Post Event: KL Enrichment Trip: I٣– Insights, Immerse, Islam
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficient, the most Merciful.
The National University of Singapore Muslim Society organised a trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 15 and 18 May 2012. The objective of this trip was to bring students together to learn about the Muslim culture in Malaysia through history, architecture and artifacts. At the same time, it aimed to broaden the perspective of each individual as he/she gains insights about Islam from our neighbouring country and to provide the opportunity for participants to make new friends among themselves and the students and professors from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) as they engaged to exchange their thoughts on the Muslim cultures in Singapore and Malaysia. Participants were also free to relax and rejoice since it is the end of the final examinations. Alhamdulillah, all praises to Allah, the trip proved to be an enriching and successful one for the participants.
We left Singapore at 8am and made our way to IIUM. All of us were excited, albeit tired, to visit IIUM. On arriving IIUM, we were greeted with a welcome presentation by the faculty members, where we were introduced to the different campuses they have all over Malaysia and also the various academic programmes offered in IIUM. From the campus tour, we learned how the students, both males and females, interact while abiding to the school rules. The tour was then followed by a sharing session with the IIUM students over dinner, where we made many new friends and exchanged our thoughts on how similar yet different our schools operate, and also discussed the differences between Singapore’s and Malaysia’s Muslim cultures. After that, we had a lecture and Q&A session on Usul-u-deen and Furu’-u-deen (Principle and Branch of Islam) by one of the IIUM faculty members, Dr. Majdan, before ending the day with a night’s stay at Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Mosque in IIUM.
On the second day, we were pleasantly awoken for our morning prayers to the beautiful voice of the muezzin. It was such an amazing experience indeed. We were also greeted with the beautiful scenery surrounding the mosque where we resided. After and wholesome breakfast with our new friend and bidding them farewell we paid a visit to Yayasan Restu at Kompleks Taman Seni Islam Selangor. We watched how the patterns in the Quran are printed (we watched how one of the students from Restu College painted the sheets manually), learnt that students from Restu College express their love for Islamic calligraphy and artistic skills through a gallery of portraits, and walked through a brief history of the Prophet SAW and his family. We explored the breathtakingly beautiful architecture of the Blue Mosque before checking into Hotel Grand Continental.
The third day of the trip was filled with more insightful experience for us. We began the day with a trip to the National Planetarium. The National Planetarium was completed in 1993 and it represents the Malaysian state’s commitment to the development of space and science technology. The planetarium boasts a space theatre and consists of an observatory tower and some exhibition halls. Although we did not have the time to experience watching space shows in the theatre, going through the exhibitions had equipped us with new knowledge about the development of space technology in Malaysia, which left us in awe. And of course, the girls were swooning at the exhibition featuring Malaysia’s leading astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor.
Soon after, we made our way to the Islamic Arts Museum located near the planetarium. We were breathless as soon as we entered the museum – its spacious and contemporary architecture, decorated with Islamic art at almost every corner. We soon discovered that the architecture itself was not the only one guilty of taking our breath away. We were given a tour for the exhibition “Treasures of the Aga Khan Museum: Architecture in Islamic Arts” which kept us in awe of the architecture in the olden Persian and Indian world. We were then brought to the main exhibition halls to appreciate the astounding beauty of the architecture of mosques all over the world. Not long after that, we performed our Musafir prayers at the grand National Mosque nearby. We had some free time after lunch so we headed over to KLCC for some shopping and sight-seeing.
The last day of the trip was reserved for the participants to shop and sight-see on their own. We headed to the popular shopping spot – Masjid India. The male participants also grabbed the opportunity to pray Jumu’ah at the charming Masjid Jamek nearby as it was Friday. After half a day of good food and shopping by ourselves in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, we bade farewell to KL and made our way back to Singapore.
Alhamdulillah, the trip has given us insights to the Muslim culture in Malaysia, learnt a thing or two about Islam itself and also strengthened our ukhuwwah as we made new friends.