PETALING JAYA: Knowing there are no restrictions against non-Muslims wanting to learn about Islam, the Al-Syakirin Surau in Bandar Utama and Hidayah Centre Foundation (HCF) collaborated to demonstrate Islam’s universal values.
With that, the Al-Syakirin Surau in Bandar Utama opened its doors for all races and religions in a programme held at its premises yesterday, Astro Awani reported.
The Mosque Open Day (MOOD) programme developed by HCF sought to bring community members from all faiths and walks of life to understand Islam through mosques, which act as a one-stop centre for activities and society development.
“We are not inviting or forcing anyone to convert. What we are doing is to send a message about Islam and that the religion is ‘rahmatan lil alamin’, a universal religion complemented with values that can be applied to everybody,” programme manager Jamaludin Shamsudin told Awani, adding that the programme also aims to debunk prejudices about the religion.
Jamaludin said despite having been part of the Bandar Utama community for the past 20 years, little is known about the Al-Syakirin Surau and its followers by the residents of other faiths.
“About 80% of the community in Bandar Utama are made up of non-Muslims, so it is important that we get to know each other,” he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, HCF chairperson Rahibah Che Omar said MOOD attempts to teach Muslims about transparency and readiness in embracing non-Muslims to understand Islam.
She added that there are conservative Muslims who do not represent the real teachings of Islam to the non-Muslims, and this has had a negative impact on non-Muslim’s perception of the religion.
“The duties of committee members of suraus and mosques, includes portraying the beauty of Islam, and this is not limited to the Muslim community. Islam is inclusive to all.
“We know that discussions on religion are sensitive, so during the local community members’ visit to the Al-Syakirin Surau, we openly talked about it and they too, were open about it and the desire to learn was evident,” Rahibah said according to the news network.
Yesterday’s programme, which took place from 9am to 1pm, included a tour of the surau by Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan personnel.
Visitors were even taken to the prayer hall and shown how Muslims perform their prayers.
One of the visitors, Bandar Utama Buddhist Society (BUBS) deputy president Chiam Swee Ann, admitted that the experience was memorable and had even drawn him to learn more about Islam.
“I come here all the time for the Hari Raya Open House but this is my first visit to the prayer hall.
“The surau committee members demonstrated how to perform the ablution (wudhuk) for instance. I even see some similarities between Islam and Buddhism,” Chiam said, according to Awani.