KOTA BAHARU – Istana Telipot, the residence of Sultan Muhammad V has been installed with loudspeakers connected directly to the Sultan Muhammad II Mosque.
Sultan Muhammad II Mosque senior imam (prayer leader) Ahmad Yunoh, 42, said it was easier for him to follow ceramah or religious activities and hear the call for prayers from the mosque which is located less than 100 metres from his residence.
“His Majesty said in this way he can glean religious knowledge if he did not have the opportunity to attend the religious lectures in the mosque himself.
“I am impressed at the desire and suggestion voiced by His Majesty because he is obviously very concerned about religion in his life,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
He said the idea was mooted by Sultan Muhammad V when he was still the acting Sultan of Kelantan which simultaneously gave great honour and appreciation to the management of the mosque.
He said that although now His Majesty was rarely in Kelantan but he requested that the loudspeaker be maintained at the palace.
Commenting further, Ahmad said several years ago His Majesty had transformed the management of the mosque by requesting that the imam, muezzin or the committee members of the mosque read the Quran themselves rather than playing the cassette or compact discs.
“He said it is better if the Quran is read by the committee members themselves. I was momentarily speechless at hearing the proposal and I thought to myself how concerned His Majesty was with matters on religion.
He said from that day onwards the committee members and himself took turn to recite the Quran for 15 minutes before the call to prayer was performed.
He said His Majesty turned up at the mosque more often during Ramadan especially at dawn and Asar.
He said the mosque often received surprise visits from His Majesty especially for Asar prayers.
“Once, I only realised his presence in the mosque after he had completed his prayers because he was only wearing a T-shirt and pants.
“But Sultan Muhammad V, as known to the people, is a friendly king and not concerned with protocol.
We can converse with him without feeling awkward,” he said.
He said during the Subuh prayer period at dawn, His Majesty liked to don white robes and often allocated time to sit in any corner of the mosque to recite the ‘wirid’ (reciting extracts of the Quran) or read the Qoran he brought with him.
“His Majesty has never asked to be provided a special place at the mosque. His humility is impacted on our hearts and shows that there is no barrier among human beings in the eyes of god,” he said.
Ahmad said that His Majesty had greatly provided his support to enliven the mosque, including by giving financial donations to foreign guest imam leading ‘tarawih’ prayers besides other activities.
He said the presence of His Majesty was always eagerly anticipated and welcomed by all the mosque-goers.
Sultan Muhammad V was made the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong to succeed Tuanku Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah whose tenure ended on December 12 last year.
The installation ceremony would take place at Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur on April 24.