Masjid Funkraising

Written by: Hamzah Moin

8:27pmI arrived at the Masjid. It smells a bit like wet feet. But that’s okay. It’s my first time at this mosque and I hope that the Taraweeh prayers here are good. Last mosque I went to felt like an aerobics video while the one before that seemed like the Imam forgot the concept of ‘rukoo’. Isha beginning shortly.

8:39pmThat was a solid Isha. Masjid is packed too. I think Taraweeh prayer will be starting shortly. I am pumped. The guy standing in front of me was wearing a see through shalwar kameez. That probably invalidates his prayer. I hope it doesn’t invalidate mine.

8:45pmHere we go. Two rakaats for Salutul-Taraweeh. GO GO GO!

8:52pm: Well that was pretty intense. However the guy next to me was scratching his feet every few seconds. It was really gross. I could feel flakes of skin land on my foot. It was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

8:59pm: Four down… sixteen to go. I like this place. But the guy on the other side of me kept burping and his burps smelled like biryani. Does it invalidate my prayer if he burps on me and lose my concentration?

9:01pm: It seems they are taking a bit of a break… some guy is getting on the mic. He looks a bit scary. I wonder what this is about.

9:02pm: Damn. It seems the rest of Taraweeh is held hostage for some fundraising. I think they want to raise $1,000,000… all tonight. Here we go.

9:06pm: Nobody has donated anything yet. The guy on the mic is getting really upset. He keeps mentioning the punishments of Hell fire. This is freaking me out. I better donate $10.

9:10pm: It seems the grand total is at $12 right now. I think the guy is screaming about youth and how they have nowhere to go and are too busy fornicating. How motivating.

9:12pm: The guy with the see-through shalwar kameez just donated $5,000. This is huge. The fundraiser is making him stand-up in front of everyone to show what an “Ideal Muslim” looks like. I never knew the ideal Muslim wears tighty-whities.

9:16pm: Grand total: $5,027. The guy with scratchy legs is now scratching his head furiously. I think he’s pissed off. Burp-n-blow uncle is now asleep but still smells like biryani.

9:24pm: There is about 114 panels on the masjid ceiling. The same number of surahs in the Qur’an. MashAllah. Alhamdullilah.

9:31pm: The total is now $5,870. I decided to cancel out my summer vacation plans. I need this thing rolling faster. Here comes $6,000 from me! The fundraiser guy is making me stand up and doing the “ideal Muslim” speech again. The see-through shalwar kameez guy looks angry.

9:32pm: My wife is giving me the “death stare” from the sisters section. I should have consulted her first before spending all that Hawaii money. But it’s going for a good cause right? Wait… what’s this fundraising for again?

9:34pm: The see-through shalwar kameez guy just pledged another $7,000. He looked over at me in a smug look. If he has so much money he could at least buy clothes that meet Shariah requirements. Funraiser guy going ecstatic and makes a “More Ideal Muslim” speech.

9:41pm: People are starting to leave. The scratchy-legs guy is still scratching his head… he looks angrier than ever. The guy with see-through clothes is still staring at me. Grand total is around $21,521.62. Should I leave too? But I drove 45 minutes for some Taraweeh. I can’t leave now.

9:46pm: A little kid with a box is walking up and down the aisles, occasionally rattling the box with the change inside. The burn-n-blow just gave the boy a ‘pat on the head’. That’s hardly a donation.

9:51pm: The kid with the box is now looking directly at me, waiting for me to put money inside the box. I declined politely. But he’s still standing there in front of me. Perhaps I will ignore him.

9:53pm: Why is this idiotic kid still in front of me? Why is he still staring at me? I already gave money. Khalas.

9:56pm: I want to punch this kid. He is really pissing me off.

9:57pm: Woops… I didn’t mean to call him all those words…. Just some of them. I didn’t know he would cry like a little baby. Who knew 19 year olds could cry like that?

9:58pm: The fundraiser guy is now talking about how we should treat our youth with respect. He’s looking directly at me in disgust. What the hell.

9:59pm: Wow, now everyone is staring at me evilly. Fine… I’ll donate another $5,000. That should shut them up. My children can go to university later.

10:16pm: My wife is no longer in the sisters section. I think I’m sleeping on the couch tonight. Should I leave now as well? I might as well stay for Taraweeh. Whenever that is.

10:22pm: The crowd is starting to disperse. We’re still nowhere near the $1,000,000 but at least they’ll start Taraweeh… so says the fundraiser guy.

10:32pm: The scratchy-legs guy has left the building. I can still see some skin flakes on the carpet.

10:51pm: Holy smokes. The Imam just left. But fundraising is still going on. Apparently ‘Taraweeh’ will resume shortly.

10:54pm: That stupid kid left… the guy I taught the F-word to. He is still sobbing.

10:59pm: The fundraiser guy is screaming at people to raise their hands for ‘$100’. I was scratching my head and he counted me. Dammit.

11:31pm: 10 people left in the room. See-through shalwar kameez guy just donated another $15,000. He’s still giving me smug looks. I wonder if he knows that monopoly money isn’t legal tender.

11:44pm: I yawned and for some reason the fundraiser guy has signed me up for another ‘$100’

11:59pm: There’s only three people left in the room… myself, fundraiser guy and the see-through shalwar kameez dude. The fundraiser guy insists that Tarweeh will start shortly. There is no Imam and I clearly do not want the guy with see-through clothes leading me in prayer.

12:03am: It’s officially the next day.

12:06am: It seems the see-through shalwar kameez guy just left the building.

12:08am: Apparently the see-through shalwar kameez guy was bluffing the entire time and didn’t have any money was just raising his hand for kicks. The fundraiser guy is pissed off but he is still going at it. He insists that he will make the goal or else.

2:04am: Holy smokes did I pass out? The fundraiser guy is still going (!). Now he’s giving the Tafsir for Suratul Bakarah. I’m not sure why. Does he know I’m the only guy in the room?

3:06am: I have to get the hell out of here.

3:09am: I snuck into the parking lot when the fundraiser guy was on a rant about unity. I don’t think he saw me slip out. Now to drive off.

3:11am: Someone double-parked behind my car.