Seeking God by going vertical in Malaysia (National Mosque - Kuala Lumpur)

Seeking God by going vertical in Malaysia (National Mosque - Kuala Lumpur)

Seeking God by going vertical in Malaysia (National Mosque - Kuala Lumpur)


I went to Southeast Asia to get vertical.

Wait, that came out wrong.

I went to Southeast Asia to photograph people.

I wanted to develop my people photography skills which meant I would be shooting in the vertical format most of the time rather than in landscape mode which I have always been accustomed to.

A Flickr contact recently mentioned that I must like shooting verticals. With this new Flickr format I did notice from my recent uploads that I have posted many verticals. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I started my trip to Malaysia by photographing the Petronas Twin Towers, which in most cases requires a vertical format.

This vertical portrait is of a very kind woman named Normah who was with the outreach staff at the National Mosque of Malaysia (Masjid Negara) in Kuala Lumpur.

I took some photos of the beautiful minarets and interior of the mosque, but what I remember the most was my interaction with Normah. I was introduced to her because I had so many questions regarding Islam for my Islamic guide, who was giving me the history of the mosque, that he stopped me after question number eighty-five.

He invited me to a room downstairs to have tea where he introduced me to Normah. As a Christian I have always had a deep appreciation for studying world religions, so we had a very pleasant conversation discussing the history and principles of Islam.

The conversation really got interesting when I asked Normah, “Do you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God?”

“Was Jesus Christ a man,” Normah asked?

“Yes,” I replied.

“Are you a man,” she continued?

“Yes,” I replied again.

“Then any man can claim to be the Son of God. There is no other God but God,” she explained with a smile.

I launched into an exegesis on the Christian Trinity when the bells began to ring. It was the Muslim call to prayer. As a non-Muslim I had to depart the mosque as it was now only open to Muslims who were coming to pray.

I asked Normah if I could take here picture to remember her by and she gladly posed for me. I concluded my comments by stating Christianity and Islam were both monotheistic faiths and shared a common history. I believed our exchange that day was very fruitful and a provided a unique travel experience.

Although we were from different parts of the world, from different cultures and practiced different faiths, we both looked to the heavens above for life’s answers.

Check back for more of my Malaysian adventures!

Happy Travels!

Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography

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Taken on: 9th February, 2012. Copyright: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License - See Sam Antonio Photography's page of Flickr

Read more about Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the modern, bustling and lush-green capital of Malaysia, a testament to the Southeast Asian nation clawing its way in recent decades out of the developing world and into the WiFi-enabled modern one.

At the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers, and lying just over 30 kilometres from the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, KL, as it is commonly known, is not as old as some other Southeast Asian capitals. But it still lays claim to some historical sites of interest, such as mosques, temples, and British colonial-era architecture.

The past and present collide here, with the city's modern architecture also a real pull. The city boasts some amazing cutting-edge buildings, such as the the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world, and Menara KL, the world's fourth tallest communications tower, for starters. The city, together with the surrounding Klang valley, is the fastest growing area in Malaysia, and ... Read our complete Kuala Lumpur travel guide

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