masjid, but surely the hubby could insist she not take the kids–if they really present reason not to take them. Nobody likes punkbutt kids (and they are the ones making a hard time for the rest of ’em), but I have never heard any proof that children should be universally banned from the masjid, all that I have read has been completely to the contrary:
The Prophet said, “(It happens that) I start the prayer intending to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child, I shorten the prayer because I know that the cries of the child will incite its mother’s passions.” (Al-Bukhari)**
Narrated Abu Qatadah: “The Messenger of Allah came towards us while carrying Umamah the daughter of Abi Al-`As (Prophet’s granddaughter) over his shoulder. He prayed, and when he wanted to bow, he put her down, and when he stood up he lifted her up.” (Al-Bukhari)**
**from an excellent article written by Amatullah Abdullah about “The Prophet’s [SAW] Compassion for Children” for Islamonline.
So when you see my kids running around after iftar and you hear them (though really you should try to have better concentration than that!) snickering during tarawee know two things: First of all, my husband took them, not me. And secondly my kids look forward to Ramadan, iftars and tarawee the way some kids look forward to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. It is their Ramadan as much as it is yours. If you have proof that they shouldn’t be there, bring it. Otherwise, find solutions or whine into the wind.