It’s true. No manners whatsoever. From taking up too much space during salah to the ringing of their cell phones, Muslim men simply have no manners when they are in the Masjid. Why? Maybe it’s poor parenting skills. Or maybe it’s the lack of respect or seriousness of the deen. Whatever the reason, it’s annoying and it needs to stop.You may not care about the way you act in the Masjid, but you should at least think about your brothers in Islam…right? Well I am going to list all of the annoying/bad-mannered acts that Muslim men do in the Masjid and maybe you guys can add what I missed in the comments. Ok, lets get started…
When the person next to you takes up too much space:
I’m sure many people went through this before. You just happen to be praying next to the wall at the end of the row or you get ready for salah and the line ahead of you has space for an extra person. But once you reach that spot, you realize that it’s too small and when you want to go back to your original spot, its too late; someone else already took your spot. All while the person next to you is using way too much space (you can tell by how spread out his legs are). Yet he refuses to make space for you! This issue is no big deal as what I always do is wait for the Imam to get up for the second rakah and then try to get up fast and get as much space as I can before the person can get up again. However, now instead of focusing on my salah, I’m competing for personal space. You can see how this can be distracting, especially when the person next to you is also competing to keep his space!
Another issue is when the person next to you has his arms spread out too wide. I mean really brothers, why do you need to spread your arms so wide for? Don’t you realize that you’re praying in a jama’ah? Either my head is going to hit your arm or my chest will hit your arm before my head has a chance to reach the floor. What do you want me to do brother, put my head under your arm? Be considerate towards the people praying besides you and make some room for them if they are tight in space.
When the person you’re praying next to stinks:
Now a person can smell bad in many ways and it can come from many parts of the body. There are, however, only two parts of the body that can distract a person praying around you: 1) Your breath and 2) your feet. Brothers, when I pray next to you and your breath stinks, it creates a barrier. When I’m in salah, I am directly communicating with Allah. But when the smell of your breath gets in the way, it gets in the way of the communication. How am I supposed to communicate with Allah if my environment smells bad? Even worse, how can I pray behind a person if that’s person feet stinks? I’m left wondering if those types of people ever made wadu before stepping foot in the Masjid.
Brothers, if you know you just ate something that will make your breath stink all day long, get a mint before coming to the Masjid. And brothers if you know you have the case of “smelly socks,” then most likely your feet are smelly too, so make sure you really wash them when making wadu. You can go as far as to pour some soap for the hands and use it to clean your feet. The Masjid should be a pleasant place to pray. If the Masjid stinks due to the people around me, I might as well pray home where I know my own house smells good.
When the person “whispers” loudly:
Everybody has to whisper a little in their salah. But to whisper loudly for no reason is just another distraction. This is especially annoying during the Zhur and Asr prayers where you are supposed to recite to yourself. When the person next to you is whispering loudly, it causes you to lose focus of what you’re reciting; especially if that person is reciting the same surah but at a different ayah. Don’t get me wrong, I am actually thankful that some of these people exist as this is how I have learned (or confirmed what I learned) some of the sayings you make in salah. But at least when you are reciting a surah from the Quran while in salah, you should try to make your voice as low as possible so other people can recite as well.
Another issue is when there’s this one person who says dua and other sayings in a loud voice after exhaling from taking a deep breath. As they slowly lose their breath, their voice gets lower and lower. Then once they breathe in for more air, they’re loud again. Seriously, in my local Masjid there is this one brother that does it…during Fajr salah! There is only a few people praying in the Masjid at that time so you can probably imagine how loud he is since everyone else is quiet. I mean brothers, what are you trying to prove when doing this? Are you trying to show us how religious you are? Once again, be mindful of the people around you and keep quiet.
The cell phone:
Ahh yes, the most annoying of them all. People just don’t seem to learn when it comes to this. No matter how many times the Imam tells everyone to turn off their cell phones, no matter how many signs you put up, you will always hear that one cell phone go off during salah or khutba. I mean what’s wrong with those kind of brothers? They’re quick to put their cell phones on vibrate during an important business meeting but don’t bother to do the same when their in the Masjid. Do you really think that your meeting with your boss is more important than your meeting with Allah? How dare you not obey the Imam when he says right before salah to turn off your cell phones? Why does every salah that I pray in the Masjid have to have a cell phone go off. I don’t even remember the last time I prayed jama’ah in the Masjid without a phone going off. It’s incredibility annoying.
What worse is that once it goes off, they don’t even bother to turn it off! I know you might think that if you do any other action besides salah, your salah will be invalid but it is ok to do acts that will perfect your salah. Examples like moving to make the line straight, connecting the toes (more on that later), etc are all acts that perfect the salah. By turning off the phone during salah, you are actually perfecting your salah by getting rid of the noise so you and everyone else can pray properly. And yes, I’ve been around enough shaykhs to know that when your phone goes off during salah, you must turn it off. So please brothers, turn off your cell phone the way you would turn it off at a business meeting so you and everyone else can pray to Allah with minimal distractions. And when I say turn off your cell phones, that includes putting your phone on vibrate as well.
When the person next to you doesn’t want to connect the toes:
This may not be a “bad manner” or anything but it’s just something I would like to point out. I just don’t understand why brothers do this. I mean I’m just a random guy in the Masjid who wants to perfect my salah yet you’re not letting me. Why are you so afraid of other people’s feet? Yes we’ve already discussed how they can stink but you’re only touching your brother’s pinky toe. I especially like those brothers who would rather feel cramped and uncomfortable in salah rather than spreading their feet and connect the toes. I laugh inside when I try to connect my toes to theirs and they have no space to pray since they constantly shrink themselves. But by the second rakah I feel sorry for them and make some space. Point is, there are many mosques in the West and most of them during Jumm’ah have no space for everybody. So for these brothers to not connect their toes means that they are leaving a gap in the row. If you combine all the gaps that these types of brothers leave, it would be enough to fill at least one-forth of all the people that can’t fit in the Masjid.
I am sure there are so many others I have forgot to mention however my point in writing this article wasn’t to just talk about Muslim men. Most of all the things I’ve listed above are being done by Muslims probably in their late 30’s on upwards. But this is for the Muslim youth. We need to change these habits from the ground up. Meaning that we need to target the young Muslim children and young adults and teach them how to have proper manners when in the Masjid because once they grow up, their children will inherit those bad manners and habits. If you see your friends at your school’s MSA or at the Mosque doing any of the things I’ve mentioned, question them and ask them why they are behaving in this way. Most likely it is due to ignorance and once they learn the right way to act in the Masjid, it will encourage them to learn more on how to become a better Muslim inshaAllah.
Of course I am not perfect. I will admit that I also have my flaws and act ignorantly in many situations as well. As a disclaimer, I am NOT a Scholar, Shaykh or Imam by any means.
May Allah forgive me if I have offended anyone and may Allah guide us all to the straight path. Ameen.