Kobe Mosque, Kobe, Japan

•22 November 2010 • 1 Comment
Kobe Mosque

Kobe Mosque, after World War II bombing, the mosque was still standing

Kobe mosque, today

Kobe mosque, today

Kobe Camii

Kobe Camii

Mosque Kobe, Interior

Mosque Kobe, Interior

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. 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 was able to endure through the Great Hanshin earthquake. The mosque was built in traditional Turkish style by the Czech architect Jan Josef Švagr (1885–1969), the architect of a number of Western religious buildings throughout Japan.

When the buildings around it almost razed to the ground, Kobe Muslim Mosque still standing upright. This mosque suffered only cracks on exterior walls and all the glass windows broken. The exterior of the mosque became a bit dark because the smoke bomb attack. Japanese soldiers who took refuge in the basement of the mosque survived the bomb threat, as well as concealed weapons. This mosque became a place of refuge for victims of war.


Hedaytul Islam (Baan Haw) Mosque, Chiang Mai, Thailand

•11 October 2010 • 2 Comments

Moschee Ban_Hoe_Mosque

On the left is the prayer hall, and on the right is the educational hall.

On the left is the prayer hall, and on the right is the educational hall.

(Chinese: 王和清真寺; pinyin: wánghéqīngzhēnsì, Thai: มัสยิดเฮดายาตูลอิสลามบ้านฮ่อ), located at Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai, is one of the biggest mosques in the province, and also one of the seven Chinese mosques in Chiang Mai.

It was first built in nineteenth century by a group of Chinese people, called Chin Ho or Hui, mostly came from Yunnan.  The present-day buildings were built later, with an Arabic style rather a Chinese style, except in front of the prayer hall, there is a Chinese word, “清真寺”,which means a mosque.

Every Saturday and Sunday, there is a class for young local Muslims, beginning around 8 O’clock to the noon prayer (dhuhr). The mosque also receives 20 students each year for parents who can’t afford to send their children to a government school. However, most of them are from the other part of the country, rather in Chiang Mai. The students are both Chinese and non-Chinese Muslims.

What is “Halal”?

•6 October 2010 • Leave a Comment

Halal (Arabic:حلال, ḥalāl; means lawful or legal) is a term designating any object or an action which is permissible to use or engage in, according to Islamic law. It is the opposite of haraam. The term is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law (Sharia, الشريعة الإسلامية).

Dietary laws

Islam has laws regarding which foods can and cannot be eaten and also on the proper method of slaughtering an animal for consumption, known as dhabihah. However if there is no other food available then a Muslim is allowed to eat non-halal food. Surah 2:173 states:

If one is forced because there is no other choice, neither craving nor transgressing, there is no sin in him.

Surah 5:5 states:

“This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).”

The Example of Halal Certificate