September 12, 2009

IFS Masjid Hygiene Issues that Must be Addressed

Posted in Character, Fiqh, Islam, Knowledge, Social Commentary, Social Justice, Sufism, Taqwa at 8:35 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

WARNING: Long post.

I can totally see this post being taped to the front doors of the IFS Masjid. God forbid that happen. (Don’t get any ideas spiderman….)

From the Desk of Faith786, future Dictator 4 Life and Emperor of the Free World:

So yes, today’s rant, ahem, lecture of IFS is in regards to the hygiene of the Masjid. What prompted me to write this post is when I went to Fajr there this morning and…. And after praying, I really had to use the bathroom, so I went to the first floor women’s bathroom and I went in one of the stalls…

(WARNING: pregnant women, children, people who are still full from suhur,  and sensitive people should not read further)

…and I swear, I don’t know what the *HELL* was on the stall door, but it was brown and smeared all over the top half of it. So naturally, as the Faith786 thing to do, I freaked and ran out of the bathroom. Look, I can handle centipedes, spiders, dead squirels, Hydrochloric Acid (HCl), Zinc Sulfate (ZnSO4), dirt, clogged chemistry lab and kitchen sinks, and scrubbing floors by hand, but that was *NASTY.*

(Spiderman: ‘Water hits the floor… nasty.’)

(Not to forget to mention the toilet paper and water all over the floor, random colored paper towels on the sink counter, the bacteria in one of the lotas and one of the stall doors with the lock welded on BACKWARDS….)

I was also in the upstairs Masjid and I had to clean up random coke bottles, used tissues, paper bits and other stuff on the carpet.

So now that you can slightly glimpse the seriousness of this dilemma, I shall now provide the problems and their solutions:

1. Bathrooms:

Men’s: I cannot address the men’s bathroom situation other than to repeat what the Imam of the masjid has claimed against men that none of them should use the bathroom standing. I don’t know why they would try standing, nor do I want to know, but PLEASE SIT DOWN AND USE THE BATHROOM. And any other issues, talk to the local Imam.

As for the women’s:

—When entering the bathroom with your left foot, say: Allahuma Inni A’uthubikah Miinal Khubthi wal khaba-ith. Or at least say Authu Billahi Mina-shaytaanir Rajeem.

—When leaving with your right foot, say: Ghufranak.

—Enter the stall and return it the way you found it or if there is stuff on the floor (paper specifically) throw it out. And if it is something really gross, grab a paper towel to pick it up, If it is potentially a plague ridden bio hazard, go to the school, Imam or a janitor to get someone to clean it ASAP.

—If you drop water on the floor, CLEAN IT. This includes after you do wudu–sink, floor and the edge of the basin of the sink. If I can clean up water I spill or drip, you should too. Be a woman and clean up after yourself.

—If you have children and they make a mess, you must clean up after every inch of them. If they knock over the lota, you better clean it up. If they grab the toilet paper and throw it everywhere, you better pick it up and throw it in the trash can.

(WARNING: Next point is female sensitive)

—I have to address this because it is a SERIOUS issue. So no laughing. If you have any feminine products, THROW IT IN THE BATHROOM STALL TRASH CAN. Don’t dare try to flush it, throw it on the floor or throw it in the main trashcan in the bathroom. If it touches ANYTHING, I mean ANYTHING, you will finish using the bathroom, get a paper towel with water and soap and clean it three times and then with water and paper towel three times and then dry it. I don’t give a @?#!*$!, you must clean it THOROUGHLY.

(WARNING over.)

—Do not write, smear your fingers or other things on the stall walls. They are germ infested. Just leave the walls alone. There is no need to touch them or mess with them. They are there to give you privacy, so be thankful for them.

—Do not have lota water fights. This is self-explanatory.

—Do not talk while you are in the bathroom.

—Do not ‘peep’ into other stalls via over the top of the wall or through the cracks. This is a sin. On this topic, do not stand on the toilet. You may fall in and that would suck and I would have the irresistable urge to flush you down for being an idiot.

—If you pull out extra paper towels on accident for wudu, take the left over ones and stack them neatly over one of the air dryers in the wudu room. Do not leave them on the floor or in the sink.

—And if you want to be a REALLY good Muslim, if you see something on the floor, pick it up and throw it.

—Fill the lota half way for when you go to the bathroom. Filling it up all the way risks spills and you won’t use it all. And if you spill your lota, be a woman and clean it up.

Now onto point 2:

2. Masjid Foyer/Entrance Area where the donation box and the stupid tv screens are.

—If there are papers on the floor, pick it up.

—Do not write on the walls or touch the windows for no apparent reason.

—Do not ‘drop’ or ‘spill’ something and not pick/clean it up.

—If you somehow ‘splash’ water from the water fountain on the floor (I don’t know how you can do that), go to the bathroom, get a paper towel and clean it up.

—Don’t leave random papers at the stairs.

Now onto point 3:

3. Main Majid area (commonly used for men only in non school hours.)

—Please don’t leave random junk on the back and side benches.

—Don’t leave any books on the ground.

—Don’t leave random tissue, bottles, candy wrappers, paper/paper shreds on the carpet.

—If you are sick, use hand sanitizer before grabbing any books.

—Do not put perfume on the carpet. (Apparently some men have this problem.) People’s feet BO get in the carpet and that mixed with itar is not a pleasant experience in sajdah.

—On the topic of feet BO–DRY YOUR FEET BEFORE PUTTING YOUR SOCKS ON!!! Putting wet feet in socks/chappals, make your feet stink and if you enter the masjid with wet bare feet/wet leather socks, the water gets in the carpet and after people sit on the carpet for long periods of time, it just STINKS IT UP! So please, dry feet only. Wet faces, okay. Wet feet=not cool.

—If you take a book, put it back where it belongs.

—Do not eat or drink in the Masjid. In fact, don’t even bring food in the Masjid.

Point 4:

4. Women’s Masjid Area

—Don’t leave your shoes on the floor. The reason I am nailing the women’s side specifically on this issue is because there is already little walking space. Don’t be an idiot and leave them on the floor. And if you have boots, put them sideways on the racks. And if they are still too big, put them underneath or on top of the rack. The racks are also adjustible. FYI.

—Don’t leave books on the floor.

—Don’t leave random tissue, bottles, candy wrappers, baby stuff, paper/paper shreads, baby toys, purses, and jewlery on the floor. I don’t even know why people take off their bracelets and just leave them on the carpet….

—If you are sick, use hand sanitizer before touching or grabbing any books.

—WATCH YOUR KIDS. You brought them to the Masjid, they are YOUR liability. If they are running around and dropping/spilling things, that is your responsibility to deal with. Can’t handle it? I am sorry, but you should stay home. My mom would tell me the same thing.

—If your baby has a ‘used’ diaper, TAKE THE KID TO THE BATHROOM ASAP. LIKE, BREAK YOUR PRAYER ASAP. DO NOT CHANGE THE DIAPER UPSTAIRS! One Ramadan, one toddler apparently was very uncomfortable with her diaper during prayer. So she was right in front of the person next to me and decided that she wasn’t feel comfy and TOOK OFF HER ‘USED’ DIAPER AND RAN QUITE LITERALLY AMOK AROUND THE MASJID. So I broke my prayer and chased that kid down before God forbid she sat on the carpet. (If she had a ‘used’ diaper, you could understand why this was my concern.) I ended up taking her to the bathroom and attempted to clean and wrap her in toilet paper while I went back upstairs looking for her mother. Needless to say, when I went and came out of the bathroom with a todler covered in toilet paper, some of the men made fun of me like no other. Case and point: WATCH YOUR KIDS!!!

—Do not wear purfume. Not only is it a sin, (forgive me Allah if I am wrong) but it already smells upstairs with the men’s BO downstairs rising upstairs and the heat.

—Also dry your feet before entering.

—If there is something on the carpet next to you, pick it up. Even if it isn’t your mess. I try to make this a habit, but if it is something nasty, get a janitor or find someone who will pick it up.

—Prevent your kids from writing on the walls.

—Do not eat or drink in the Masjid. Don’t bring food and if you have to feed your kid, take the kid out of the Masjid.

—If you take a book, put it back where it belongs.

—If there are flyers on the floor, or you have flyers (WHICH THERE IS A PUNISHMENT FOR THOSE WHO DO OR TALK VAIN THINGS IN THE MASJID) put them in the Masjid entrance or if you feel super compelled to advertize, just leave them on the desk near the door.

—Don’t apply makeup in the Masjid. Actually, you shouldn’t be wearing any makeup in the first place. Water and facial cleanser before leaving the house is okay. (For some reason this point reminds me of the Chemistry saftey video I saw that said you should not apply any makeup, most of lipstick, in the lab….)

5. Shoe rooms:

(This should get a separate post. XD)

—Place your shoes neatly on the shoe racks. Is it that hard? How can the same intellecutally advanced animals who know the quadratic equation not be able to put their shoes on the shoe racks?

—Place your coat neatly on the movable coat hangar…beam…thing.

—Don’t linger in the shoe room. It is small. Be in the Masjid, the Entrance or outside.

—If you have mud on the bottom of your shoes, you should have wiped them on the entrance mats outside of the masjid, but if there is still some left, wipe it on the carpet-mat in the shoe room.

—Don’t touch other people’s shoes. They are not your property. If you take them, you will be responsible for them on the Day of Judgment. That goes for the person(s) who have taken my shoes over my school years at IFS. But I forgive you. They aren’t worth much any way and I don’t know why you would steal my gym shoes that had three holes in them….

6. Overall Hygiene that as a Community We Should Do.

—There should be assigned families to clean the Masjid one week and have a calendar ready for at least six months at a time. Some families can do it more than once, and others can simply volunteer for that week. Cleaning would include: vacuuming the carpet, picking up trash, cleaning the bathroom stalls and calling a professional for ‘other’ problems, cleaning up the entrance area papers, organizing the books, cleaning the windows, cleaning the walls to the best of one’s ability, and maybe gardening/mowing the outside lawn. (Borrowing the idea from how hindu temples are maintained, which sadly to say, theirs are more cleaner than ours and Islam is known for being the religion with the BEST HYGIENE HANDS DOWN. This is not even up for argumentation as we have the most hygiene laws in written and oral form from Quran and hadith.)

—There should be hygiene lectures every 3-6 months. One for adults, one for kids and one for youth. (Obviously each category, save kids, would be gender segregated.) But these lectures should be done in a kind, thoughtful, gentle manner and with adhab. There should be a respect for the audience. No ‘go to hell’ lectures. That doesn’t connect with the community well….

—We need to buy new lotas every two years. I would even say once a year, but I don’t know if that would cross the line from being clean to being wasteful….

—We need air freshners and filters in the Masjid, bathrooms and shoe rooms. We can use the money we save from not getting others to clean our Masjid for this.

—People on the board MUST come and clean the Masjid. Otherwise it should be grounds for them to get kicked off.

—IFS students should be required to clean the masjid up as a service project minimum three times a year.

So this is my rant, ahem, lecture on the matter. I try to follow my own advice as I don’t want to lecture you all and not help clean up myself. But this is a communal effort, so if you go to IFS, please try to help clean up. There is profound spiritual barakah in cleaning up the Masjid so if you aren’t going to do it for Allah and the Masjid, do it for good deeds. That is one thing I totally respect about Mr. Borji; he picks up any trash on his way to the Masjid. May Allah reward him and give him all that is good for him and keep everything that is bad for him away from him and may he be at peace with it. Aameen.

And I couldn’t find the janitor and I couldn’t find the Imam, so I left a note about the stall in the women’s bathroom on his door. I hope it gets cleaned by tonight….

May Allah help our Masjid get cleaner so there will be more noor and barakah and may we improve as a community. May we do all that is good and keep away from all that is bad and may Allah guide and forgive us all. Aameen.

I felt like writing that because it is the last 10 days of Ramadan and I have been making so much duaa lately….

…Okay, Faith786 checking out–

6 Comments »

  1. spiderman said,

    im printing this and posting it in the bathroom and handing it out at taraweeh😉

  2. Roxas said,

    This is too funny and too true at the same time. Good Job. where is this IFS anyway?

  3. Tony Brown said,

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work!🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read..Tony Brown

  4. faith786 said,

    (I cannot believe people who don’t go to IFS are reading this post. XD)

    Spiderman: Oh no you don’t! But it would be too funny if someone else typed something like this up and threw it off the masjid roof next Eid….

    Roxas: IFS is in Villa Park, IL.

    Tony Brown: Thank you!

  5. .`” I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information ~-:

  6. Great post but I am not sure that I agree. But then, folks consider me difficult
    at the best of times! Appreciate it.


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