I really wanted to visit the Masjid Jemak as it is one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur and I love history and architecture, but alas it was under construction and only open to worshippers. So I did the next best thing, I went to the National Mosque which is where the King of Malaysia prays on Fridays, I mean how amazing is that!
Now I wasn’t there on a Friday, since that is the day they have an Imam say something like a sermon and it is a holy day for Muslims (I think I said that right, please correct me if I am wrong) and I didn’t want to be a disrespectful tourist.
While in Malaysia, which is an Islamic country, you can hear the call to prayer five times a day. I wanted to explore all of the Malaysian cultures that make this country so unique and that included visiting a mosque. When I arrived, the tours were on a break since the next prayer session was beginning in 30 minutes. However, I was able to have a personalized tour from one of the volunteers. She approached me and asked, since it was only me, if I wanted her to show me around and maybe even let me see what a prayer service looked like. I immediately thanked her and took the offer.
She helped me put my head scarf on properly and then she led me around the mosque, showing me how beautiful it was and and insisting I take pictures of it all. I had refrained at first, since it is a holy place where people worship, but she was very keen on me taking pictures so I could remember it all. She introduced me to her friends and then set up a chair for me outside the prayer hall (non-muslims cannot go into this part) and let me see what a Muslim prayer service looked like.
After prayers were done, she and I talked for over 2 hours about Islam. She told me that I could ask her any questions I had and she was so kind and answered them all. I had studied a bit about Islam in university but it is still a religion I like learning about because I was not raised in this religion and did not know any Muslims until university, so I really appreciated this learning opportunity. I hope that this little story has offered some a different perspective and gave you a bit of a glimpse into a different religion and culture. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to travel to Malaysia and be able to share how wonderful this country is and how extremely kind the people are.