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Masjid Parking Syndrome

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Dr. O blogs at Muslim Medicine, a site that strives to serve only the freshest grade-A certified abiah ḥalāl comedy. Contact your local ḥalāl butcher for more details..

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Back in the olden days, it was a much simpler time.

Every Friday morning would be a bright and wondrous journey to the local masjid for Muslims, all of whom would strap on their worn-out footwear and proudly travel by foot – and with every step they’d take, such a profound blessing would be levied upon them.

As communities grew and expanded outward, Muslims found themselves too far from the masjid to simply walk there, and out of necessity they began to develop cutting-edge technological advancements in transportation.

Due to perpetual stereotyping, Muslims began researching alternate forms of transportation, and began to utilize actual machines instead of animal-based modes of transport. Their dear love for animals, however, was still incorporated into their usual travel habits:

But then history took an unexpected turn, and suddenly… Muslims discovered the car. An oil-powered motorized carriage that soon became a dream come true for everyone, especially lazy Muslims who lived miles away.

But shortly after this discovery, the widespread use of the car had untold implications on the historic and iconic journey to the masjid for Jumu‘ah, and a vicious disease known as Masjid Parking Syndrome began to spread through the entire ummah faster than acute-onset Bieber Fever spreading through hormonally-repressed pre-teen girls.

Masjid Parking Syndrome (MPS): a long-term chronic disease of the Muslim body whereupon automobile driving and parking skills rapidly deteriorate when attempting to travel to and park near an Islamic facility.

A classic example of the disease presentation is shown below:

Masjid Parking Syndrome is an extremely widespread disease, found to be contagious amongst entire Muslim communities who reside in areas of the world where cars are the primary mode of transportation.

The disease is mainly found in suburban masājid with small parking lots, but is compounded to horrific levels in inner-city masājid, where every Friday afternoon the very city streets fall prey to a swarm of parking space-hungry Muslims hunting for a spot to show off their cringe-worthy “gracefulness” at parallel parking:

Now, we know what you’re thinking – “how do I know if I’m at risk for developing this disease?!” Well, if you’re already driving your car with the same level of coordination as a blind-folded giraffe wearing roller-skates, then being at risk for parking ridiculously at the masjid is probably the least of your worries.

But if you consider yourself a decent driver, then MuslimMatters has compiled a few risk factor charts that may come in handy for you.

As you can see, the bigger the attendance level, the fewer the parking spot availabilities, and the more desperate Muslim drivers get. And if you think that’s bad? One of the biggest risk factors is tardiness. Muslims are almost always perpetually late to pretty much everything, and Jumu‘ah is no exception:

The actual symptoms of Masjid Parking Disorder are fairly easy to catch. You simply show up for Jumu‘ah or ‘Īd ṣalāh and you should almost naturally be welcomed by horrific scenes of the worst parking jobs imaginable. As we noted clearly above, the later you arrive to the masjid, the more extreme the parking symptoms become:

While the disease is not fatal to the patient, it is extremely harmful to surrounding bystanders, damaging to other vehicles, and profoundly irritating to all other masjid attendees who are tortured by constant interruptions from the masjid board members:

How do you even treat a disease this deeply rooted in our community? Unfortunately… no complete cure currently exists for Masjid Parking Syndrome. Some Muslim physicians have suggested prevention as the best form of halting the spread of this syndrome, and have gone so far as to even start patients on more natural treatment regiments that return us to our roots, such as riding camels to Jumu‘ah:

The treatment seemed to go well at first, but the reaction of the camels, however, was rather unexpected:

Prevention is always the best means of treatment, and for this rather unfortunate affliction in our community, a reminder of the sheer brilliance of the blessings showered upon those who arrive early to Jumu‘ah is brought to mind:

Abu Hurayrah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Whoever does ghusl on Friday like ghusl for janābah, then goes to the prayer (in the first hour, i.e., early), it is as if he sacrificed a camel. Whoever goes in the second hour, it is as if he sacrificed a cow; whoever goes in the third hour, it is as if he sacrificed a horned ram; whoever goes in the fourth hour, it is as if he sacrificed a hen; and whoever goes in the fifth hour it is as if he offered an egg. When the imam comes out, the angels come to listen to the khuṭbah.” Al-Bukhāri (814) and Muslim (850)

Jumu‘ah isn’t an event that suddenly pops out of nowhere for us, so it’s best to prepare for it in advance every week to take full advantage of its blessings, and avoid the usual rush of Muslims arriving late for it and resorting to parking violations just to attend. Also, it’s pretty obvious that the Jumu‘ah rush takes a huge toll on the patience of the neighbors surrounding the masjid, and proper adab for a Muslim community is to follow the example of the Rasūl ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and respect the property and space of neighbors to the House of Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

Parking may seem like something trivial to most Muslims, but Islam places such a big emphasis on the manner and timing of our arrival to Jumu‘ah, so we should pay the same respect to that too. Follow in the footsteps of our great ṣaḥābah and our Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), and park a little farther from the masjid to reap the rewards of every step taken towards His House.

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Hailing from New York, Dr. O is a current medical student who blatantly misappropriates his study time by posting absurd articles lampooning the weird things he often notices within the Muslim community. His articles often contain unhealthy doses of odd wit and humor, sprinkled with overly-pretentious medical-jargon, but covered in a sweet milk-chocolate coating of small sincere life lessons. Despite not actually having a medical license and pretending to impersonate an actual physician online, Dr. O aims to heal patients with just a tiny bit of bitter advice contained within a sugary pill of light-hearted laughter. He hosts his own blog, Muslim Medicine, at http://www.muslimmedicine.net.

43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. Nahyan

    January 25, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    hahaha, this is hilarious!

  2. Saher

    January 25, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    This is too funny!

  3. Wael - IslamicAnswers.com

    January 25, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Parts of this were very funny. And parts of it made me uncomfortable. As the piece acknowledges, it perpetuates insulting stereotypes, and I don’t think that’s necessarily good. The lesson at the end is a good one, jazak Allah khayr for that.

    • Dr. O

      January 25, 2012 at 7:10 PM

      Wa jazak, insha’Allah! JazakAllah khair for the honest feedback, Wael- I really appreciate it!

      I do apologize if some parts made you uncomfortable- but as you pointed out, my particular style of satire is meant to give a strong sense of self-awareness, so that it avoids aggrandizing the lowest-common-denominator of humor.

      Stereotypes are hardly ever good, but that’s the point- I’m bringing to light that it clearly is something that we’ve been stereotyped about, and then poking fun at that notion. Stereotypes only become insulting when you show vulnerability towards it and lash back when others hurl it at you.

      By laughing it off and pointing out its ridiculousness, you take away the power behind an insult and make it useless for others to use.

      Thanks again for the positive response!

  4. Ai

    January 25, 2012 at 4:17 AM

    I didn’t find this funny at all. Prayer and the masjid deserve respect

    • Dr. O

      January 25, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      JazakAllahu khair for taking time to respond, Ai!

      I’m truly sorry that you didn’t find the humor and underlying message in this.

      However I do want to say that I completely and wholeheartedly agree with you that the House of Allah (swt) and the Jumu’ah salaah deserve our utmost respect and reverence- that’s the entire point that I’m driving home through satirically pointing out how much we’ve strayed from the Prophetic example of honoring the Masjid and the establishment of Jumu’ah by arriving early and basking in the blessings of that trip.

      May Allah (swt) forbid, I’m not directing any disrespect towards the Masjid or the concept of prayer at all- quite the opposite, really. I’m pointing out how some communities have turned the blessed journey to Jumu’ah (or Eid) into an eyesore of bad adab towards other attendees, the Masjid neighbors, and perhaps even towards law enforcement.

      Again, thank you for the response Ai, and If you were upset or disappointed by this article, then I offer my apologies and I ask for your forgiveness.

  5. Arif Kabir

    January 25, 2012 at 7:39 AM

    Excellent work, Dr. O!

  6. aamer

    January 25, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    good to read and see some humor.. :)

  7. Mansoor Ansari

    January 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    A reminder announcement has to made every Jumuah in the masjid I goto to park in proper spots, don’t double park, don’t park in handicap spots if u r not handicap or fire lanes but they keep doing the same thing over & over again. It’s usually the same ppl who do it every time & start having argument with u abt it.

    Why do we need a parking minder during Jumuah & Eid salah? Do we have one at our work places, colleges or malls? Nope! and we still follow the rules but when it comes to masjid we can break all these rules.

    We want our children to respect the masjid but when parents can’t follow simple rules then don’t expect your children to do so either. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

  8. Ahsan (Cartoon Muslim)

    January 25, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Yooo Dr. O is my homeboy. He’s amazing masha’Allah. So proud that he’s on MM =]

  9. fEZZ

    January 25, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    LOL. So funny and yet dangerously true…

  10. Yasmin

    January 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Jazakallah khair for this very funny but true and important reminder!

  11. Hira

    January 25, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Absolutely hilarious! Thank you for this, it really made my day.

    • Gilly Jones

      July 14, 2016 at 5:45 PM

      They ruin every Friday and the whole month of Ramadan, they spit on the streets, a real health hazard given the TB has now reared its head in the UK and mostly in Muslim ghettos. it didn’t help as the “white flight” happened as white English people who are two faced, they run off and berate immigrants, and don’t want to to live with a brown neighbour, yet will always be found in Indian restaurants having curries and calling the waiter Gungaddin, or Sabu or P+ki. They don’t mind thier sons bringing home a Indian girlfriend, but will be hostile if thier daughter brings home a Indian boyfriend.

  12. Farhan

    January 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    These types of articles are what make MM great.

    One way of solving the Jumu’ah problem in the short-run is for a masjid to sponsor a series of satellite locations for people go to. For example, a hotel meeting room. Its a temporary solution to a serious problem.

    As for Taraweh, except for the very beginning and very end of the months, there are rarely problems with parking. But for those days, people should just pray at home. I’ve been to the masjid before, couldn’t find valid parking, and just went home.

  13. Junaid Syed

    January 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    and add to that the tardiness of Masjid planning/construction boards….community space to accommodate = 500, parking lot size = 150.
    Wait….may be those who plan the center are actually those who get a reserved “board member parking” .

    Seriously, and not taking away the blame from those who are callous and uncouth in parking manners, our community center parking plans need a serious revision.
    The community that we live in planned an expansion of the center of $3M by cutting down on parking spots and no alternative parking plan and without any hint of how it would exacerbate MPS (Masjid Parking Syndrome) and not to mention frayed neighbor nerve syndrome (FNNS)…. and yes the parking announcements have increased.
    We need to be realistic when it comes to Masjid parking, there shall be a group that likes the camel too much to sacrifice it and would rather prefer to give an egg instead, however their coming early will not resolve the parking issue in of itself, and with growing communities Masjid planning should take in to account all social factors…from early comers/late goers to late comers/early goers and have adequate parking spots – charged parking should also be considered, rental parking, and not to mention parking enforcers with tazers.

  14. Jaffar

    January 25, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Who does the fact checking on this website before putting up articles? At least half of thos things were just made up.

    • Phathokage

      March 24, 2012 at 9:08 PM

       I think you missed the part in which it was made up data. It’s a comedy article… -_-

  15. Mehzabeen (iMuslim)

    January 26, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Hilarious, masha’Allah… maybe carpooling and improved public transport to the masjid may help? Like a private Jumuah bus that collects attendees for a small fee – a similar price to paying for the petrol or for parking – certainly cheaper than a parking fine! A shuttle bus from a local car park might also work if people need to drive a certain distance.

    Inner city masajid could request the local council to install a bus stop nearby, so fewer people need to take the car to begin with.

    Brothers could volunteer to be parking valets/marshals in the masjid car park, and the local street, to keep things moving and safe, and stop people parking illegally, especially in other people’s driveways! The only problem with that is it could cause some arguments… road rage is not pretty, especially when someone is already running late for Jumuah.

    It would be good to take a note of the license plates of repeat offenders, and leave a written notice on their car. I’m not sure what punitive measures could be taken by the masjid board – you wouldn’t want to ban someone from attending Jumuah – but it’s not fair that a few bad apples should tarnish the reputation of an entire community.

    • Mitchell

      February 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      The mosque I attend has excellent public transit. I rarely see anyone walking from the bus stop. Laziness?
      And there is lot’s of free, legal street parking about a 10-15 minute walk away. However this is too far for most immigrants who want to be dropped off right at the door, who cares about the drivers behind me, or those stopped on the street, or the non-Muslims inconvenienced, or the police hired to maintain order, or the cost of the police etc.

      • rhee

        July 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        have you read the entire article,the reason why the muslim did it ?because they arent on time,thats why this article made,to inform the muslims to be on time so they get the right parking lot without sacrificing their shalat,this article never mentioned that masjid parking syndrome is okay, :-/

  16. layla

    January 26, 2012 at 7:51 AM

    Hilarious! Great way to educate people about this dire problem in our communities

  17. Regular Baba

    January 26, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Salam

    Lol, that was funny, and the pictures really struck home for a reason. My late father (may Allah bless and forgive him) had the “knack” of finding a parking place anywhere, not just jummah, but anywhere on earth. I once had a dream in which we were late for jummah and there was no parking at all, but a tow truck parked right outside the masjid. So in my dream, my father simply drives onto the tow truck!

  18. Siddique

    January 26, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    This starts out as a joke but end with valid points and a serious disease amongst the MUSLIM umah. Islam teaches us tolerance and consideration for others and their property. We do neither of these when it comes to masjid parking. Everyone wants to park as close as possible to the entrance to the masjid irrespective whether it is a violation to the next person or the law. As a South African this disease is of pandemic proportion. Junaid Syed I do not think better parking planning will solve this problem. Dr O good hadith but to arrive early at the masjid will not solve this problem. Adherence to basic Islamic principles such as tolerance and consideration for others is what is needed. Love for thy brother what you love for yourself.

  19. Ahmed Brown

    January 26, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    Loved the article! Nice to see some comedic relief on MM.

    A few Ramadaans ago I was visiting family in Virginia. My father and I would often go for tarawih, and sure enough, as we drew closer to the last nights of the blessed month the parking situation became crazier and crazier. The masjid had a sizable parking lot but it routinely filled up during the beginning and end of Ramadaan, with the overflow going to the streets and surrounding neighborhood. Not a problem when done correctly…but this was apparently difficult for some on the night of the khattam. The masjid and the lot were jam-packed. Sometime during the tarawih prayers, one of the local community leaders made an announcement that someone had parked on the lawn of one of the houses in the neighborhood. To make matters worse, when the man and woman (assumed to be husband and wife) came to move the car, the leader requested that the couple donate some money in order to buy a gift and smooth things over with what must have been some understandably very upset neighbors. The man began to take out his wallet but put it away at the insistence of his assumed wife and the two drove off.

  20. June

    January 26, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Alhamdulillah I live within reasonable walking distance to our Masjid. (though I do still drive during the colder months) This was a humorous look into a serious matter. Masha Allah the community I’m in seems to be pretty good about the parking.

  21. Carlos

    January 27, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    :-O LOL

  22. Maimuna Abdullahi

    January 27, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    Masha Allah! that’s a good one.

  23. Akbar

    January 28, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Good one…

  24. 1fairdeal

    January 30, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    hello nice page, we should goto jumuah on time like we are NEVER LATE FOR WORK!!!

  25. MItchell

    February 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Very funny? No, very sad.

    Talk to the neighbours and businesses around a mosque and they will tell you that they hate the mosque and muslims. Why? Because so many are ignorant, thoughtless and careless. And those people show up to council meetings whenever a new mosque application comes forward. And they give council every reason to deny the request, and quite frankly I don’t blame them.

    The people who run the mosque often make announcements not to park on the neighbour’s businesses and property. These announcements are ignored because so many of the people in the mosque don’t actually listen. They have done their duty, earned their ‘cow’ or ‘camel’ in sacrifice, but have their hearts been cleansed? Do they understand the damage they have done? No, they are ignorant, thoughtless and careless.

    I actually heard one women say to the principal of the neighbouring Catholic school (and in front of her family, all wearing hijab) that she was going to prayers and she didn’t care where she parked, Eid prayer was more important. Great example for the kids. Think the people at that school speak well of Muslims?

    And what about the people who run the mosque? They refuse to ticket and tow people who park illegally because they don’t want to inconvenience ‘the poor brothers’. My solution? Ticket and tow every illegal car immediately every time, no exceptions and make sure the fine/towing is $500.

    Problem solved.

  26. Asad

    February 7, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    LOL this is HILARIOUS hahahah i love this mA

  27. Naveed

    February 8, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I strongly disagree with the green line in the MASJID PARKING DIFFICULTY chart. Masjids in the middle of nowhere, like mine, by definition only have 8 spots for the 24 person jamaat. So even jumuah in shawaal it looks like the MPS photo!

  28. Anwer_nayeer

    February 26, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    Excellent read, we need to pass over this mesage to all muslims in UK AND THE WEST
    Announcements must be made by Imam on all jumas just before the salat starts as its
    usually the people come last; they will block all cars which is haraam. 

  29. Anwer Nayeer

    February 26, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Good read, message should be loud & clear, come early, walk to masjid; park properly.
    do not block other and leave the entrance clear. It usually the late arrivals who are the culprits and cause trouble!

  30. Sahil

    March 22, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    I found this brilliant together with Dr.O’s other article on muslim arguments, More please. I’m sharing this for sure.

  31. Kareem Omara

    April 23, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    All hoof drive and 2HOT4KUFI made me laugh so hard.

  32. Faezbach

    May 15, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    lulz..

  33. Pingback: Respecting the Houses of Allah: Status and Etiquette of the Masajid - MuslimMatters.org

  34. masood

    March 2, 2015 at 5:15 AM

    it is simple message in with a bit of humor. lets understand the right of others in all cases.

  35. Mr Rupa

    May 17, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    This would be really funny, if it was a joke, however it is true. No Police, no Traffic warden, Parking on ZIg Zags, on pavements, across drives, and on the roundabout. I wrote to my MP, (congressman) about the issues, and he said he was too busy to entertain me. I said give me a date I am giving 12 months to meet with me. He that being Jon Ashworth (Leicester, England) MP said he was too busy to afford me 10 mins, but then every year he is always free to take photo opportunities with the Muslims and actually fasts, (Allegedly). After much pressing he wrote to the Police, and Council who told him they were not going to give him an answer. These are all Public Servants, and swore to uphold the Law under the Queen’s Coronation Oath to uphold Christianity. All need to be tried for Treason. Numerous people and have been killed near the Masjid Umar, Evington, Leicester, and public safety is not the issue, but votes that keep Councillors and MPs in power by the block Islamic vote. Shame on these people. You do not serve the people, justice or decency, only your cushy salaries, votes.

  36. Mr Rupa

    May 19, 2016 at 3:36 PM

    This is colloquially known as P+ki Parking here in Blighty.

  37. Mirza Yawar Baig

    November 1, 2019 at 10:43 AM

    Brilliant article! Just getting ready to go for Juma where I am supposed to do the Khutba, in Massachusetts and certainly hope that part of my job won’t be to extract one car from another. Jokes apart however, this is a VERY SERIOUS problem in every country in the world. When will we learn to separate our egos from our cars?

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