One of my favourite aspects of Ramadaan is undoubtedly Taraweeh salaah. Here in the southern hemisphere, where we’re currently experiencing winter, to see people leave the warmth and comfort of their homes, venture out into the cold, and gather in the musjids in the stillness of the night.
Standing shoulder to shoulder, united in takbeer, united in rukhu, united in sujood, listening to the melodious recital of the Quraan in Shah-rul-Quraan! Taraweeh truly reminds me of the Hadith of Nabi(saw) where he said, “A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other.” The Prophet then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced (while saying that).
[Narrated by Abu Musa, Bukhari:626]
For me, nowhere is this more visible than in congregational salaah.
And whilst nowadays there is a definate shift towards masaajid being more inclusive of women, as women ourselves who wish to attend, we should also ensure we do our part to maintain this inclusivity. The musjid that we attend has a beautiful area dedicated to ladies. It is clean, well-maintained and very welcoming. That being said however, nothing is more distracting during Taraweeh salaah than hearing children misbehave.
And before I’m chastized for saying this, let me clarify. I don’t mean a baby/ young child crying, I mean children really misbehaving! Running, screaming, fighting, jumping, singing ect… So I’ve put together a few tips to make Taraweeh more enjoyable for the mums, by ensuring their kids are appropriately respectful during the salaah, which will in turn ensure that female participation within the musjid is always welcomed.
1. Introduce your children to the musjid at an early age. In this manner, its never a ‘new/foreign’ space. Children, especially young babies are also incredibly sensitive to atmosphere, and so automatically attune to what’s acceptable. If children are only introduced to a musjid environment later, their excitement at being in a new area can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, which leads them to be loud and hyperactive. Personally, Little Man has been attending Taraweeh salaah with me, since he was 8months old. Little Miss began attending when she was just over a year old.
2. Speak to children about the etiquette of a musjid BEFORE you get there. This should not be a once off talk, but constant gentle reminders. ‘We use our whispering voice during salaah’ or ‘Remember people go to the musjid to pray salaah, not to run and shout’ ect.
3. Be well prepared! This has almost become a constant mummy-mantra for me. Take ‘quiet’ toys with to alleviate the boredom, and so the children are constructively occupied. My kids favorites include cars, legos, colouring-in books, and small sturdy puzzles. We have a little bag, called our ‘Musjid Bag’ filled with these.
( Fellow blogger Fatima at Jumbish has a fanstastic roll-up which would be stunning to take with to the musjid for Taraweeh. Find it here )
4. Take a few snacks with. Little Miss’s current favourites include biscuits, peanuts, or any type of fruit. If at all possible, try to open packets, boxes ect at home, and de-can into a container that’s suitable for Little People. This prevents a pack of peanuts from flying all over the musallahs! Also, if you know that your children are going to very likely fall asleep during the salaah, take their blanket with. Trust me, nobody minds a little one sprawled out on the musallah asleep. Last year, Little Miss often fell asleep, and I would marvel at the sweetness of that sleep. Dreaming about beautiful, wonderful things whilst the Words of Allah were being recited.
5. And perhaps most importantly, be flexible. Whilst there is undoubtedly great rewards in performing the sunnah of Taraweeh salaah, know that if your children need you in that moment, it IS okay to delay your salaah, and sit with your child. Simply listening to recitation of Quraan, has great virtue as well!
This is the month of Mercy, and Allah Ar-Rahmaan, the Most Merciful, judges our actions based on our intentions.
Do you have any other tips? Please share, we’d love to hear what works for you and your Little People 🙂