Tuesday, July 22, 2014

An exclusive roof-top access during the Ramadan Trail 2014 at Sultan Mosque

The Ramadan Trail organized by the Sultan Mosque is back again!

This year, the Ramadan Trail takes participants to an exclusive access to the roof-top of the annexed building. From the roof-top, participants can have a closer view of the Sultan Mosque's iconic golden domes. Participants will witness for ourselves the two iconic golden domes of the Sultan Mosque.

In addition, visitors participating in the Ramadan Trail will be brought to the ablution area to learn how ablution is performed. During the tour, one of our hosts gave us a demonstration of how ablution is performed. The key purpose of ablution is to cleanse, both internally (spiritually) and externally (physically). After the tour, I did a search on Google and found a site that summarizes the steps of performing ablution: http://islam1.org/how_to_pray/wudu.htm

This gentleman gave a demonstration of how ablution is being performed.

After learning about how ablution is performed, participants were led to the entrance of the mosque's main prayer hall. We had a good view of the mosque's main prayer hall. I noticed the carpets in the main prayer hall are new! Our guide shared with us the reason why male and female Muslims pray at different parts of the mosque. Our guide also gave us a demonstration of how prostration is being performed in Islam. During this part of the Ramadan Trail, our guide also gave participants a brief introduction to Islam.

The main prayer hall. Sultan Mosque.

A large group of participants at the Ramadan Trail, Sultan Mosque.

For the participants who have attended the Ramadan Trail in the previous years, the exclusive roof-top access up the Annex Building was worth waiting for. I appreciate having a closer view of Sultan Mosque against the evening skies. Up at the roof-top, our guides shared with us a number of the interesting architectural features of Sultan Mosque. One of the interesting features of the mosque is that the dark-green-colour base of the mosque's domes are decorated with the bottom of glass bottles that were donated by the poor. This enabled everyone in the community (the rich and the poor, the young and the old) to contribute to the building of the Sultan Mosque.

View of Sultan Mosque from the roof-top of the Annexed Building.

After the exclusive roof-top access, participants attended a brief presentation at the auditorium by one of the mosque's volunteers. The presentation highlights the significance of the month of Ramadan. I learnt that during the month of Ramadan, Muslims would take their meals before dawn and break fast at sunset. It is a common practice to share food with neighbours, relatives, friends and the poor during the month of Ramadan. During the last ten days of Ramadan, Muslims are strongly encouraged to take part in optional late-night prayers for spiritual benefits.

A presentation on Ramadan.

Concluding the Ramadan Trail is the experiential "Buka Puasa" in which tour participants could experience the breaking of the fast together with our fellow Muslim hosts and Muslim participants. I learnt that Muslims will break their fast with dates. So I was mindful to start the "Buka Puasa" experience by starting with a date. One of my Muslim friend who attended the Ramadan Trail shared with me that after breaking their fast with dates and some light food, it is common for the Muslims to go for prayers before taking other food.

Time for Buka Puasa.

I am grateful that the Sultan Mosque opens its doors to non-Muslims like myself so that we can learn more about Islam and the significance of Ramadan. During the tour, I noticed that we have Muslim friends who joined the Ramadan Trail too so as to learn more about the Sultan Mosque. It is heartening to learn that the Ramadan Trail is gaining in popularity over the years.

My heartfelt thanks to Sultan Mosque and the guides for the Ramadan Trails for the enriching and interesting experience. The tour helped me to better appreciate the culture and religion of our Muslim Friends.

Sultan Mosque after the sun has set.

The Ramadan Trail is open to everyone. This year, the Ramadan Trail will be held on 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 21 and 23 Jul 2014. Registration from the tour starts at 5.30 p.m. The tour commences at 6 p.m. Admission is free. It is strongly encouraged to book in advance. To do so, please contact Liyana at Tel: 62934405 or email nurliyana@sultan.mosque.org.sg

Sultan Mosque
3 Muscat Street
Singapore 198833
Nearest MRT station: Bugis

Please find the following posts on my past experiences of the Ramadan trail:


francis siew said...

The malay kuehs made by them in the kitchen was very nice .... just the right texture.

oceanskies79 said...

Yes, Francis!