Saturday, August 22, 2009

RAMADAN IN THE CITY

A view inside Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh Pulau Pinang, founded in 1808 by Tunku Syed Hussain Al Idid a trader and a prince of Arabic blood from Acheh. Situated in a once busy corner of commencial Penang in the 19th century , the mosque has undergone conservation works in 1995 and now continuing to serve the Muslim community in the area as it did before .


RAMADAN AL MUBARAK the holiest of the Muslim months. It starts Saturday 22 August 2009 and we are here at a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. After two nights of the tarawith prayer performed after Isyak , it is real consoling to observe the extensive devotion and commitment that Muslims in the city and its suburbs show at the start of Ramadan. At Masjid AlFalah and Masjid AlNur both in Subang Jaya we can only heap praise for the efforts shown by the Mosque Committee. We noticed that efforts were at full gear to guarantee that Ramadan this year at these two mosques especially will pull Muslims young and old, males and females to fill the safs in the mosques at all time; especially during the tarawith prayer. The devout can also break fast at the mosque together with colleagues and the mosque committee. It is comforting to say the least that well wishers and the committed have taken to support the mosque committee's call to provide for 'buka puasa' and 'more' (kenduri) or servings. It all served to bring a closer union of the jumaah and the khariah. Least of all the young children and youth continue to see exemplary commitment and actions with regards to religious duties. The mosques, brightly lighted, cooled either air-conditioned partly or fan-powered, public address system functioning and spaces allocated for both male and female jumaah all helped to pull the devout to the mosques. After all Ramadan seek all Muslims to perform their best , devoting to Allah and all His injunctions and for those who can afford give to the needy. This charity stands out.


We can't help thinking why mosques away from the capital city cannot get good support and commitment as found here. Firstly donation and support for 'buka puasa' or 'more' are hard to come by especially to fill all the evenings of Ramadan. Attendance at the mosque especially for the 'tarawith' prayers cannot pulled in all able bodied Muslims in the community. It seems there is a change-over or a reverse effect. Mosques in the smaller towns and kampong are losing to mosques in the city. Could it be that those who live in the kampong are now away from their bases and therefore help to bring that spirit and endeavour in the cities where they domiciled now? Whatever it is, it is a fortunate development. Balik kampong and Aidilfitri celebration will be a worthy celebration after Muslims have fulfilled their obligations right through Ramadan.



When I was at the mosque recently, this was what I found. No doubt all know that Penang once belonged to Kedah. That strong relationship continued. A casual glance turned to full attention when I noticed that the staf (tongkat) used by the 'khatib' on Friday prayer was made by a craftsman from Kedah almost 100 years ago


Close to Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh you can find this Malay mansion formerly belonging to Syed Mohd AlAtas,then a leader of the mosque committee and now turned into a Muslim Museum signifying the Malay traders once active and strong contribution to trade. Lebuh Acheh was a significant zone in Penang when pilgrims to Mekkah departed by ships to the holy land. Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh with its facilities offered a halting point because of its closeness to the Swenttenham Pier.


On the eve of the first day of Ramadan 2009, tarawith prayer was offered at this mosque in Putrajaya. Named after the Yang DiPertuan Agong Masjid Mizan Zainal Abidin could accomodate 20,000 jumaah and surely one of the biggest mosque in the country. It is learned that foreign visitors at this mosque would get guided tours as well introduction to Islam and its teaching

8 comments:

duniaku said...

Pak Non

When I was working in Penang (many moons ago) I used to do Friday prayers alternately each week between Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh and Masjid Kapitan Keling. Both are historical masterpieces in their own right.

KotaStar said...

Selamat Berpusa. Congratulation for starting yr own blog.Before young girls and few boys kept diaries and always remained close to their chests. They fear other eyes may see them. Now it's an open secret once you enter yr stories and observations in the blog.Don't worry about mistakes. No teachers to mark them People are curious to see what you say and see through yr own eyes.It is worthwhile and creditable because it only encourages you and start you on a career as a 'reporter' or 'observer'. BTW is this Siti or Azizi with the comment. Siti can't be there there since she is 18. H'evet not to worry. Thanks.

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non

That was me commenting through Siti Nadiah's blog. Nadiah is 11 years old actually, not 18 as she mistakenly typed.

But then again maybe she did it on purpose to masquarade as an older person?? When you're young you can't wait to be a grown up. But when you've aged, you wish you were younger :-)

Uncle Lee said...

Hello KotaStar, I enjoyed reading your this posing about puasa, prayers and celebrating hari raya.
I may be 12 time zones, 12 hours behind Alor Star local time, but hati saya always take wings balik kampong, memories of old....visiting my friends during hari raya.

Makan pagi, makan tengah hari, makan malam sampai perut bonchet, ha ha.
How to refuse the ketupats, lemaks, lodehs, rendang, lemang, satay, udang galas.
Fortunately my height and build boleh overload, ha ha.

KotaStar, I take this opportunity to wish you and everyone at home 'selamat hari raya adilfitri'.
Have a great time, and jangan lupar loosen the tali pingang dua notches, ha ha.
Have fun, best regards, Lee.

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