The Journey to Being Regularly Mosqued

The Journey to Being Regularly Mosqued July 16, 2015
Women offer Taraweeh prayers in Frankfurt, German/Sarah Karim
Women offer Taraweeh prayers in Frankfurt, Germany/Sarah Karim

This is Day 29 of Hindtrospectives’ #MyMosqueMyStory series for Ramadan 2015

By Christal Williams

As a revert to Islam, and an irregular mosque-goer, I always get a slight paranoid feeling about going to the mosque in Ramadan. But there is a mosque that’s close to my heart.

There’s a really small mosque right by where I work and I love it. The ladies there are so welcoming and aren’t put off when I turn up in my “work clothes” i.e. trousers, shirt and cardigan. No one says anything and I don’t get treated as if I’m ‘exposing myself.’ But going to larger mosques is a completely different story.

Outside of Ramadan I’m happily mosqued but, inside of Ramadan I barely make it there, and when I do, I fear being given the dreaded label ‘Ramadan Muslim.’ Simply put, a Ramadan Muslim is a type of Muslim that only seems to be visible to the mosque community within Ramadan i.e. praying taraweeh (the night prayer during Ramadan) and other salah in the mosque. The comments of born Muslims about this group of Muslims and their self-entitlement to Islam is the driving force behind myself and other revert Muslims for staying away from the inner workings of the Muslim community. The thought of being called a ‘Ramadan Muslim’ really weighs heavily on my heart because I know the stigma and whisperings that come along with it.

Even if I was a Ramadan Muslim, whose business is that anyway? I pray my salah and pay my zakat just like everyone else. I think there needs to be a whole paradigm shift as to how we treat newcomers to the mosque in Ramadan. They shouldn’t be treated with suspicion; they should be welcomed with open arms so they continue to attend the mosque far past Ramadan. Often, reverts, especially those new to the deen feel alone and isolated during this blessed month and find it hard to reach out for help. This process becomes even harder if when they do go to the mosque they feel like an outsider trying to get a glimpse into the Ummah.

Whether you’re mosqued or unmosqued, Ramadan Muslim or dedicated mosque goer, you shouldn’t break into a cold sweat when you approach the mosque. The Muslim Ummah is a fabric weaved from many different cloths and we need to recognise that.

I’ve been lucky enough to find a small, loving mosque community that have welcomed me with open arms, no judgements and no side eyes included. I pray this Ramadan that every revert Muslim and unmosqued brother and sister has found the same.

ChristalChristal is a revert Muslim of 3 years and a passionate blogger. She regularly contributes to Islamicate, She Speaks We Hear and other online publications. She is currently putting together a one year program for revert Muslims on how to get the most out of the first 12 months. You can find her over on ChristalBlogs on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

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