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Opening Doors to the Mind through Interfaith Collaborative Understanding

Azlin (third from left) encouraged each person in her group to reflect on one’s feelings as they entered the serene prayer hall. [Photo by Niki Leng]

On the morning of August 20, 2022, Tzu Chi volunteers from the English Group visited Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur. This initiative was presented as an opportunity after several representatives had also visited Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall in Kepong a month earlier.

A total of 24 people participated with much enthusiasm since a physical gathering of this nature had not happened since the pandemic. We were received by Azliza, Head of Group Tours at the Mosque’s entrance. An extensive insight on the origins of Islam and its principles was shared by Fatema Ibrahim. Many questions and enquiries were posed by young inquisitive participants within the group, which implied interest in the information shared.

Armed with the information shared, a physical tour proceeded in cosy groups of five accompanied by a tour guide. The tour, which included an introduction to the architectural heritage of the Mosque, outlined the grandeur of the grounds as well as the serene atmosphere within the main prayer hall. It was obvious that significant deliberation was put into the design of this place of worship incorporating artisan influences from all over the world as well as local heritage. For example, pewter is used in the handlebar designs while intricate woodcraft depicting an eternal flow of flora and fauna motives are installed. These mindful artform depicts the subtle yet significant local influence of the Mosque.

Although it rained as the physical tour took place, this did not dampen the participants’ spirits as the comprehensiveness of the earlier talk and grandeur of the Mosque’s architecture collectively enveloped the principles of mutual tolerance in doing good deeds and caring for one another.

Azlin (first from right) providing insights to the architectural heritage of Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan to her tour group. [Photo by Niki Leng]
The fusion of various influences drawn from all over the world and local heritage make up the unique beauty of Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan. [Photo by Niki Leng]

We shared a vegetarian Indian cuisine lunch at the Mosque and had opportunity to further discuss and share thoughts on interfaith principles. All participants could feel the genuine passion of the tour guides (all volunteers) as they shared their insights. Robert Chong, on behalf of Tzu Chi English Group, gifted Master Cheng Yen’s book on “50 years on the Bodhisattva Path” as a memento to the visit. Representatives reciprocated with a souvenir as well.

It is amazing how similar life principles we uphold despite differences in spiritual faith. Realizing that we are all connected in this world, that through faith, sincerity in actions, gratitude, mutual respect and perseverance, we have the common objective to do good to make this world a better place.

Cosy sharing and discussion amidst the calm atmosphere of the Mosque interior. [Photo by Niki Leng]
Robert Chong (left), English Group leader, providing a brief introduction of Master Cheng Yen’s publication before gifting it to Fatema. [Photo by Niki Leng]
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