Muslims in Malaysia and many parts of the world are lucky because we can freely choose which masjid we wish to go for teraweeh prayers or iftar and the masjid would most likely be very comfortable. Sometimes we become even more choosy in Ramadhan as we would select our favourite masjid based on the imam, the masjid's location, if the AC is good enough, or if it's known to serve good iftar meals. We are spoiled aren't we?
This Ramadhan when you are at your local masjid no matter where you are - Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, UK, US, France - please think of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Zhaotong, one of the poorest region in China.
During my recent trip to that faraway land, we were taken to a few villages in the hilly side of Zhaotong which is an hour flight north of Kunming in South China. Below are some photos of the mosques in that area which need a little help.
|Entrance to Masjid Baiwan, Zhaotong|
|Compare this with the intricate decorations of the mihrab in your local mosques, the plush carpets, fancy mimbar staircase, fans/AC and sound system.|
|Masjid Baiwan is also in need of a proper ablution area, janazah room, a more decent room for the imam and a classroom especially for children in the village. This mosque serves about 160 Muslim households.|
Next we went to Masjid Siao Se Chow, also in Zhaotong. My heart sank at seeing the hopes on the villagers' faces as they lined up to greet us. There were about 200 of them waiting eagerly to see only five of us, and we are nobody! We didn't bring anything to offer them as we weren't expecting such a warm welcome. All we brought with us was just a sincere intention that we would soon bring some kind of aid to fulfill their wish for a bigger and better masjid, InshaAllah.
|Warm welcome at Masjid Siao Se Chow|
|Children, women and men lined up to the entrance of Masjid Siao Se Chow|
|The masjid needs more and better classrooms to be used as a kindergarten for about 60 children in the surrounding neighborhood.|
|No fancy chandeliers on the ceiling!|
Happy but hopeful villagers saying goodbye to us.
May Allah make it easy for us to contribute something beneficial to them. Ameen
The third and final masjid we visited was Masjid Xian Jia Ping, situated at a higher elevation of the hilly Zhaotong settlements. This masjid serves about 400 Muslims. Each household contributed about 2000 Chinese Yuan (approximately RM1000) for the purpose of building a new mosque. Children in this village have to walk some 7 km to get to the nearest kindergarten. The nearest primary/secondary school is 20 - 40 km away.
|New masjid under construction|
|Entrance to the existing masjid|
|Interior of the existing masjid|
|Some of the jemaah of Masjid Xian Jia Ping and the masjid's committee members|
O friends of Lisan al-Din,
Please remember our Muslim brothers and sisters you see in these pictures. Please make doa for them so that Allah will grant their wish for a better masjid and that Allah will improve their living standards.
And let's all be grateful for the grand beautiful masjid in our city. Ramadhan Mubarrak!
Travel contacts: Sister Mariah Mah chinamuslim.net