Q: There are a few things worrying me when attending the masjid:
1. Some uncles bring a chair to the middle of the saff’s before Jamaat making me uneasy as I feel my saff is now broken and I don’t know how to react so just end up accepting it but feel down.
2. Sometimes it becomes a bit tight shoulder to shoulder and even though I keep my touch light but the person next to me shows disapproval towards me as if I’m the cause for it and tries to look at me in an upset way thereby making me feel uneasy.
3. I try at times to get to the masjid early before azaan to sit right behind the imaams position but when the muezzin comes to give iqaamah there’s pressure to move to the side by him and even before iqaamah while sitting there’s a sense of pressure to move aside by the musallees talking nearby, I try to ignore but it creates a tense moment for me before Salaat but as I remain in Zikr it helps take the uneasiness away.
At first I just didn’t care even though these feelings were there because i thought it’s their fault for taking offence because there’s nothing to be offended about as I came way early and did not take the place of anyone sitting there or push over anyone and this is my salaat and responsibility of my head in Sajdah to Allah Ta’ala so I should strive for the best of it even if it means showing resistance to what others may think.
However now I just back off to be safe of being guilty of my behaviour being offensive to the muezzin or anyone, so I walk in and read my sunnats in the back away from the front and then at the time of Jamaat go towards the front of the masjid and take whichever space avails itself, I do this with mixed emotions though.
4. People are bringing young kids with them to the masjid and I feel upset that they should not be here as even though they innocent their minds are not there like while I’m reading salaah their hands or body move to where my head will be making Sajda in a few seconds or when I’m in a Saff behind them because the masjid is full or they next to me in Salah and sometimes it feels upsetting that can’t they see the kids are causing inconvenience during salaat but how to say it so I just keep it in but it doesn’t feel good
5. Phones ringing in the masjid especially Jumah but even other days in the front saff just before Jamaat starts phone is in the hand even of older men, I feel irritated and want to say something and I know I should look at myself because they probably better than me but the irritation is compounded because I don’t carry my phone into the masjid out of respect and I feel the need to do or say something but end up quiet not knowing how to approach it and feeling helpless to deal with it upsets me within as it’s kept in.
What are these upsetting feelings I have with regards to the above, am I wrong and should I just accept it the way it is and keep it inside and look for my own faults or perhaps should I write a letter to the imaam highlighting the above and suggesting that the masjid manager should be on guard before salaah and given the authority of enforcing the rules of the masjid making sure no phones are inside, young kids are in the back with parents, whoever comes first to a spot should be allowed to be there without any pressure, chairs are to the sides of the saffs. Maybe a letter will be a good way to deal with it. Please tell me how to deal with these feelings and where I am wrong so I can correct myself.
1. Don’t pay attention to this. Standing beside the person sitting on the chair does not break the saff.
2. Don’t pay attention to this. Concentrate on your namaaz.
3. Conduct yourself in a manner that you have no problems with anybody and nor does anyone have any problem with you.
4 – 5. Your thinking is right.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)