Several months before Ramadan (1439/2018), I brought my son to the nearest Masjid to our home. My son at this time is 2 years 3 months old. My intention was to familiarise him with the House of Allah thus implanting in him the love of Masjid, something that my father did when I was young.
Understanding the temperament of children, research has identified three temperament types of practical significance in children’s development and adjustment namely: easy, difficult, and slow-to warm-up temperament. Generally, the three temperaments (However, the temperaments may overlap with one another) are characterised below:
- Easy: is generally in a positive mood, quickly establishing regular routines in infancy and adapts easily to new experiences.
- Difficult / Feisty: tends to react negatively and cry frequently, engaging in irregular daily routines and is slow to accept new experiences.
- Slow to Warm Up Child: has a low activity level, is somewhat negative, shows low adaptability and displays a low intensity of mood.
Knowing my son, he falls under the categories of Easy and Difficult / Feisty. He adapts rather quickly with other stranger-kids and is happy when we go out to somewhere new to him. He gets bored easily, that’s why we don’t usually stay at home very often, we go out to the park or playground to entertain his energy. I would categorise this as easy. My son is very loud. He expresses his frustrations and demands very loudly and clearly. This is feisty I believe.
My son is pretty much exited to go to any Masjids because of the song “Mari Ke Masjid” by the famous Omar & Hana edutainment cartoon by Digital Durian (DD) and Astro. So that day, him and I went to the Masjid to pray Maghrib prayer. As usual, he will make noise like saying out-loud “Tepi, Adik nak lat” (Tepi, adik nak solat /Move away, I want to pray) as he makes his way through the lines of people to get to stand beside me. When I am making my sujud (prostration), he will climb on my back. If I am praying fardhu prayer, I will try to gently shake him off, but if I am praying sunat prayer, I will let him climb on my back until he descends by himself.
Actually, I have several times brought him to other Masjids before. But this time, after I’ve prayed sunat prayer after Maghrib, an elderly man with white hair came to me. He greeted me like asking where I live, how many children do I have, where do I work. But then came his real intention “I want to give a piece of advice, please don’t bring your child to the Masjid. He is noisy and he is disturbing other people.” I can argue with him in a hadith the prophet prolonged his prostration because one of his grandchildren was on his back. He waited until his grandchild autonomously came down.
But I did not want to prolong the disagreement with him, he is an old man. It’s difficult sometimes reasoning with an old man. Usually they will think that they are right all the time. Initially, I wanted to spend some more time reciting the Quran while my son will inspect the Masjid by himself, let him be free without the influence of his parent. But since the old man has disrupted my intention, I thanked him and quickly made our retreat.
Our Masjids are not child-friendly. Let me rephrase, people who go to the Masjid are not child-friendly. Unnecessary rules like what the uncle said to me is the status-quo believed in our society. Children’s job is playing. Society’s job is to accommodate that and look beyond the ‘nuisance’. Things like this make me dislike bringing my child to the Masjid. We want to educate the young, to be close to the house of Allah, but other people wish to rescind that relationship.
question “Why we do not see young people at the Masjid?”
 Guerin, D. W., Gottfried, A. W., Oliver, P. H., & Thomas, C. W. (2003). Temperament: Infancy through Adolescence. The Fullerton Longitudinal Study. Boston, MA: Springer US.
 The Messenger of Allah came out to us for one of the two later prayers [Thuhr Asr], carrying Hasan or Hussein. The Prophet then came to the front and put him down, said Takbir for the prayer and commenced praying. During the prayer, he performed a very long prostration, so I raised my head and there was the child, on the back of the Messenger of Allah, who was in prostration. I then returned to my prostration. When the Messenger of Allah had offered the prayer, the people said: “O Messenger of Allah! In the middle of your prayer, you performed prostration and lengthened it so much that we thought either something had happened or that you were receiving revelation!” He said: “Neither was the case. Actually, my grandson made me his mount, and I did not want to hurry him until he had satisfied his wish” (Reported by Nasaa’i, Ibn Asaakir, and Haakim)