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MINNEAPOLIS – Announcements at Masjid Ul-Iman mosque fell on deaf ears once again and President Zulfiqar Aziz is helpless on his course of action. “I don’t get it,” says Aziz, “Why do people ignore my extremely important announcements?”
Zulfiqar, President of the mosque for two years, used to capture the attention of the entire crowd with his captivating announcements. But soon, apathy struck in with the congregants and they used his announcements time to compulsively check their phones or take a quick power nap. “It’s insulting to be honest,” says Aziz, “I just stare at at the top of balding heads and sparkling hijabs. Nobody looks at me anymore.”
Congregants of the mosque feel that the president’s announcements have run its course. “At the beginning we all lent a compassionate ear to him,” said Ayesha Begum, “He’d announce all of the recently deceased to pray for but it didn’t take long for us to realize that he was just listing his favourite Game of Thrones characters who died on the show.”
Aziz’s announcements got longer as the crowd became more restless. What started off as quick housekeeping announcements at Taraweeh turned into long explanations of the verses being read which were somehow longer than the Taraweeh itself. He also enjoyed giving an overly detailed biography of the hafiz. “I honestly know the hafiz better than my own husband thanks to these dumb announcements,” said Begum.
The President began hijacking timeslots after Isha and the four rakat mark. He also figured out what his most popular announcements were and prolonged them. “He knew the only thing we paid attention to was when he was making an announcement about a car that may have parked illegally or left its lights on,” explained Begum, “But he’d take forever telling us the license plate… each digit took nearly a minute. He was clearly milking the mic.”
Zulfiqar denies this allegation and explains that he might be prolong an announcement when he is feeling agitated. “I really dislike it when people get up to pray Sunnah when I start speaking. It’s like they were waiting for me to start. I get that Sunnah is awesome but it’s against the Sunnah to hurt the feelings of someone who is trying to give helpful announcements.”
The Sunnah strategy has worked well for the congregants of the mosque however. When Aziz has to walk across the front row to approach the mic, most of the congregants would start to pray Sunnah as soon as he walked by, trapping him with long suras and saving the crowd from his endless announcements.
Zulfiqar is patient however. “Wait until they hear what I’m going to do on Laylatul-Qadr.”