The month of Ramadan near and it is during this month that Muslims take the opportunity to become closer to the Creator and rekindle relationships that were otherwise severed during the other months of the year among juggling school, work, and other nuances that keep us on our toes at all times. What comes with this month (which consists of a whole lot of family time) is communal daily night prayers at the mosque also known as taraweeh. It is during this month, and during these night prayers and frequent trips to the mosque that you’ll meet or even find yourself being the mentioned people below (whether you would like to admit it or not). I present to you, my dear readers, the potentially offensive, but intentionally-humorous list that I like to call “Types of People at the Mosque During Ramadan:”
*Note: this has been written out of humor. I mean no offense to anyone who vigilantly identifies himself/herself as at least one of these types below, but simply hoped to address some issues with a comical twist.*
13 TYPES OF PEOPLE AT THE MASJID DURING RAMADAN
1. “The Astrophysicist”
Every community definitely has one of these. Maybe even at least 100. “Astrophysicist” activity normally peaks towards the very beginning of the month and towards the end of the month thankfully, when the Moon Wars, as I like to call them, commence again. Usually, the Astrophysicist, one who has never owned or even held a telescope in his/her life finds it their right to takes it to Twitter (because who uses Facebook anymore, right?) to tweet his/her latest “calculated” lunar findings (usually obtained from the committee that they strongly follow). It can be rather a chore and quite a waste of time to argue with one who identifies this type, simply because they are staunch that Ramadan is indeed on so-and-so-day or even worse: that Ramadan isn’t on so-and-so day. And believe me when I say that they will do everything in their power to convince the world that they deserve the Nobel Prize for their achievement.
2. The Parking Patrol aka “The Flashlight Jedi”
Parking when there’s at least elephants of cars trying to get to the masjid is a zoo of its own. For this reason, the renowned parking patrol have taken it upon themselves to make sure to tame the night stampede of cars full of too many adults and children and make sure that people leave with all of their limbs attached. However, some people who fall under this type take it as far as erratically waving their flashlights in a way that clearly doesn’t show masjid-comers which way they should turn or park. Rather, it makes them even more confused, which causes the parking patrol people to wave their flashlights even more, further complicating the situation even more. Sigh.
3. The Aunty Who Has Never Heard Of Deodorant
It’s unfortunate to be one of this type. Perhaps these aunties have never perused through the deodorant aisle which is *surprisingly* (and conveniently) located next to other critical tools such as toothpaste, shampoo, and soap. Perhaps they thought of themselves as invincible to radiating human odor. Regardless, being stuck next to a person of this type can make taraweeh unnecessarily painful not only for your ability to concentrate on your prayers, but may sadly also cause permanent damage to your olfactory senses. There is nothing else to say that when in doubt, always remember to carry your best perfume and/or body spray and “accidentally” spritz it in the air. Or simply utilize your limbs to move to a less odorous location.
4. The NYFW-ers
It’s one thing to look presentable. It’s another thing to treat your trip to taraweeh like you’re going to New York Fashion Week: Masjid style. There’s no definitive clothing that can sum up people of this persona. Rather, when you see a NYFW-er, you’ll just know. Whether you can see him/her strutting their best through the parking lot, enough to make everyone’s heads turn, trust me, you’ll know.
5. The Front Row Dashers
There are many said benefits of praying in the front row. It’s only natural that most people are encouraged to and would prefer to pray in the front row given the many pluses. For one thing, you get the first breeze of the fan (which is usually placed there given the cramped-ness of the room) and you avoid the possible head-rear end collision that can occasionally occur. But do not mix up one who simply wants to pray in the front row versus a FRD. A Front Row Dasher is identified as someone who will fight tooth and nail to get their spot in the beloved first row versus someone who seizes the opportunity when presented with an open spot. A true-to-nature FRD will get to the mosque at least 3 hours earlier in order to ensure their spot. Some will go as far as reserving the entire row with purses and wallets in order to accommodate their entire posse. The benefit of being a FRD is knowing who your real friends are; a true friend is one who would actually save you a spot in the front row, allowing you to reap the benefits beside them.
6. The Line Guard
I will admit, there it’s important to keep ones line straight during prayer. I am a firm believer in the heel to line protocol just like anyone else. But it’s a completely different story when someone will pay more attention to the alignment of your feet instead of concentrating on their prayer. Especially if this person is 20 actual feet over to your right and decides to notice how your heels are unknowingly 20 nanometers away from the line and decides to reprimand you before the next set of rakaat.
7. The Chitterchatters
Whilst some people come to pray, some choose to talk amongst other fellow chitterchatters in hushing tones that will cause them to be reprimanded occasionally seeing how their whispering manages to be heard by the front row. These people will usually sit in the back of the room spending their time in conversation, and tweeting/instagramming their post-fast meal, or their experiences at #taraweeh or depending on the day they had, might either tweet/instagram something along the lines of #spiritual or #religious.
8. The Fan club
With every great speaker or reciter, comes the subsequent fan club. Usually a swarm of people who will keep their eyes glued to the TV screen when the said speaker comes into view. Enough said.
9. The Sing Along Aunty
Another type of persona that doesn’t take much explaining. You know, that one aunty that thinks she can recite with the sheikh, and that too, loudly. It has you questioning whether indeed, the Sing Along Aunty is leading the prayer, after all. Again, it’s best not to confront the Sing Along Aunty about her behavior. Rather, separate yourself from the problem and find another suitable location to your needs.
10. The Boogie Man/Woman
Children can only be children. They will find it difficult to sit in one place and listen to someone else without moving a muscle for a long time. The Boogieman/woman is that one man/woman that always urges children to stay out of the men’s side of the mosque and saturate every child in the woman’s side (a better choice, apparently) to be encase their children in a 4’x4′ cage when coming to taraweeh or even a better option: putting their children on a leash because four year olds running around is clearly not normal and is a serious problem.
11. The Shoe Thief
TST are people whose activity peaks at a significantly high rate towards the end of the month. It’s seemingly natural to a true shoe thief thatwhen there is a ton of people leaving the mosque, it’s only beneficial to grab any pair of shoes that seemingly fit so that they can leave faster.
12. The NASCAR driver
It’s that one person who drives their 2000 Toyota Camry like its a Ferrari. This person will attempt to drift their way into a parking spot, practically driving the Parking Patrol insane. Beware of being such a person. You might notice an “accidental” scratch on your car, or slashed tires. Just saying.
13. The Double Parked Turtle
What’s worse than being the NASCAR driver is being the one person who’s double parked and even after being told to get to your car as soon as possible, doesn’t exactly follow directions and comes 45 minutes later when everyone whom you have caused to still remain parked is ready to sign a petition to get your car (which has probably been totaled given how many people you have angered) towed. Rule of thumb: do not EVER be the double parked turtle. Ever.
Ramadan Mubarak everyone!
Until my next blog post,