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Behind the Kitchen Walls – Her sanctity, her listener, her keeper of secrets – By Mumtaz Moosa

TASKEEN’S POINT OF VIEW

Adam, my dearest husband, decided he would invite all the Muadhin for Iftaar. I was delighted when he told me, as I felt it was a great way to show our appreciation for their noble work.

I called Amina and asked her to help, and I asked Adam to invite his parents to attend. We decided to include the families of the muadhin too.

I thanked Allah for our beautiful big yard, and it was decided that we would go all out to ensure that we gave them a treat for all the sacrifices they made for the pleasure of Allah.

Uncle Baboo, after Fajr, was tasked with inviting the muadhin and his family from the surrounding masajid. Amina decided that the kids should be given treats and some gifts.

After Fajr, Amina and I headed to the kitchen to plan our “party” when the phone rang. I felt apprehensive as it was pretty early for a conversation, and I dreaded that it might be bad news.

“Taskeen! Is this your stupid idea to invite all the Bangisaaps to your home?”, Sabera shouted. I was shocked at her vehemence and open racist attitude.

Trying to remain calm, I replied, “Aunty Sabera, they are not Bangisaap; they are muadhins. They are chosen to bless us five times daily with the call to prayer. You get so excited when the local Imam visits, so why not the muadhins? Are you being a racist?”

Amina, facing me at the kitchen sink, looked stunned by my question. I replaced the phone in its cradle as Aunty Sabera disconnected the call without responding.

Amina, full of pride, held my hand as she soothed my shattered nerves. But I felt at peace, having had my say at last and respectfully putting Aunty Sabera in her place.

As the families arrived that evening, Adaam led the male folk to the garage, where a spread had been laid out and salah facilities as well. I escorted the ladies and children to the back.

The children were delighted to see a jumping castle and began playing.

Amina and I played hostesses, getting to know the real heroes behind the callers to prayer. I was touched as each sister handed me a gift after Iftar. Each represented their culture and heritage, which made the night even more memorable.

The eldest sister in the group, Layla, asked to give a small speech. She thanked Allah for the wonderful meal and the great company and concluded with a special prayer for Adaam, Amina and me.

The conversation sparked an idea and would also give me something to do that would benefit these lovely ladies and me. I could put my expensive education to good use by serving my community.

RAMADAN TIP:
Our muadhins are perhaps one of the most underrated people in our societies. They often work seven days a week, 365 days a year, and are sometimes housed in squalid conditions and paid meagre salaries. In some Masajid, every musallee feels he has the right to instruct the muadhin.

The Holy Qur’an states: “And who is better in speech than one who calls to Allah and does righteous deeds and says: “I am of those who submit.” (41:33) The muadhin has a very noble and honoured status in the sight of Allah. He proclaims the greatness of Allah five times a day; he has the honour of caring for the House of Allah! Nabi Sallallahu’ alayhi wasallam has said: “The muadhins will be the proudest of people on the Day of Qiyamah.” (Muslim)

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