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Written by: Hamzah Moin
Ramadan is awesome because it allows me to not only abstain from food/drink during the day but also attend the masjid more regularly and see people I normally don’t see too often. But Taraweeh is awesomesauce in other ways… nearly every Tarweeh congregation has a distinct set of unique characters.
How many Taraweeh Superstars does your mosque have? Gotta catch ‘em all!
First Line Brigade
A long time ago, in a masjid far, far away… a bunch of uncles attended a mosque. That was in 1974. For whatever reason they have become masjid royalty and somehow find themselves in the front row each and every time.
Yeah, it’s great to be in the front row… but it’s usually reserved for people that actually show up early. First Line Brigadiers somehow have a knack of being in the front row even if they’re 30 minutes late. Using their incredible people-climbing skills, they somehow are able to maneuver and climb over the pesky third and second row attendees and usurp themselves to the prestigious front line.
If you see a First Line Brigadier, be sure to have an umbrella on you. The amount of water that drips on you from freshly-Wudu’d Brigadiers as they climb over you is equivalent to a severe rainstorm.
A lot of people in the Front Line Brigade happen to be there due to the amount of knowledge they have. Many of them even have spent years memorizing the Qur’an and are the prime candidates to correct any mistakes the Imam mistakes.
For some reason, an Unnecessary Corrector would find the need to correct the Imam too … from the fifth row… while holding a Qur’an. Congratulations you can read out of a book. Correctors get frustrated because neither the imam nor the first line can hear his amazing corrections (which sound a little more like angry grunts).
Let’s leave the corrections to those who memorized the Qur’an or at least people in the front row, hmmm?
Ah, Taraweeh. I bet you can’t wait to get some prayer action going on. Whoa… did you just blink? Well you missed Fatiha. Uh oh, did you blink again? They’re already in ruku. Blink again… what do you see? The prayer is done and they’re already on the next set of two rakats. What just happened? Looks like you’re in a Speed Reader prayer.
It’s hard to be in a prayer with a Speed Reader because your nose keeps bleeding due to constant change of altitudes. Ruku. Standing. Ruku. Standing. Ruku. Standing. All under a minute. It’s also hard because it doesn’t really sound like the Qur’an. It’s as if the Imam is just humming and doing aerobics. After 20 rakats you notice your gut has disappeared and have a sizzling six-pack. P90x has nothing on this.
Speed Readers who are too fast could even get speeding tickets from the police. It could even be criminal. Don’t screw up your criminal record!
Taraweeh is great because it brings in a lot of new people to the masjid who otherwise might not normally come. Some people look down on “Taraweeh Muslims” but I think it’s a great stepping stone.
First timers tend to be very, very confused. From accidentally praying in the sisters section, to thinking the canned food drive was the masjid’s iftaar and proceeding to open all the Kraft Dinner boxes, to thinking the donation box was a tip jar for the Imam, to finally praying in the sisters section again… Confused Guy usually has a rough first day at the mosque. Try to befriend ‘em.
Because really… aren’t they just so adorable? I feel like pinching their cheeks. But then I’ll get kicked out of the sisters section.
They say the gaps should be closed between people for prayer. This is so Shaytaan can’t come between us. But then you think to yourself, “It’s Ramadan. Shaytaan is locked up. It’s just a small gap. Not even a mouse can squeeze in here” and then you realize you spoke too soon. Enter the fattest guy who ate three lions during iftaar:
Not much you can do about this one other than to be vigilant with the gaps or perhaps to eat something gassy so people can avoid you… which leads to:
Yes, every Masjid has signs that say to turn off your cellphone before entering the prayer hall. But now we need a new sign for Muslims to ignore blatantly: “If you ate biryani or hummus or didn’t pay attention to the one third, one third, one third rule, then kindly walk to the next closest mosque for the sake of our mosque.”
Honestly. It’s a hazard. Many of us are weak from not eating all day. We don’t need some toxic gases to kill us in the middle of prayer. Belchers: If you honestly want to do the ummah some good then sell your Burp Weapon secrets to the army . They’ll buy it at a high price and it’s way more lethal than any gun or grenade or nuclear warhead out there.