muslim in China – 3

28 November, 2010

After took a shopping at the market of exotic, Tianjin Tanggu Yanghuo Market Pedestrian Streets, and find an original tea gift shop at the Xiugu Commercial Plaza, we went to Tanggu mosque which is laid on Zhongxin North Road to take a prayer. It was during festival, there were a lot of activity in the courtyard of the mosque. Spilled blood of slughtered livestocks, some cattles were still waiting to be slaughtered the next day. While the kitchen was busy preparing the celebration.

When the time for evening prayer come, we wait about 15 minutes for congregation. One by one came to take sunnah prayer and then came out. After a while, somebody echoed the prayer call in front of the mosque, a few people came in to the prayer hall. We conduct the evening prayer in congregation.

My chinese friend asked about the prayer procedure, “Is it the same at everywhere, the way you pray? Can you go to any mosque to do the prayer?” And I answered, “Yes, muslims are united by the same language and procedure to conduct the prayer, and you can go to any mosque to pray. Even if you could not find any mosque, as long as the place is clean enough and is not a toilet, sure you can pray there.”


muslim in China – 2

27 November, 2010

清真寺 (read: Qīngzhēnsì)

is the writing that almost always be seen at every gate of muslim worship building which I visited in China. At Niujie mosque in Beijing, Dalian mosque in Dalian, Tanggu mosque in Tianjin, and Dongsi mosque in Beijing. It literally means mosque, but my Chinese friend always said that is Muslim temple.

So then, I tried to figure out the basic words that formed it by breaking it down. First word 清 means “clear”. Second word 真 means “true”. Third word 寺 means “temple” or “place of worship”. The first and second words can be combined as 清真 which is means “halal” or “muslim”, or can be combined as 真清 which means “really clear”. Presumedly the word is first mentioned when the Chinese people see the Muslims have a rule to only eat halal food, clearly permissible, not doubtful or which is still not clear and even unlawful or prohibited.


muslim in China – 1

22 November, 2010

Musilin is Chinese pronounciation for Muslim (穆斯林, read: Mùsīlín), people who embrace Islam as their way of life. Muslims already in China since the first century the spread of Islam outside Arabia. During my visit to China, I took myself to visit the Muslim’s heritage, especially the mosque, which is always said by the chinese as the muslim temple.

The Niujie Mosque, also known as Cow Street Mosque (Chinese: 牛街清真寺; pinyin: niújiē qīngzhēnsì; literally “Cow Street Mosque”) is the oldest and the largest of all mosque in Beijing, China.  It was first built in 996 during the Liao Dynasty (916-1125). The local Muslim community was forbidden from constructing the mosque in a style other than traditional Chinese architecture, with the exception that the use of Arabic calligraphy was allowed. It was rebuilt in 1442 in the Ming Dynasty and was reconstructed and expanded as well as enlarged  in 1696 under the Qing Emperor Kangxi (1622-1722) of the Qing Dynasty.

The street where the mosque laid was named with Cow Street or Niu Jie, because muslims like to eat the cow meat of beef. And there are many vendors who sell the beef along the way. I went to that place when the dusk just before evening prayer. Having prayer in congregation with local residents was a very interesting experience. The prayer is, as commonly, conducted in Arabic language. Immediately after the prayer, followed by sunnah prayer before doing zikr. While the zikr can be done individually.

Although China is not an Islamic country, muslims who live in China are still allowed to live their Islamic teachings properly, and call to prayer still can be echoed on every prayer time but no loudspeakers. This mosque is one of the living proof of harmony Islam brought to the people of China.


oxford circus di akhir pekan

15 Desember, 2007

rencananya mau ketemu asim lagi di london, tetapi ia tidak pernah membalas smsku. akhirnya akupun turun di stasiun Piccadily Circus, kemudian mengambil gambar patung eros dan gedung-gedung di sekitarnya. lalu aku menuju Oxford Circus dan berjalan-jalan di sepanjang pertokoan yang menjual suvenir-suvenir london dan city of westminster dengan harga banting. sayang sekali, aku sedang tidak berniat untuk berbelanja. kunikmati perjalanan dengan double decker yang terhambat di tengah kemacetan karena ramainya orang-orang memenuhi sepanjang jalan oxford circus.

waktu berlalu, kulihat matahari mulai redup, karena tak kutemukan masjid di sekitarnya, kuambil jalur ke Baker Street dan kulangkahkan kaki menuju London Central Mosque. kutunaikan jamak zuhrain beberapa menit menjelang magrib. kusempatkan berjamaah salat magrib dengan muslim yang lain lalu kulanjutkan dengan salat isya. setelah puas menikmati suasana masjid, kuambil double decker nomor 94 yang mengantarku kembali ke stasiun Oxford Circus. dari lantai atas bus tingkat itu kurasakan keramaian malam akhir pekan sepanjang jalan Oxford Circus.

semua orang tumpah ruah meramaikan saat-saat menjelang natal dan tahun baru yang tentu saja banyak sale. 🙂 tak jauh beda dengan suasana menjelang lebaran di pusat-pusat perbelanjaan di jakarta. ah, sudah malam, kularikan diriku menuju london heathrow terminal 4. lebih baik menunggu di airport daripada terlambat. benar saja, aku datang 3 jam terlalu awal.

melalui screening, pertama kalinya aku diminta lewat fast track, melalui bilik tersendiri dengan melakukan 3 posisi screening. kubaca papan petunjuk ada multifaith prayer room, kulangkahkan kaki ke sana, ada shower room. kusempatkan menyegarkan badan dan mengganti sebagian pakaian yang sudah kotor. lalu kuambil salat sunnah dua rakaat di ruang doa multi keimanan itu.

masih lama menunggu di london heathrow, cuci mata di duty free shop, yang mahal-mahal harganya daripada di oxford circus. lalu duduk mencari tempat, mengeluarkan 3 poundsterling buat mendapat akses wi-fi untuk mengeposkan tulisan ini 🙂


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