Tune in to this bonus track to hear what Celina has to say about how some mosques (masjids) treat single mothers of boys and what impact this has on keeping children connected to their faith. For the full episode, listen to episode 4 where Celina shares her story about why she left Islam and how she found her way back again.
“Even if we, as mothers instilled a love for the mosque and our children, we can’t maintain that love beyond age seven. How as a community, can we then expect these same boys when they turn 17 or 18, that they should be in the masjid (mosque). I have not been able to take my children to the masjid as a single mother, since my eldest turned seven.”
This bonus tracks gives an extra point that Celina made about how the Muslim community can help foster the faith from an early age.
Celina, we’ve talked a lot about how a lack of acceptance from the Muslim community can push those already, struggling with their imaan (faith) even further away. We’ve also spoken about how a positive portrayal of our faith from an early age is integral to fostering a sense of love for Islam. And about how your relationship with the masjid helped bring you back to the deen (religion, i.e. Islam).
On that note, I wanted to ask you what can the masjid (mosque) do better to keep us and our children connected with our faith?
The exclusion of boys being raised by single mothers, which happens a lot. Many mosques now have a policy of not allowing boys into the women’s section from as young as age seven, irrespective of whether or not they’ve reached puberty.
Now in the time of the prophet (SAW – peace be upon him), that wouldn’t be an issue because the way mosques were set up, they allowed children to be in the back rows of the men and the mothers could then join the front row from the women’s section. And so that meant. mothers could still keep an eye on their young sons. Modern day mosques have segregated in a way where men and women are on different floors and that’s not safe nor is that advised to send children into another section unsupervised.
This means that even if we, as mothers instilled a love for the mosque and our children, we can’t maintain that love beyond age seven. How as a community, can we then expect these same boys when they turn 17 or 18, that they should be in the masjid? I have not been able to take my children to the masjid as a single mother, since my eldest turned seven. And these are children who once looked forward to attending the masjid with me two to three times a week. Now, they don’t even mention the place.
It’s baffling that I’m welcomed in all other faiths places with my children be at the church, the Sikh temple, the Hindu temple, but I can’t go to a masjid with my children because of their age.
The same children may then grow up and be judged or blamed for not wanting anything to do with Islam. And that’s something that that’s concerning.
I couldn’t agree with you more. I think we have a long way to go with regards to masjids and the roles they have to play. In America they are more advanced but, in the UK, I do feel that we’re not that family friendly and it still boggles my mind that some masjids actually don’t provide adequate space for women to pray let alone accommodate for children.