Ramadan Reflections '13, Day 28: Taraweeh Troubleshooting

I've decided that I've complained enough about Taraweeh and that it's time to come up with sensible solutions to address the issues that come up in a crammed prayer space. Taraweeh prayer is unique to Ramadan, and takes a lot of patience and endurance, since you're up late and praying more than one would normally pray. Oh, and you're having to battle these issues while you're at it. From the Taraweeh prayers I've attended, I could group issues I'm seeing into four general categories. The following is my take on how to solve these issues for next year's Ramadan!

Problem: Head to butt collisions and concussions
Solution: Arrange congregation by height

Ok, so yes, we've all encountered the head to butt collisions that occur during the various phases of prayer. Some of these collisions are enough to leave one seeing stars, which can be highly distracting and painful during prayer. So here's a solution that I credit Asif with coming up. Mosque attendees need to be arranged by height...we'll place the shorter women at the front and the taller ones in the back! A person who is 5' 2" does NOT need as much space to prostrate say as someone as tall as me, who is 5' 9" (i.e. longer legs or torso means that we can't curl up as tight as those who are shorter). So, here's the solution. The prayer rows with shorter individuals will need less of a gap between them compared to the ones for us taller folk. This will prevent the head to butt collisions since each row would have individuals of the same height or with about an inch difference! Comfort at its best!

Women must therefore know their height or ushers will perform a quick height measurement before directing worshippers to their designated row. Oh and of course, ushers standing beside each row will reflect the height of that row!

Problem: The lines are apparently never straight enough
Solution: Magnetic socks lock into magnetic foot holders

Yes, the women this year just can't seem to get their lines straight. I can tell by the Aunties who patrol up and down the fire lane and stand beside the last person in line while peering down to make sure everyone's feet are within one millimetre of being lined up. The solution? Women will be asked to purchase $25.00 socks with magnets on the bottom. These socks then lock them into foot holders, which delineate where women can stand, leaving just enough room between them to breathe. These magnetic foot holders ensure that women are locked into place and prevents willy-nilly shuffles during prayer. They are flexible enough to accommodate how the foot bends during various stages of prayer. FYI, Matrix-like bullet dodging moves will not be permitted.

Problem: Some Aunties come in smelling like their dinner
Solution: Febreeze odor decontamination spray above entrance door

It seems as though I'm eating while I'm praying, thanks to Aunties who come to Taraweeh wearing the same clothes they cook their food with. Onions, garlic, samosas, biryani...you name it, I've whiffed it!

Now no woman will smell anymore! With the installation of Febreeze motion-sensitive decontamination sprays, each woman will receive a small dose of lavender-scented deodorizer as they walk through the musallah's doors. And for those who are worried that their smell will attract unwanted attention from the men's side, there's a re-odorizer spray above the door as you walk out, pumping out the smell of fried onions to help mask one's attractive scent. Let's keep things halal folks!

Problem: Too many women are jammed into the musallah, resulting in exceeding the fire code limit
Solution: Piggy back praying

I know the name sounds haram, but it's not. When we have reached the limit of women allowed by LAW to pray in the space, the remaining women find someone to piggy back on (preferably someone taller and stronger), and thus both women conduct their prayers at the same time! Boom, two for one!

No seriously, on this one, a school gym or community centre hall could be rented out, thus allowing more people in general to attend prayers. The NW musallah has outgrown itself for Taraweeh prayers. While it's fine during the rest of the year, I think that the Board/committee needs to think outside of the box to accommodate the increase in number of Muslims who attend prayer each year.

Ok, so I'm kidding with these solutions, except for the one above since I think that renting another space does make sense. Ramadan just isn't the same without attending Taraweeh, and these Aunties sure do make Taraweeh interesting each and every night. With due credit to them, the volunteers actually thanked everyone for their patience and for forgiveness if they offended anyone. Oh, and they asked for feedback, so I'll be passing this blog along to them.

Hmm, and perhaps the Febreeze anti-stink sprays wouldn't be that hard to install after all...?

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