Praying in group

{ Saturday, March 26, 2011 }
Maybe it's because I grew up with the idea that praying is something you do in private, but I don't really like to pray in group.It's not that I don't like the company, it's more that I can't concentrate when I pray with other women. I pray rather slow when I'm on my own, so when another woman is leading, I'm always thinking to myself "oh no, she will finish her sura before I finish mine, go faster, go faster!" It's like I don't have time to focus on what I'm saying, and that's what I don't like. I also don't pray in group very often, so maybe I'm just not used to it. My favorite place to pray is in my room, alone, following my own rhythm.
Another thing I don't like (how picky I am! :p) is to pray at someone else's place when the sister(s) in question don't need to pray and are watching your every move. Once it happened that I was done praying and a sister came towards me and started giving comments on how I should improve my prayer. I'm sure her intentions were good, but I felt a bit hurt and offended (especially because every one else heard her comments too!)

What is your opinion? Do you like to pray alone or in group? :) 


rose water said...

Oh I know what you mean, sister. When I go to the mosque, which happens very rarely actually, I don't go there to achieve a wonderful, peaceful prayer, because that never happens. For me the tempo is also always too fast or too slow and perhaps the sister next to me isn't too friendly or something else is wrong. Hehe. I go to the mosque to listen to the Khutba and benefit from that (insha'Allah) and I do enjoy to meet other muslimahs too, so... But the prayer... Sometimes I have even re-done it at home, also because my heart seems to beat so fast because I can't relax in the same way at the mosque, as in my home on my own.

I understand that you didn't appreciate the sister giving correcting (commenting) your prayer!! Ya Allah, I don't really think anybody should do that unless the person is a sheikh or sheikha... or does it very carefully!

Take care sweet sis :) and enjoy your prayer at home ;) - Perhaps one day we will feel different in the mosque/praying with a group of people... Insha'Allah.

Blue Pearl said...

You right so well - am pleased to have found your blog (after you commented on my page). I also love the theme of your blog. It's just perfect.

Safiyah said...

@rosewater: inshaAllah, sis. I heard there is more barakah in praying in group, so it's definitely worth getting used to! But I guess I'm just to self-aware when I'm with others to be able to fully concentrate.
I don't go to the mosque a lot at all, mainly because we don't really have a decent one in my direct environment. I once went to the juma prayer in Turkey. I was with two of my friends, and the mother of one of my friends, and we were the only women lol. Because of that the men couldn't go to the first floor of the mosque, since that floor is officially for women only. I felt a twinge of guilt, but hey, rules are rules :p
Anyway, the khutba was in Turkish, so I can't say I benefit much from it hehe.

@Bluepearl: Thank you for your compliments! :)I really like your blog too, by the way ;-)

Daisy said...

Salaam Sister Safiyah!! yes!! You read my mind when you wrote this post. Mashallah! This is the reason I dont go to the mosque and prefer to pray alone. When I go, I can never concentrate. Kids running around unattended. We cant see the Imam here in Bahrain since all is seperated so that irritates me. (We listen to him on a speaker) And it never fails, there is always some "well intended" Sister who feels she needs to critique my prayer. No thanks..I would rather stay home. Our prophet even said that the best place for a woman to pray is in her the reward for praying in group is not the same for the women as it is for the men. It is preferred that women pray in their homes.

Love your blog sister.... Mashallah!!

Safiyah said...

w aleykum assalaam Daisy! Thanks for your kind words! :) Oh, it's not the same? Great, then I don't have to feel this twinge of guilt anymore for not liking it hehehe.

Louise Taylor said...

Hi Safiyah,

I have been a muslimah for almost five years. I stopped going to the mosque after a few months and haven't been back.

In addition to the reasons that you and other commenters gave, my biggest issue was the women being relegated to the dirtiest and darkest part of the mosque. And the sermons were in arabic which I don't understand alongwith about half the congregation. Many of us brought this to imam's attention but he won't budge.

Like you, I enjoy communing with God and pray at home, which brings me immense joy and peace.
And I have no intention of attending the mosque until they change the things I mentioned.



Safiyah said...

You're right, Louise. The separation between men and women in mosques is not always done in a fair way. It's like they want to discourage women from going to the mosque! Personally, I think the khutba should be done in the language of the country. Yes, Arabic is the language of Islam, but what benefit will a khutba do if people can't understand it?

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