Awal Muharram

The first day of the Islamic New Year is a national holiday in Malaysia, but it usually passes unremarked. This year, the State Mosque decided to host a day of activities on the grounds around the mosque. It was grand: there was a marathon, sports competitions, a bazaar, a stage with silat, traditional dance and… More Awal Muharram

Temasek: saints past and present

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani swept through Southeast Asia this summer, traveling back and forth between Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, in the company of renowned nasheed singer Habib Syech Abdul Qodir Assegaf from Solo, Indonesia.  SimplyIslam was organizing a huge public event, and with more than six years having passed since I last sat in his blessed company,… More Temasek: saints past and present

Hidden Mosques

The azan can be heard all around Kuching from the suraus in most every neighborhood. Sometimes it takes a bit of work to find where it is coming from. Taking a shortcut through a secluded neighborhood on my way home late from work, I would often hear the azan called loudly nearby, see old uncles… More Hidden Mosques

Mawlid Barzanji

The Barzanji Mawlid, Manaqib Press 12 Rabi’ul Awwal has come and gone again. In the past, I’ve written about a famous book of poetry about the birth of Prophet Muhammad (s) called Mawlid Daiba’i. Actually the Mawlid poetry more widely read in Malaysia is Mawlid Barzanji, named after its composer, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin Ja`far ibn… More Mawlid Barzanji

Masjid Maktab Perguruan

Kota Samarahan, Sarawak Large government institutions will often have suraus or masjids built on their grounds, particularly if the institution has a resident population. The mosque where I most often make my Friday prayers is one such mosque, built on the grounds of a nearby maktab perguruan. It’s a lovely building, a modern rendition of… More Masjid Maktab Perguruan

Masjid Jamek Jawiyyah

In the heart of our kampung in Bagan Datoh lies the Masjid Jamek Jawiyyah, a beautiful mosque built entirely from wood over one hundred years ago. There have been a few expansions since then, but the original timbers of the structure are still intact and unchanged. Since it was built before running water, the ablution… More Masjid Jamek Jawiyyah