Inside the realms of Cham ethnics in An Giang

By Kieu Duong   October 22, 2019 | 11:13 am GMT+7

The Mas Jid Khay Ri Yah mosque in An Giang Province, which shares the border with Cambodia, is where the Cham Muslims come to practice their religious beliefs.

The Mas Jid Khay Ri Yah

The mosque is situated in Nhon Hoi Commune, the Mekong Delta province's An Phu District. 

A crescent moon and a five-pointed star are displayed on top of its dome and are considered symbols of Islam. The moon is associated with times, seasons, fasting, and it governs the Islamic calendar. The star signifies believers' submission and obedience to God.

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The ablution facility, or purification area, is on the right of the mosque. Before praying, believers must purify themselves by washing their faces and other body parts since it is an important part of ritual purity in Islam.

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Cham Muslims face mihrab, a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque, when praying. Mihrab indicates the direction of prayer for Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, in Saudi Arabia. In Vietnam, the mihrab faces west.

As a rule, Muslims must pray five times a day: before sunrise, before noon, late afternoon, evening and before bed.

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Like other Islamic's mosques, the interior is simple and almost empty so that the faithful believers can focus on praying. Inside the mosque, there are only rugs instead of chairs so worshippers can stand, bow, kneel and prostrate on the ground.

The only painting on the wall is the Kaaba in Mecca, where the prophet Muhammad was born.

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Prayer beads, known as masbaha, are hung on the wall in the praying room.

The masbaha is a tool for believers to recite the 99 names of Allah. It can be made from different materials, such as plastic, wood and ceramics. The lanyard consists of either 99 or 33 beads.

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As Na Quy, a Cham ethnic boy, poses with a Muslim headdress. Currently, there are more than 17,000 Cham Muslims in An Giang.

Golden trumpets blossom on the two sides of the road in front of the mosque.

Golden trumpets blossom on the two sides of the road in front of the mosque.

Cham ethnic children play in Bung Binh Thien Lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the Mekong Delta.Many activities of the local people such as fishing, bathing, washing and playing     take place around the lake.

Cham ethnic children play in Bung Binh Thien lake in front of the mosque. Many activities of the locals such as fishing, bathing, washing and playing take place on the lake. 

The mosque and the lake are about 30 km to the west of Chau Doc Town which borders Cambodia.

 
 
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