Mosque bans fid­get toy dur­ing prayers

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MAHVASH ALI

A mosque is the lat­est to join the list of in­sti­tu­tions ban­ning fid­get spin­ners.

The imam of Masjid e Umar in Mount Roskill an­nounced the pop­u­lar toy was not al­lowed in­side the mosque be­fore the start of a spe­cial one-hour even­ing prayer for Ra­madan, the Is­lamic month of fast­ing that be­gan for Kiwi Mus­lims on May 28.

The mosque com­mit­tee de­clined to com­ment, but one rep­re­sen­ta­tive said the de­ci­sion was in line with the mosque’s pol­icy around other de­vices.

‘‘This fid­get spin­ner an­nounce­ment is a non-event re­ally. We do not al­low peo­ple to use other de­vices in­side the mosque. It’s a re­spect thing.’’

He said the mosque was no dif­fer­ent from a num­ber of schools that had banned the pop­u­lar toy.

New Zealand Mus­lim As­so­ci­a­tion said chil­dren were not al­lowed to bring toys and gad­gets to the mosque and this in­cluded fid­get spin­ners. For reg­u­lar mosque-goer Ir­fan Baig, this was good news.

He went to the Masjid e Umar daily with his nine-year-old son Re­han Baig. He said there could be up to 80 kids at the mosque and while hun­dreds of adults prayed in the front, chil­dren snuck to the back and had ‘‘com­pe­ti­tions’’ with their fid­get spin­ners.

Chil­dren com­peted against each other to see who could ro­tate the the ball-bear­ing de­vices fastest or who knew most fid­get spin­ner tricks.

Some fid­get spin­ners even had flash­ing lights. Baig said the hour-long even­ing prayer was a time for quiet re­flec­tion.

Fid­get spin­ners were orig- in­ally mar­keted as a stress­re­liev­ing de­vice and had a bear­ing in the cen­tre with three prongs.

His nine-year-old son said three new fid­get spin­ners, that his un­cle had or­dered as a gift, were on their way from the United King­dom.

But Re­han un­der­stood why the imam had pro­hib­ited fid­get spin­ners at the mosque.

‘‘We are there to pray not play and it is in­sult­ing to use fid­get spin­ners in the mosque,’’ he said.

Baig said he had no is­sues with his son buy­ing into the new craze, as long as he fol­lowed the rules and the toy did not get in the way of his school work.

Masjid e Umar’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive said he had not seen any gad­gets, in­clud­ing fid­get spin­ners, since the an­nounce­ment.

MAHVASH ALI/FAIR­FAX NZ

Re­han Baig, front, with his fid­get spin­ner as par­ents Ir­fan Baig, left, and Aye­sha Baig look on.

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