INDONESIAN tourist Melly Zhou got a pleasant surprise when she was allowed to enter a mosque for the first time during her visit to Penang.
The 19-year-old student from Medan, who was in George Town with her family for a three-day trip, was surprised when they were invited to visit the Tarik Air Mosque in Burmah Road.
“This is my first time stepping into a mosque as we are not allowed to do so in my country.
“I am so happy and I can’t wait to share my experience with my best friend, who is a Muslim, when I go back,” she said when met at the mosque.
Around 200 Muslim worshippers gathered at the 135-year-old mosque at around 8.30am to perform the solat sunat Hari Raya Aidilfitri in conjunction with an ‘Open Mosque Raya’ event on the first day of Hari Raya.
Islamic Propagation Society International (IPSI) Malaysia president and mosque caretaker Kamarudin Abdullah said this was the first open mosque event at the Tarik Air Mosque.
“We invited our Muslim and non-Muslim friends to come so that we can eat and chat together.
“In my sermon just now, I emphasised the importance of Malaysians staying united by understanding and respecting each other.
“We prayed that people of different races and religions can focus and work together towards the prosperity of our country,” said Kamarudin, who is a religious advisor to the Penang government.
Also present at the Raya gathering was IPSI trustee and Persatuan Melayu Pulau Pinang (Pemenang) president Tan Sri Mohd Yussof Latiff.