Tracing Back Islam: Kobe Masjid

Kobe Mosque (神戸モスク Kōbe Mosque), also known as Kobe Muslim Mosque (神戸ムスリムモスク Kōbe Muslim Mosque), was founded in October, 1935 in Kobe and is Japan‘s first mosque.

Kobe Masjid 1

Kobe Masjid survived the bombings of World War II

Its construction was funded by donations collected by the Islamic Committee of Kobe from 1928 until its opening in 1935. The mosque was confiscated by the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1943. However, it continues to function as mosque today. It is located in the Kitano-cho foreign district of Kobe. Owing to its basement and structure, the mosque survived the air raids that laid waste to most of Kobe’s urban districts in 1945 and was able to endure through the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995. The mosque is located in one of Kobe’s best-known tourist areas, which features many old western style buildings.

The mosque was built in traditional Indian style by the Czech architect Jan Josef Švagr (1885–1969), the architect of a number of Western religious buildings throughout Japan.

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Source: Wikipedia

Images:

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Tracing Back Islam: The Oldest Masjid in Australia (via Digital Mimbar)

Oldest Masjid in Australia

In Australia, there are 476,000+ Muslims who are living today peacefully and share a long history, some whose ancestors have arrived there well before the British during the 1500’s from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, which helped some members of the indigenous tribes accept Islam. Later during the 1860’s, Afghan camel breeders arrived and are credited for building the oldest surviving Masjid in Austarlia (pictured above), while thousands of Malay Muslims have arrived during the same era as pearl divers and built their own Masjids too.

From the 1901 however, during the “White Australia Policy”, the Europeans have banned all non-whites from immigrating, but even then, white European Muslims have arrived from Albania and built the first Masjid in Victoria in 1960, and once the white policy ended in 1973, Muslims arrived in large numbers and have been living in Australia peacefully since then.

Therefore, we wanted to send our condolences to our Australian siblings that we feel sorry for your recent loss in an isolated incident that doesn’t represent the nearly half a million Muslims who have been sharing this land with you for decades or hundreds of years, or the majority of the 1.6 Billion Muslims worldwide.

Just like we as Muslims don’t generalize or hold you accountable for any of the systematic violence or aggression wrongly done by some of your ancestors against the aboriginals and non-whites including Muslims (falsely in the name of Christianity), we also hope that you don’t overgeneralize or attribute these actions to the peaceful teachings of Islam or the Australian Muslim community, and that you also share with us the pain that we feel for Muslims and other humans suffering around the world, and those who are being discriminated, mistreated and profiled inside Australia by some politicians, media, and authorities. Stay strong, and may our Creator guide us all to the best of actions! #IllRideWithYou #SydneySiege#MartinPlace

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Written by: Sheikh Waleed Abdulhakeem

Tracing Back Islam: University of al-Qarawiyyin (since 859 CE)

University of Al-Qarawiyyin 2 (image from Wikipedia)

The University of al-Qarawiyyin or al-Karaouine (Arabic: جامعة القرويين‎) is a university located in Fes, Morocco.

The al-Qarawiyyin masjid-religious school / college was founded by Fatima al-Fihri in 859 with an associated school, or madrassa, which subsequently became one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the historic Muslim world. It was incorporated into Morocco’s modern state university system in 1963.

University of Al-Qarawiyyin 1 (image from skyscrapercity)

It is the oldest existing, continually operating and the first degree awarding educational institution in the world according to UNESCO and Guinness World Records and is sometimes referred to as the oldest university. These claims are subject to discussions as other institutions, such as the Zaytouna masjid-school founded in 703 in Tunis, predated the founding of al-Qarawiyyin.

Al-Qarawiyyin itself is named after the Qairaouan Mosque in Tunisia, the oldest mosque in the Maghreb and the cradle of the Muslim Maliki rite.

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Intro: Wikipedia

Images courtesy of skyscrapercity.com and Wikipedia

The Masjid Chroniclers: Masjid Jami Riadhul Abidin (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Masjid Jami Riadhul Abidin - The books

Aside from Masjid Jami Al Akhyar around Kemang Selatan area, of course you might want to check for better options when you came from Jalan Kapten Tendean and entering Kemang through Jalan Bangka, since it’s quite far to reach Kemang Selatan. The answer lies at this homey, good-looking masjid.

Masjid Jami Riadhul Abidin - Facade

Appears fresh, whitewashed, and has beautiful greenery on the front yard, I quickly stopped by on a parking lot just across the masjid. The parking lot is not part of the masjid but since the guard said okay then off I went across the street to do my Dzuhur prayer. I followed the direction to perform the ablution on the rear side of the masjid only to found that the section’s cleanliness requires more attention from the the masjid’s caretakers. Even so, the toilet is in good shape, especially for women.

During masjid’s most vacant times such as a while after the early prayer times, most of the doors are locked and I had to go back again from the front yard to access the main door. It’ll be more convenient if they could open one or two side doors or at least put more directions for the visiting jamaah.

Masjid Jami Riadhul Abidin - View outside

The masjid itself has many windows to absorb natural lights from outside and it felt homey inside. Although for the past few days the weather has been very hot in Jakarta, the masjid can maintain a relatively cool temperature inside and it helped me a lot to perform more khusyu prayer.

I fell in love instantly with the masjid especially because of the homey interior, the brightness that came from the natural lights – thanks to the huge windows, and the spacious front yard. Although some sections require more attention, again it’s up to us whether we can participate to solve the problem and at the same time to bond ourselves with the caretakers. After all, it’s all our responsibility to take care the house of Allah, anywhere it is. (RF)

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Masjid Riadhul Abidin
Jalan Bangka X no. 6
Jakarta, Indonesia
Telp: +62.21.718.2088

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Video: Masjid HDR Time Lapse (by Jeebsion)

Beautifully shot, edited, and rendered by brother Jeebsion from Malaysia. He visited three masjids during his visit to his hometown in Alor Setar, Kedah – Malaysia and created this. (RF)

ما شاء الله !