Sunday, December 21, 2008

Visit To Korea

I wanted to share about my experience when I visited Korea last month. It was on the fourth day. Our group had to be divided into 2 because the restaurant we went for lunch cannot support too many people. So some of us went to pray at the mosque and some get to have lunch first. I had to join the group that gets to eat first and most of them are boys. The restaurant is in Itaewon city and it provided halal food for Muslim community there. The lunch was one full plate of white rice, some small pieces of beef and a stack of salad with mustard. Hm.. to be honest, I don’t have the appetite to eat much because the day before that, I had a very bad fever (I’ll tell u why in the next episode). So I decided to take a walk in Itaewon city alone. There were some Muslim shops there probably because it’s near to the Masjid. So this place was like Muslim centre spot. The weather that day was warmer than yesterday probably -4oC. I had some information from the tourist guide that Itaewon is a heaven for fake goods. You can find all kinds of fake branded stuff here. Handbag, clothes, shoes and other accessories. Most of them are for winter season. All with variety of fashion and style. I was attracted to go to the Muslim shop, of course, keen to know bout Muslim life here. I was told by the tourist guide that there are not many Muslim live in Seoul and the Korean people had slight bad impression over Islam because of the killing of a Korean guy in Iraq few years back. I don’t know if it’s true or not but what I can see is that she’s correct about the number of Muslim community here. The first shop I entered was a book shop. It was a small and nice shop. I forgot the name of the shop. As I entered, the shop owner gave me a salaam. I answered him as my eyes began to browse over the shelves. He then asked me where I came from. I told him I am from Malaysia. Then he said, “what are you looking for? If you’re looking for Quran, I have Quran with Indonesian tafsir”. I looked at him, surprised. “I even have books in Malay language” he added. He showed me the Quran, and it was the same as the one I had. Then he showed me to the shelf with Malay books. Interesting I thought… they even had ‘Asas2 Islam’.. Who would read all this, I thought.. Then the book owner told me that they had a library situated few blocks away. But it only open on weekdays (that day was Saturday). So he suggest if I were staying longer, I should go to the library.. I was so excited to hear bout the library but we’re going back on Monday morning. I spend some time there going through some books. Most of the books there are for the reverts. These brothers here are doing well with the community. If only I had a chance to live here.. I would love to join the Dakwah team and had the experience meeting with Korean reverts. While I was there, there was a Korean man, talking to the shop owner about Islam. He was asking him about the Ka’abah, about the prophets and some basic things in Islam. I was so interested to listen more but I don’t have much time. I need to get back to the bus. So I decided to buy a book as a souvenir. Its was ‘Hari2 Dalam Hidupku’ by Zainab al-ghazali for 8000 won.