Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan Masque
Ok, this is my first understanding of what fabricates the multi-culture of Malaysia. Sunday is not a day that Moslems gather in their masques so I went to this one last weekend and I was pleasantly surprised. The place was empty and I basically had the masque to myself. This masque is modeled after the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the largest in Malaysia.
Not knowing what to expect I walked up to the doorstep took off my shoes as the sign indicated and asked the guard if I could go in. The guard said “Of course, would you like a guide?” I thought for a moment then she said, “Free of charge…..” J
This is Anwar my guide. He is one of about five other volunteers to cater to the inquisitive tourist. Anwar was a very interesting and wonderful man, dedicated to his faith, he was willing to answer and explain any questions asked. He was a practicing Chinese Christian for 42 years then converted to the Moslem faith 14 years ago.
Anwar wanted to show me everything and leave no unanswered questions. As you walk in the masque there is a very large room with wash basins. If you are going to pray you must wash your face, hands, and feet before entering. As I was not going to pray I didn’t have to wash.
Anwar wanted to take my picture with my camera, he insisted. This is me before we go into the main prayer room.
The main dome brings together the collective in one purpose, facing Mecca, praising to one god. All masques face Mecca and all Moslems pray five times a day in the direction of Mecca.
Notice the red tape in the picture below. Although Islam follows very closely to Christianity there are a few things about the Islam faith that are disturbing to most other religions.
The red tape marks where the women must reside to pray. Praying shoulder to shoulder with the opposite sex may distract from the purpose.
Women are not allowed into the masque unless their husband allows it. Anwar mentioned that most women, no matter what faith, they usually get their way and very few are excluded.
Moslem women must cover their head in public. Malaysia is not as strict as the Middle East and is one reason why many Middle Eastern Moslems move to Malaysia or vacation here.
Moslems don’t eat pork or own dogs. They consider them unclean. Cats and birds are ok though.
No woman or man is allowed into the masque without proper attire. Case in point….
These French tourists came in shorts and the women had no head cover. Those crazy French tourists, LOL. They were provided appropriate wrappings. The girl on the right in the blue Star Wars hoody thing was miffed that I took their picture. Oh well…
Some young ladys posing for me. They may seem forgien but to hear them talk is like listening to any 10 year old girl in the US.
After the tour Anwar’s group of volunteers offered me cookies, water, and literature, lots of literature.
What they explained to me and are trying to communicate to the world is an understanding that their religion is not radical and that they disassociate themselves from the extremists in the Middle East.
Islam is a very interesting religion and one of umpteen others in this country I hope to experience at some level.
Also last weekend I received my air-shipment, things I couldn’t carry on the plane. But before it got packed there was one box of Kraft macaroni and cheese in the pantry I was going to throw away. Just as the packers were putting the last strip of tape on the container I slide that blue box in. Good thing I did because it was a welcomed site when I recieved it the other day. Ive been eating curry, noodles, rats, and what ever for the past few weeks and I had to have something that remided me of home.
You know the stuff, orange powder, creamy goodness, with a fresh piece of salmon and a Tiger beer I was in heaven. They don’t sell this stuff here.
Next, a little piece of China Town ….