As Muslims, we are quick to say the non-Muslims shouldn’t judge Islam through the mainstream media and certain governments. But, what do we ourselves do to clear any misconceptions about Islam and to show the true Muslim character.
Masjid Open Days are exactly what allow this to happen as we are able to welcome the local community into the houses of Allah with open arms, as per the practice of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them).
Muslim Council of Hong Kong once again got in touch with The Dawah Committee of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Masjid who have amazingly been regular in arranging a Mosque Open Day at least once a year.
In the last 4-5 years, hundreds and at times thousands of people have come through the doors of Kowloon Mosque, Hong Kong’s main mosque, in order to show their support for the Muslim community and no doubt to learn more about the faith.
This year was once again a huge success as almost 1,200 people came, Alhumdulilah, two people said the shahada and embraced Islam too. Allahu Akbar!
On Sunday, February 19th, from 11am till 4.30pm, 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 got to experience other activities too.
The objectives of the Open Day were three-fold.
Firstly, it was to uplift the general public’s awareness on Islam.
Secondly, it was to promote the ‘Understanding Islam’ course that will be conducted soon after the Open Day. Finally, it was to nurture Islamic values of teamwork, sincerity, co-operation among the volunteers.
Alhumdulillah, there were various exhibits. Along with displaying various Islamic banners entailing a number of Islamic beliefs and principles, there was a Hijab try-out room, a delicious halal food corner, an Islamic literature section, an Arabic calligraphy stall, Islamic course registration section as well as the ‘Smiling is Charity’ area.
For the second time, we had the exhibit entitled as ‘Quran Recitation’ where participants could listen to the Quran and see the translation in different languages on the laptops. This proved to be quite an effective Dawah approach where some participants wanted to stay longer to continue hearing the Quran.
In addition, brief talks on Islam were conducted in Cantonese and English 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. One of the event organisers said:
By the grace of Allah, around 1,165 people 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.
Alhumdulillah, a couple of them registered for the Saturday Islamic courses. Not only did we solicit verbal feedback, but this time, we had also arranged an online feedback form for visitors.
Below is the general summary of the written responses:
The questions were answered and explained well.
I liked listening to the Quran.
It was very good, a nice enthusiastic atmosphere, glad to be part of it!
Please refer to the bottom of the article for graphic illustration of the responses.
The Dawah Committee of the Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre would like to express its sincerest thanks to all the volunteers for their good teamwork, cooperation and understanding.
Once again, 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.
The preparatory work started at least 1.5 months ago when it comes to planning, logistics and resources management. May Allah Azzawajal reward each one of them and bestow his mercy to us all. Ameen.
“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.