12 Hang Luoc street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Early 19th century, traders from India and the Middle East went to North Vietnam to purchase fabrics and exchange currency. There were about 1,000 Indians in Indochina. They were wealthy merchants and held large market share of silk and cloth. In Hanoi, they concentrated in Hang Dao Street, Hoan Kiem district today. To meet the religious needs, in 1885, the Indian community from Bombay (now Mumbai, India) raised money to build the Al Noor Mosques, now the only Muslim Mosque in Hanoi.
Officially put into use in 1890, the mosque was quite small, with an area of about 700 m2, but the place of worship was built in the typical Islamic style, with a dome, the curved doors and the pinnacle.
Iquama: +10mn after adhan.
Fajr: 04:55 AM; Sunrise: 06:12 AM; Dhuhr: 11:44 AM; Asr: 2:52 PM; Maghrib: 5:14 PM; Isha: 6:27 PM.
The holy Friday
Friday is the feast day of the spiritual life of Muslims. On this day, they wear traditional costumes with round hats on top and go to the mosque to pray. This activity is not absolutely required, but if in a radius of less than 30 km from the mosque, the faithful should go to pray.
Every Friday, the only Mosque in Hanoi and the northern region, Al Noor Mosque, is always filled with devotees from all over the capital and surrounding areas. Of nearly 300 devotees gathering to pray in the mosque of more than hundred years old, only 55 are Vietnamese, the remaining are officials from the embassies of Muslims countries in Hanoi.
Visiting Al Noor Mosque
For those with a passion for culture, religion and architecture, visiting a mosque can be a profound experience; however, if you are unfamiliar with mosque rules, the visit, depending of the emotions of the worshiper in front of you, can be sometimes be harsh. If you are staying around the old quarter Hanoi, the best way is to rent a bike for a visit to the Mosque.
A few simple tips can ensure that you visit a mosque without disrespecting the rules of etiquette. It is important to realize the main purpose of the place: A masjid is a place of worship and whether you believe or not, there are guidelines to follow, these guidelines can be found in the holy book, the Qur’ an, and the sunna of the Prophet
As you enter, take note of where worshipers are saying prayers, and walk silently to find a quiet place to sit at the back.
Do not take flash photos or photos of people and do not simply walk straight through the mosque without first sitting for prayer.
Women usually go to the left side of the mosque, or at the back of the mosque, a rule that is extended to tourists as well. Remember that men cannot sit behind women. And women should sit with the other women.
Despite the fact that the grids of the masjid can be closed between prayers hours, you can enter into the premises by the small door located at the left of the main entrance.
Remove your shoes before you enter the mosque. The children should remove their shoes too.
Make sure that you are dressed appropriately: Tight or transparent clothing must be avoided. Men should wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, while women should wear dresses or skirts which cover the knees and tops with sleeves that cover the elbows at least. Women should also wear a headscarf; however, if you do not have one, just ask for it.
Additionally, there are some robes that you can wear if they feel your dress is inappropriate.