Image courtesy – Mr. Google
Well this article is purely based on my own experiences and it has to do nothing with any religious purposes.I am a Hindu but practicing Buddhism for long time. Recently my son corrected somebody in his friend circle about mosque concepts. That boy’s mother asked me later “how do you know so much about Mosques and your kids too?” I smiled back to her ” I was born in a house adjacent to a mosque, my mother’s parents used to live on the corner of a Mosque, I got married to Mosque’s next door living Architect, than I was a widow and my parents got me remarried to a person who lives in here in Qatar again living a close proximity to a Mosque”. Than I felt of writing this article. About my own experiences about Mosques.
I took my kids to Golden Temple, Amritsar,Punjab India.My son loved those tiny water filled canals on the entry to wash n purify the feet. He didn’t remembered once the heavy gold plated temple inside but yes the fishes in the pond a lot. Kids are like that.They are pure heart and remember the simplest things only.
We had been to a big church in Kanyakumari last year.My both kids remember tiny glass displays on Christ’s life out side the church compound. They dont remember the gold inside the church at all. No carvings no architecture just those mini sculptures all they remember.We also visited Shri Padmanabhan temple in Thiruananthpuram, Kerala,India but all my son remembers an ancient clock on the gateway of temple and his chance to wear Mundu(Lungi) which is necessary to enter the temple. He got first time body checking too due to security reasons.But he loved it as giggle time. Kids have their own perspective to see the things their way.That is why I thought of writing few things about mosques too. I request all to read my full article before commenting or sending me messages.
1- Architecture – I asked my 8 years old daughter about architecture of few things. Her own father was an eminent architect so I always want her to be an architect. But see how kids see the things in their imaginations. She turn toward me and told me that Mosques architecture reminds her of big chubby granny (my mother is quite chubby and tall lady).I felt surprised and asked her why?She told me “I feel calm looking at Granny(Nani) so do I feel when I look at mosque. I admit Mosques gives me too same feeling.I feel protected and calm by just looking at them.May be she is relating the building structure to a big granny standing.How good it feels to see a motherly figure in mosque.I am so happy on my daughter’s innocence. Mosques are always same everywhere. Being a sign of protection and shelter. This is how may be my daughter looked at this point.
2- Solidarity – My mother’s parental house in Moradabad India is adjacent to Shahi Masjid with one corner.We used to jump in on terrace and play a lot with tiny madsarsa kids in summer vacations. That cold water and big huge compound was our second home always.Later on they leveled up to increase the Madarsa capacity and we were busy in our higher studies too. My son likes that Mosque a lot. He feels that I was lucky to play there a lot. It is actually a huge mosque in dense Mandi Chowk street.Without any park or ground we were always ended up in mosque to play a lot. Several years later I passed by and stepped in to drink some water in summers to feel that precious childhood again and head cleric called me by name.It was a pure solidarity of his heart that I felt like my own father called my name.Such precious moments.
3- Peace – My childhood was a normal one with mumps, chickenpox(mata) and choliya(bigger chickenpox). And trust me in Uttar Pradesh still people of all religion go to mosque for jhada(with a peacock feather bunch by cleric) and water to drink from Mosque.It is considered as most holy water just like Ganga river water. So once I had mumps and my glands were swollen and same time I was having very high fever too. My father picked me in his lap and visited nearby mosque.I was on boiled warm water and having all that boiled food.But cleric did jhada and gave me two batashas(sugar cubes)with cool water to eat. I felt so happy and within two days I was recovered with that happiness and his blessings.That taste of cold water I never forgot.
My husband died and I got remarried very soon to a fresh widower as my parents wish.I came to Qatar. I was restless and was continuously dreaming of my first husband. Somebody suggested me to ask any cleric to read Fatiha for his soul. But I hesitated.One afternoon I went to mosque nearby stand in front of its main door. It was prayer time. I remembered my husband and washed my hands and face with water outlet.I sat there for a while. I was a fresh grieving widow. I had so much towards the God that my 39 years old husband was taken, leaving two little kids behind. After sometime I felt something in my heart like being strong and stress free. I came back to my home.I was at peace.I was calmer person now.I was back to my responsibilities. That day that one hour outside of mosque I realized that religion has to do nothing.Your faith decides who will take care of you.For me it is a deep unknown connection with Azans and Mosques. I can feel them immensely related to my own life routine.
4- Discipline – My father is a retired Indian Army officer. We are raised in much stricter disciplined life rather than civilians do. I get up at sharp 4.15-.4.30 everyday since my childhood. I take early morning bath.At sharp 5.15 pm around I light the lamp in my worship place and every single thing important is related to the mosque nearby my house I have observed. Every Azan is related to my most important work. When people say they sleep late or come home late or their belated wishes even that moment I feel thankful to almighty that I am never away from Mosques ever in my life.Their timing of prayers keep me up to date and more disciplined always. My kids are learning same thing of being disciplined always.
5- Cleanliness – You slip your shoes out, wash your feet and hands to enter a mosque. You are pure now to pray but for first time visitors it is more surprising to see that a big carpeted hall is inside with nothing inside except few chairs for elders and holy books in small beautiful fold-able benches.You just feel the concept of being clean and simple.A building devoted to almighty gives you a finest example of being simple in life. Stepping in mosque for the first time feels like standing under the hands of a holy n divine person. You can feel the cleanliness in your heart and tears start rolling out. You can feel the warmth on your shoulders of somebody’s calm hands assuring of taking care of you.
6- Unity – Every fasting time you can see people opening their fast together in one plate without any nuisance around. Quietly, smilingly and being thankful to almighty. This gives a visual of being happy in being equal and united. It reminds of my early childhood eating in one big large plate with my so many cousins. I wait all year to see these happy timings near mosques.Feels good and very own to me.
7- Most scientific devotion – The Azan (Prayer call) reminds the time to pray but before that also people with set timings start walking towards the mosque. You going anywhere or coming back from anywhere, the moment you see lot many people walking towards the mosque that means you can easily understand what is the time now. I told this few times to my both kids and now they understand well that how scientific and amazing this time system of praying is actually. Five times round the day they hear Azan and come to know what is time now. So good,so pure,so systemically kids learn the time without looking at the wrist watch or wall clock. I personally loved this concept as well as my kids too.
8- Respect of books – Now a days kids have common tendency of throwing books here and there and no value for money spent in books. I looked at holy books kept well and people reading them with utmost respect while turning the pages too praying a lot. I never saw myself throwing a book in floor ever. I learnt a lesson for Shahi Masjid early childhood that we should respect our books always. In ancient times it must be very hard to get a paper or book. Several times I feel that our ancestors already taught us several things indirectly but we ignored and kept cutting trees to get more paper to waste more books to throw here and there. Here is global warming due to this. Visiting a mosque for me was an early eye opening to keep my books in more dignified way always.
9- Praying is healthy – Five times a day you are praying and remembering the almighty. Five times you are stretching your entire body.Five times you are washing your hands and feet. Five times you are walking to pray at a certain place or mosque. Five times you are sitting close to Earth. Can you count the benefits all in all? That means if you are following the prayer system you will feel more energetic and remain more healthy. You will be more calm, relaxed and happy. Isn’t it? This is for every religion on Earth but actually we are not punctual so are our kids. But explaining the concept of prayer by visiting a mosque can be an eye opening point for little kids. They can learn so many benefits of praying every day.Now a days when our kids are getting into more tough scenario to develop themselves it is important to remained calm and relaxed a lot.Praying helps.
10- Charity – Nobody needs anything on this Earth. By visiting a mosque you learn this. I have learnt this. All you need is a pure heart for all human kinds and living beings. You learn to sacrifice your own happiness for others happiness. Mosques being simple and open for all gives us the finest examples of being kind heart. You stand in front of a mosque and can feel it. It is big, clean, water available and open for all. What else you want in a shelter in bad weather?Life is full of several kind of weathers and clean open mosques are best place to visit for some peace in those moments and to take kids for teaching something good in life too!Visit a mosque with your kids to learn “how to live a clean, simple and disciplined life”.