Monday, July 9, 2012

Vietnamese in the Mosque

"tourists is always excited to see wonderful monument in visiting countries. but what happen when they are not allowed to get excited?"

last time, I was in Masjid Putra in Putrajaya Malaysia have some fun with 200 kids under Masjid Putra. "under mosque?" lolx. actually this mosque have 4 level, first level is near with lake and this level for huge air-cond controller. second level is for toilet and ablution for muslim including the office and the hall. this level where my friend and I was handling the kids average 11 years old for practical solat programme for 3 days and 2 night. third level is the main entrance, prayer hall and souvenir shop. fourth floor is also for prayer hall.

back to our story, that evening around 3 o'clock, I was standing in front of the main gate. we had an explorace for the kids to practising what they have learn in theory group before this. and they need to find their facilitators outside the hall including the main entrance. but the main entrance must be carefully guard by me to make sure the kids not get off outside the mosque. while guarding there, I can see many visitor from around the world (Arabs, English, China, Malaysians, Japan) are excited to get through inside the mosque and taking picture. I'm also help them to take picture and show them the way to ablution or toilet.

Until 4pm, something happens and I'm not very happy with this. as usual, a group enter the mosque and the mosque guard was stop them from entering. the guard wearing red baju melayu ask them not to enter "time visit is closed" and can only take the picture from the main entrance only. they discuss in their group, and sound like they are speaking Khmer (Cambodian or Indo-China language). The old woman in that group maybe around 80 years old make their respect to this mosque by showing hand to worship like Buddhist. maybe she is religious. but from her face I know, that she want to enter the mosque. then they went off.

Actually Im wonder why this happen, I really want to speak with them in Khmer. but I not have that brave to do so. but then, the guy with that old woman (maybe her son) asking to me. I'm a bit shock, "may I know why I can't enter this place?". I was just tell them "this is the rule from the mosque security, but for me, no problem if you want to visit". once again he really want to know why this restriction for them. I was really guilty for them actually, as a muslim, we must explain kindly and let them know about our religion. Islam is the way of life. then, I asked the security, why the tourist cannot enter this mosque at this time. he said that "this is time for muslim prayer for solat asar around 4.50 pm. and they can enter at 5.30 pm.". I just wonder, prayer time is almost one hour left, why we need to closed early? the visitors is come only for a while to know a bit about islam and monument and then maybe they will flying back to their country.

I was pity to them and especially to that old woman. following to my heart, Im willing to bring the man (not the old woman) to come with me to see the prayer hall. I used the second floor, below the main entrance to the ablution. He really excited and several thanks to me. He is from Vietnam, that why, they are talking similar a bit with Khmer. when we arrive at ablution, "I want to wash my feet first" then he also doing so. actually up there while waiting for the kids, Im not wearing the shoes. and the Vietnamese said to me "oh, you want to get clean before you enter the mosque right, it is also in our country (temple)". I was explaining a bit about ablution and then we move to stairs to the main prayer hall. but another guard looking at us deeply. I was really scared and I just ignore the guard and bring him to upstairs.

Luckily, the explorace still going on, and one of my friend (facilitator) was teaching the kids to solat, so, I explain a bit about solat. after that, he taking a picture in the main hall. he is not posing because I was tell them we are not allowed by security and he understand. before leaving the prayer hall, I take 5 brochures in main gate of prayer hall and give it to him. the brochure is about Islam and Quran. Alhamdulillah. he really excited but I was really disappointed with the rule in this mosque. but I want to positive thinking, "maybe Masjid Putra have their own reason"

[I have heard in Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Shah Alam, there a Mosque's Tourist Guide]

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