A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I'm not sure how much I've shared about my current masjid on here. I really miss my old one, which I loved even before moving away. However, absence surely does make the heart grow fonder.
My current masjid is fairly segregated. The Indo-Paks stay with the Indo-Paks, the Egyptians with the Egyptians, Somalis with Somalis... yeah you get the picture. Of course I've met a few very sweet sisters of all different nationalities and ethnicities alhamdulillah but they appear to be few and far between.
This masjid does offer weekly Friday night halaqas with dinner afterward. We've went a few times but never very often. During Ramadhan last year, I pretty much swore off going to the masjid because of the crowding and the horrible manners of the people.
Time often makes us forget.
So tonight I decided to take my friend Lisa and her daughter plus myself and my two stepdaughters. (Aaminah fell asleep before we left.) The halaqa was nice but even through the website said it started at 7:45 it didn't start til 8:30 so we waited a long time. It lasted an hour masha'Allah and by the time we prayed maghrib, had the halaqa, and the food was ready it was 10:15. So pretty late right?
Anyway I go downstairs with my friend Lisa. She is pregnant masha'Allah and has several other health conditions that make walking very difficult for her. I am well... me :-) with my myriad of problems so my stepdaughters offered to get a plate for both me and Sr. Lisa. Very sweet masha'Allah.
We get downstairs and the typical territorial behavior is on display; this table is for the Masris, this one is only Moroccans, etc. I find a table with just 2 girls at it. Apparently they try to say we can't sit but there are no plates at the table and only these two girls so I take one of the 8 chairs available. I am not going to stand to eat when there is a free table and I am definitely not going to stand while 2 young girls sit.
Apparently this was a mistake. No sooner did I sit down with Lisa than the girl's mother starting gesticulating and talking in Arabic. Sorry I'm not budging. She is in the back of the food line and it always takes a long time for the sisters to get their food. I have plenty of time to eat, plus do they really need all those chairs?
During the entire 10 minutes I am trying to quickly eat my dinner so I can catch the Isha salaat, we are getting the stink eye big time from these Arab sisters. There a lot of catty looks, outright stares and muttered phrases. OK yeah I get it, you dont' want us at "your" table. Tougha-lucka sister, we're sitting here.
The catch? There were plenty of seats for their family plus some random chairs scattered here and there. Anyway the grouchiest woman tries to come over and take the seat Sr. Lisa's daughter Aliyah had just stood up from. Lisa says, "No I'm sorry, my daughter is sitting there". Apparently that threw the woman into a fit. Uh-huh, ok.
It was ludicrous, to say the least. I head upstairs for prayer but Sr. Lisa stays behind because she has to help Aliyah eat. I get back and the stink-eye is still being given. Great. So much for sisterhood huh?
The next thing I know, hormonal pregnant Sr. Lisa looks at the Arab lady and says, "Are you talking about my friend?" and looks like she is about to open up a can of whoop-ass, Jerry Springer style. LOL
Apparently the woman had started pointing very bluntly at me and saying, "blah blah blah her, her, her!". She answers Sr. Lisa and says, "No, I was talking about something else," and tries to point at a Gatorade bottle. Yes, very scintillating conversation.
LOL yeah ok. So they start to talk about us in Arabic but my stepdaughter Hafsa understands and she said they were saying something like "Can't that old woman get up and get her own food" or something. They said a lot of other stuff but Hafsa said it was in a slang she didn't understand. Nice.
Are you joking me?? What kind of so-called "sisters" are these to a) not want us to sit with them, b) to talk about us in front of us and c) call us names? What???
I felt like I was in middle school, wallah.
Then came the final debacle. Someone set out ice-cream with no one to serve it. All hell broke loose. Misakeen little kids were standing in line and some sisters (also the ones who were so rude to us) started breaking the line and physically pushing the little kids! They were grabbing bowls and taking serving spoons away from others.
Most of the little kids didn't get any ice-cream. It was ridiculous. My friend Sr. Lisa went up to try and restore some order but it was a lost cause. She did help a couple of little kids get theirs but the sisters had big bowls for themselves.
I'm telling you sisters, my heart is so sad right now I could cry. At first I was annoyed by their lack of manners and their obvious rudeness to me and my friend but then, especially after seeing how they acted over some generic $5 a gallon ice-cream, I just felt defeated.
This feeling has stuck with me all night. As we were leaving a group of teenage girls dressed in skin tight pants and see-through hijabs saw me walk past in my khimar and abaya and looked me up and down and gave me ugly looks. I know this cause I was in front of the rest of my group and they all saw these girls and were thinking..."Um why are you staring like that?"
So I drive home just feeling disbelief and unhappiness and yes, a little anger at the state of our ummah. As I neared my home, I had to stop by our local convenience store for some milk. I put it up on the counter and the young clerk asked me if I had seen the date. Apparently the milk was expiring that day.
"Oh no I didn't notice, thank you" and I started to turn to go get another gallon. Masha'Allah he insisted to go get it for me and was nothing but kind and polite the entire time.
As I walked back to my car, I could feel tears pricking my eyelids. I was treated so much kinder by a stranger at the store than I was by someone I should be able to call "sister" and turn to if I ever needed anything.
I miss my old masjid. :-(