Search For A Malaysian Mosque In Nova Breka, Sarajevo
14.04.2010 22 °C
Two days ago, I was morally elevated and emotionally uplifted after reading an article published by the press of Sarajevo. The article was written in a very effusive way in ardour, expressing a deep emotion of the local folks yearning for a more robust spiritual restoration in Bosnia particularly in the recent time after they had long succumbed to the wreckage of societal haemorrhaging caused by the war in the 90s. Before reading the article, I had not known that Malaysia was able to play more than a little role in contributing to the restoration of the once destructed spiritual institution which was completely destroyed during the war time.
It was an eye opening for me to know that there are several mosques constructed by the Malaysian authority in elsewhere of Bosnia, apart from a few already towering in Sarajevo. There is one mosque constructed by the Malaysian authority situated not far from the centre of the old town, around 6 km to the serene and undisturbed suburban neighbourhood called Nova Breka, Sarajevo.
After reading the article, I planned to search for it - the Malaysian Mosque.
Rising above the tranquil neighbourhood of Nova Breka, Malaysian Mosque is the symbol of living friendship between Bosnia and Malaysia. Malaysian Mosque was built with a cost of RM1.8 million featuring a typical Malaysian architecture, built by the Malaysian authority in honour of the friendship for the people of Bosnia. The wooden door and its frame to the main entrance of the mosque were extracted from an evergreen teak wood. They were intricately designed and brought in from Malaysia. The arcade, especially the main entrance of the mosque, was designed as such of a duplicated specimen look like another National Museum which we see in Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian designer of the mosque had wanted to introduce the Malay architecture into the structure of the mosque.
As I was about to step into the mosque, I came face to face into contact with the Imam of the mosque, Elvedin Klisura. Being so young at 33, he takes a great pride to assume the role as the Imam of Malaysian Mosque.
“I’ve been to your country before”, Elvedin told me. He added, “I attended several forums in Putrajaya two years ago. I met your former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad during the forum. He is a leader of great vision and far sighted. He shared many of his invaluable views with us on the restoration and reconstruction of Bosnia. Dr Mahathir is a great role model to us”.
Imam Elvedin further added, “Oh, Dr Mahathir is in Sarajevo now attending a national business forum. Are you aware?”. I nodded to imply that I was aware. Then he added, “He uses to come to this mosque for prayer with the community here. Your prime minister Mr. Abdullah Badawi had also been to this mosque in 2007, in honouring our request to officiate this mosque”.
Living in a muslim country in Malaysia, ironically I had never gained access into the prayer hall of any mosque other than the Putrajaya mosque due to the strict religious rule and restriction as observed by our local muslim community. Let alone having a permission to climb up into the balcony of the minaret. Unlike many muslim countries like Egypt and Turkey, I even had been able to sit back in the prayer hall for reading. Of course, we need to heed the rule of dress code. When I travel abroad, greatly I have an affection to look for a mosque so to take a rest by its arcade. Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo was one of them.
After hearing lengthy from the Imam while sitting rest on the delicate piece of Persian carpet that was knotted with Islamic motifs, I was brought to visit the minaret stood by the mosque. The high slender tower is as tall as 8 floors and has a balcony from which several loud speakers were installed. Standing at the balcony above the dome, I could see an eye-soothing view of the undisturbed neighbourhood of Nova Breka. Very serene and tranquil indeed.
Malaysian mosque is indeed truly a symbol of living friendship between Bosnia and Malaysia.