Celebrating the end of Ramadhan at Istiqlal Mosque

As Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship, I wanted to take the opportunity to visit Istiqlal Mosque, which is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia in terms of capacity, to witness the thousands of people praying together to mark the end of the fasting month.

After being granted permission to take photographs, and covering myself with a long robe provided by the mosque to cover my arms and legs, we headed up to the third level where the women and children were praying together.  There were children asleep on the floor, and others playing amongst the women, while every inch of the ground floor was filled with men and young boys, and it was an incredible sight to see.

I felt a little uncomfortable to be photographing people while they prayed but I am grateful I had the opportunity to witness it first hand as it is amazing to see thousands of people so devoted to their faith gathered in one place.

I wish everyone a safe and happy Lebaran as millions go ‘pulang kampung’ to be with their families to ask for forgiveness, and we will enjoy the relatively traffic free streets of Jakarta for the next few days before the city returns to its normal chaotic and lively self.

The ground level of Istiqlal Mosque during the end of Ramadhan

Thousands of men on the ground level while the women and children pray on the upper levels of the Mosque

A young girl with her mother at Istiqlal Mosque

Taking a break from praying

Shadows across the ground floor as the men stand to pray

Females praying on the upper level of Istiqlal

Men praying at Istiqlal

A young boy prays behind his mother and women at Istiqlal