Whoa- that doesnt really sound good coming from a Muslim, eh?

Let me explain- I don’t really miss church, I miss the church sub-culture. I’ve been pondering why I don’t attend the mosque these past few years. I can’t stand the chaos. Cant. Stand. It. One. Bit. I should mention in all fairness that I am not able to get there sometimes due to my work schedule too.

The women’s balcony is too noisy. The ladies talk too much. There are small children running everywhere during prayer and during the sermon. Being a mom of a 3.5 year old and a 16 month old, I know that keeping them quiet can be very difficult- but we are the parents and should be in control! If the sermon happens to be interesting and happensto apply to modern times, I won’t hear it because I’ll be too busy preventing my kids from falling down two humongous spiral staircases that flank each side of the balcony.

And then I get annoyed- and I have no right to be. I’m never there, never involved. Shame. On. Me.

I have nerve complaining because I know that Muslims are in the minority, and that these houses of prayer are built by dedicated members of the community who I’m sure made many sacrifices for the good of our Ummah. It just seems like such a hassle to drag two munchkins up a giant staircase, and God help you if you step on your own skirt, if there is traffic or a shoe avalanche (ladies, I know you know what Im talking about). Did I mention that hot air rises? Oh yes, it’s always warm and I am guaranteed to sweat like a beast. But rest assured, there will be a few colossal, jet propelled, industrial fans set at mach 20 which will further prevent me from hearing or keeping my eyelids open.

I spent the first 18 years of my life attending Sunday Mass at our local Roman Catholic parish and I don’t recall my mom having these difficulties. There was seating for all, everyone was quiet and there was minimal fuss. Of course there were oodles of children, and there were rogue giggles and whispers and cries, but it seemed so much less bothersome. (I can’t help but postulate that when children and women have reasonable accommodations in the masjid these problems will become less frequent).

I miss the sermons. For the most part the clergy really tried to connect with everyone, offering something to each parishoner- with no matters of age, status, gender or politics. I left feeling lighter, gentler and more understanding. Sometimes I left inspired. That’s what it is- I miss that feeling of love and inspiration. You know what else I want? To sit by my husband’s side with our children during a lecture or discussion, and be part of the religious experience together.