A MOSQUE in Petaling Jaya hosted a multi-faith breaking of fast today and 100 residents attended what some described as an “eye-opener” event.
Among the attendees were church goers who said they never went near Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Aziz because they thought they were not welcomed.
Stephanie Yong, 26, said she has never entered a mosque because of fears that she might not be allowed in. Today’s event, she said, opened her eyes on Islam.
She thought the patrons would be reserved and non-approachable.
“But it turns out that they were so welcoming and excited to have us there just as I was.
“They were friendly, approachable, giving and eager to share with everyone,” she told The Malaysian Insight.
Yong said she had always been curious about Muslims and had always wanted to know more about the religion.
“It’s amazing to see the mosque. It is pretty and I love the explanation behind its architecture,” she added.
The event was organised by Member of Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim), Popular Communication Centre for Human Rights (Komas), Community Action Network (CAN), Church of Assumption and Friendship Group of Inter-religious Service.
It included a tour of the mosque and the non-Muslims also observed the asar prayers.
An Abim member Shafiq Apandi then gave a brief talk on Islam and explained the architecture of the mosque.
Before the breaking of fast, 300 packets of bubur lambuk (porridge) were given to the public in Petaling Jaya.
About 30 people went handed out the packets to drivers stuck in traffic.
The buka puasa meal was chicken rice prepared in a talam style where it was served on a tray, shared by four people.
Sister Christine Chong from Church of Assumption said it was her first time entering the mosque although it is only about 150m from the church.
“It was wonderful. It was also my first time sharing my meal with three other people,” she said.
Chong said it was a great experience to see people from all walks of life and religion coming together for the event.
“I am familiar with Islam and Muslims because I lived in Kelantan for 20 years. But this is something new to me and it is a wonderful experience where I also learned new things.”
Komas programme director Adli Zakuan Zairakithnaini said he was glad that the event ran smoothly despite it being a last-minute proposal.
“We proposed the idea to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) last Thursday and they approved it. They said it would be a great event to unite the people.”
Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah said the event was a good way to unite the people and introduce different religions to others.
She added these events would help to overcome misunderstanding and build respect and appreciation among each other. – June 4, 2018.