Okay guys, I got a story for you.
Now, y’all probably know by this point that I LOVE Bahrain. I like that it’s just small and comfortable. You’re never far from the sea. It’s just comfortable, honestly. The malls are nice, the food is delicious, the people are pleasant… I could go on and on. Plus, they have an entire CAMEL FARM you can visit. Seriously, what’s not to love? But I digress.
During my first trip to Bahrain, I was really excited to see the Al-Fatih Mosque, aka the Great Mosque. I headed there even though it was hours away from any prayer time, just because I wanted a tour. I checked in with a lady working at the entrance who asked me to put on an abaya even though I was dressed modestly and wearing a hijab. She told me there wasn’t anyone available to take me for a proper tour, but I was more than welcome to walk around and see the place for myself.
So the mosque is huge, but I was really excited to go exploring. My friend was with me and for some reason we split up, so I was walking around by myself. I was minding my own business when I was approached by a staff member who told me “Hello, you need to leave.”
“Excuse me? Why?” I asked.
“There is no one here to give you a tour, and non-muslims are not allowed inside alone.” she replied.
I was confused as to why she didn’t think I was a muslim. I was wearing a tightly wrapped hijab and an abaya, and I was inside a mosque which is like the most muslim place ever. We kind of had a stare off for a few moments. She broke the silence by saying
“You are a muslim?”
“But where are you from?”
Thankfully my friend saw what was happening and came to intervene, and, after much discussion in Arabic, the staff member shrugged and left us alone. Honestly I still feel like the staff member didn’t believe I was really muslim, but believed my friend was as my friend is Arab. Regardless I enjoyed my visit to the masjid and would LOVE to return next time I go to Bahrain.
If you want to check out the grand mosque for yourself, click here.