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Islamic elegance

 

In front of a classic white and pale green mosque in Chau Doc Town of An Giang Province, a group of Cham children play under the blazing sun.

The Mubarak mosque, located along the Hau Giang Riverbank which is home to a group of Cham minority villagers, was recognized as an Artistic Architecture Work by the government in 1989.

For the Cham people, mosques play an important role in their everyday life.

The Mubarak mosque is well known in Vietnam as it is associated with the late Hakim Al-Haji Umar Aly, the first Cham to train in Mecca and the first known Vietnamese expert on Islamic religious law.

The mosque's architecture, including a graceful dome and watchtower, is typical of structures in Middle Eastern countries.

Built in 1967, the Mubarak has been renovated five times - most recently by an Indian-born architect named Mohamed Amin.

However, the mosque's architecture has always followed Islamic style, from outside to inside.

The curved oval top of the two-storey tower rises into the sky with a crescent and a star, representing Islam.

On top of the main building stands four small towers which converge with two other sloped towers.

Five times a day, at dawn, midday, in the afternoon, at dusk and at midnight, a drum-call resounds from the main tower, calling people to come to the religious site and pray.

As Muslim people believe Alah is their only god, no other statue or saint is present inside the mosque.

There is, however, one minbar - a pulpit in the mosque where the Imam (leader of prayer) stands to deliver sermons every Friday.

Next to the mosque is a Madrasah where Islamic doctrine and Malaysian language are taught to children.

Yearly, the Mubarak mosque holds three main ceremonies including Roja on December 10, Ramadan from September 1-30, and the birthday of Mohamet on March 12, according to the Muslim calendar.

These events attract large numbers of people from around the country, highlighting the diversity of religious followers throughout Vietnam.

Reported by Phuong Anh

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Xin Chao Travel Halong Bay
We are happy to send you our impressions on our excellent trip to Halong Bay with your company. The organization and monitoring of our trip was impeccable, thanks to our friendly and excellent guide Minh not forgetting the super driver Dzung.

Mardy Scott (Australia)
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