Wednesday September 12, 2018
We all are as much amazed as you might be; Japan has launched the Mobile Mosque a month ago, clearly enticing for Muslims worldwide. The news has struck many of delight and surprise at the same time! This initiative reflects the hospitality of Japan towards the visiting Muslims in the country. A Tokyo sports and cultural events company came up with this, hoping to make Muslim visitors feel at home. According to estimations, the country’s population comprises of 100,000 to 200,000 Muslims.
The purpose behind this launch was mainly to cater the problem of limited prayer places for the Muslim community. This measure was taken specially for the upcoming events to commence in Japan; Rugby World Cup in 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
It has been four years since the mobile mosque has been in the making. It is built on the chassis of a 25-ton heavy duty truck. The back of the truck flips up to reveal an entrance and the side slides out, doubling the width. The 48-square-metre room has the capacity to accommodate up to 50 people. Moreover, the truck is equipped with facilities such as a wash basin for wuzu before praying; providing as much convenience as possible.
Yasuharu Inoue, CEO of Yasu Project, said that the possibility of not having enough mosques for Muslim visitors in 2020 was alarming; especially for a country like Japan that considers itself a part of the international community. He inferred that these Mobile Mosques could travel to different Olympic venues whenever needed.
He also stated:
"As an open and hospitable country, we want to share the idea of 'omotenashi' [Japanese hospitality] with Muslim people."
Indonesian students who were victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami also participated in the debut ceremony of the mobile mosque. Initially, the project organizers have planned to target international sporting events, both in Japan as well as overseas. Inoue instigated that he hopes the project will do more than just fill a gap in religious infrastructure.
Furthermore, Inoue said:
"Going forward, I would be so happy if people from Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, the Middle East and, for example, refugees who are coming from Syria are able to use the mosque as a tool to promote world peace."
Tatsuya Sakaguchi, a Japanese guest, also expressed hope of Mobile Mosque bringing an impact such that it helps open minds of people worldwide.
We all thank and pray to Allah(SWT) that such remarkable efforts keep flourishing, providing ease to all the Muslims across the world. We should appreciate such initiatives taken by nations such as Japan whereby we embark towards the journey of better relationships and solidarity.
Verily the Quran states: