Umm Zaid is already worked up about masajid over on her page, so Ima let y'all go read what she said first.
Then say, ditto.
As for me... well, I'm happy Ramadan is coming, masha'Allah. I'm happy I'm starting work tomorrow.
I'm not happy that I haven't been to the masjid close to here yet. I'm running out of time.
One of the reasons I haven't been is because I called and have received absolutely no response from anyone there- and this is the ICNA center, so I'm wondering why someone hasn't replied to a newbie calling to see about a new 'home' masjid the week before Ramadan. It takes two seconds to call someone and be like, "Slaam'Laikum, sis M_____, this is the masjid at ICNA returning your call, we will have tarawih prayers on _____ days from Ao'clock to O'dark thirty insha'Allah. We hope to meet you and your family then, insha'Allah. Slaam'Laikm".
Did y'all hear that? I just wrote a basic script for masajid offices to follow should they not know what to say.
One of the other reasons I'm a bit anxious and haven't just walked up in the piece and introduced myself or fallen into prostration is... I'm scared.
I'm scared that I'll find another masjid like the one UmmZaid has amply disgraced in her post today. The women are shunted off to one side. Everything is done in Arabic with no attempt at English translation or explanation. The prayer room is completely separate from the Imam and dirty. I'm scared because although:
1)I AM muhejabah and an American-raised convert and
2)I'm conservative socially (NOT politically- or at least, conservative for an american woman of my time),
I am not one known for keeping my mouth shut under such conditions. To the contrary. I'm the one who will organize the entire place until the situation is 'fixed' and/or I feel welcome. Not exactly the best personality to have when you're coming into a new place and don't want to make waves.
And, while I don't object to women having walled-off, impenetrable spaces, I grew up in a church. With a raised pulpit, and all the families sat together (though my father was never there, but I digress). So I want to SEE and HEAR the person giving the talk. Anyone who has studied communication knows that a great deal of understanding can be had from observing body language alone. I don't want that walled-off musallah for women to be my only option.
Another remnant of my churchgoing upbringing is that ideally, I would go to the masjid every single week, at least twice a week if possible. (For those curious, yes, I can actually go every single week. Get out my biz, you don't need to know why.) Frequency and classes are the things that most increase my learning. Until now, I've had to struggle for every bit of learning on my deen because I've felt little sense of community, and I've felt forced to go it alone. I dont' have a husband and in-laws to help me out. (Though from what I've heard in various venues they might hurt more than help. I digress again.) That's why this whole idea of a 'home' masjid. I want to feel as welcome and at home in my place of worship as in my own home. More, if possible. And I've seen so many places where that just wasn't the case that I'm wary of putting myself out there again. Y'know?
Anyways. I never can let my nafs get the best of me, so tomorrow after work (alHamduliLLAH I CAN SAY THAT) Ima bebop myself right on over to ICNA and see what's the dealie. I'll let you know what happens.
Ramadan Mubarak to everyone, may the Lord accept all of your fasts.
to be continued....