Continuing on from Part 1, we are in the beautiful city of Bandung and then Jakarta. We visited Irsyad & Istiqlal Mosque, which left an impact on me. These mosques combine traditional Islamic philosophy with modern architecture – and its an incredibly unique feeling to visit such places.
The next day, we did a city seeing tour in Bandung, and got to visit Bandung Mosque which reminded me of blue lego design on the inside of the dome. The mosques here are so unique, they use a fusion of modern and traditional elemental design and its very refreshing.
We went all the way to the top and observed the beautiful city of Bandung from a high level.
On our way back to Jakarta, Sarah suggested we visit Irsyad Mosque during Pre-dusk in outer Bandung.
The mosque looked very modern on the outside (like a white block) which didnt really interest me. Im so used to traditional Islamic architecture and historical designs whenever I visit mosques whilst travelling.How foolish I feel for thinking that this mosque would be modern and boring.
As we entered in the mosque, we noticed there was a large opening at the front, with a small body of water and a big metal sphere almost floating on top of it.
The opening revealed that the mosque was situated in beautiful countryside with the glorious setting sun, grass, trees, mountains and water. It was one of the most spectacular mosques I have ever been to.
I couldn’t believe such a modern mosque, could make me feel so in tune to my traditional belief systems.
When i sat there, facing the direction of prayer, the view made me appreciate all the natural beauty God has offered to us in this world.
Nothing says Praise the bountiful glory of God quite like this mosque. As the sun set over the mountains, the sky turned into brilliant colours of orange and coloured the sky, mountains and water. Felt like bathing in gold light. What a way to pray to your creator.
It was as if you were in a modern building, but in front of you is one of the most stunning displays of nature I’ve seen on my trip – and its a very strange feeling, a good feeling, but it made some sort of emotional impact on me.
We went back in the car and were on our way back to Jakarta.
The first thing we did when arriving in Jakarta was go to Friday prayer at Istiqlal Mosque.
It was a beautiful sight – so many men and women praying, hundreds.
Whilst in prayer, the entire mosque echoed Ameen, which sent a small shiver down my spine. I definitely felt a strong spiritual and communal atmosphere here.
The aspect I like the most about Indonesia is the relaxed Muslim gender relations.
Women are not treated as some pretty thing that should be behind a curtain. Instead, we are able to walk freely wherever we like, even if it’s in the men’s section.
And as we walk, we’re greeted with sincere salaams. No one tells us we can’t take photos or cannot go into certain areas. I really appreciate that.