If you were to ask majority of the non-Muslims worldwide whether they have visited a mosque even once in their lives, they will respond in the negative. Thus, it’s paramount for mosques and Muslims to arrange special events to invite the local non-Muslim community to come through the doors and experience the real practice of Islam.
Muslim Council of Hong Kong got in touch withThe Dawah Committee of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Masjid who have been regular in arranging a Mosque Open Day at least once a year. Last year, around 800 came to know more about Islam and were left with a pleasant experience. The year before that, the most ever, 1,000 people were recorded to have entered the masjid, Alhumdulilah.
On Sunday, July 16, the people of Hong Kong were yet again introduced to the basics of Islamic beliefs and practices. Men, women, young and elders all were interested to understand and question about the principles of Islam which led to a variety of interesting and healthy conversations whilst they get to experience other activities too.
The objectives of this Open Day were two-fold.
Firstly, it was to uplift the general public’s awareness on Islam.
Secondly, it was to exhibit Islamic values of teamwork, sincerity, co-operation among the volunteers. We believe that the objectives were fulfilled to a large extent.
Alhumdulillah, there were various exhibits in the Masjid Open Day. Along with displaying various Islamic banners entailing a number of Islamic beliefs and principles, there was a Hijab try-out room, an Arabic attire corner, a delicious halal food corner, an Islamic literature section and an Arabic calligraphy stall.
Unlike previous Open Days, we also had a section on creationism through depicting fossil artifacts.
On top of this, talks on Islam were delivered where visitors were introduced to the concept of Tawheed in Islam (belief of pure monotheism i.e. the Oneness of God) and some enthusiastic volunteers even served as tour guides.
Even though the programme was scheduled to be conducted at 2:00 pm, non-Muslim visitors had already arrived before the scheduled time and began to read the information from the pull-up banners.
Despite the rain in the first hour of the programme, by the grace of Allah, more than 450 people from all walks of life attended this Open Day.
Most, if not all, non-Muslims found the Open Day to be an enriching event in the sense that several misconceptions were clarified.
The programme duration allowed sufficient time for volunteers to have healthy conversations with the non-Muslims and also allowed Muslim volunteers to mingle with other Muslim volunteers.
The local Chinese Hong Kongers were naturally the main group of attendees but there were non-Muslims from other parts of the world too who were either visiting Hong Kong or are expatriates. They comprised from different faiths including Atheists, Christians and Buddhists.
A lot of the visitors said that they found Islam to be a peaceful religion contrary to what the media portrays.
Some even suggested having more Open Days. Not only did we solicit verbal feedback/interviews, but we had also arranged a feedback form for visitors.
Alhumdulillah, almost all the returned feedback form gave a 5 out of 5 rating. The average rating was around 4.9 out of 5 marks.
Below is the general summary of the written responses:
Everyone is very nice and helpful. My impression to Islam has changed.
It was an amazing experience to try the Arabic clothes!
The volunteers were very helpful.
More Open Days needed to show the Islamic culture in Hong Kong.
Very good explanation of Islam.
I felt very welcomed. I love this Open Day. Thank you very much.
A special appreciation must go to the volunteers who had not just be there on the day, but also spent many hours in the build up to the day to make sure things were in place and a smooth day was to be implemented.
The generous volunteers, men and women, young and old, came from the Kowloon Masjid Dawah Committee, a sizeable number from Islamic Kasim Tuet Memorial College, Serving Islam Team Hong Kong, Hong Kong Islamic Youth Association and Muslim Council of Hong Kong came together to bring about a vibrant atmosphere in welcoming the guests while attending to their different needs.
“Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Revelation and the Qur’ān) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided”
Such events are undoubtedly always a success no matter which part of the world they may be and it goes without saying there needs to be more of them on a regular basis.
“And who is better in speech than he who [says: ‘My Lord is Allaah (believes in His Oneness),’ and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and] invites (men) to Allah’s (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: ‘I am one of the Muslims.’”
We ask Allah to accept this service from the volunteers, keep them motivated to continue this deed and guide those who received the message.