A mosque built together by both Sunnis and Shiite Muslims
About Sunni’s and Shiite Muslims
The history of the mosque dates back 100 years ago when there many Indian workers and traders in town. At first, it was just a simple house used by Sunni Muslims and a small Shiite community to gather for prayer, but then they together decided to collect donations to build a proper mosque. This was quite a unique movement for the two different Islam communities to come together and build side by side. One elder, U Maung, describes that “the majority of Muslims that lived here in Kalaw in the 1940s were Sunni Muslims. When we first arrived, there were about 120 people and a few families who were Shitte Muslims. But at that time, we all prayed together.”
New home for Muslim community
The ageing wood mosque was then demolished and the current structure which you see today was built in the 1990s. The Sunni community is mostly from India and Bangladesh. The Muslim community is quite small in Kalaw now, but you’ll see many men walking down the street in their skullcaps and whites in the morning and evening.
If you visit on Saturday or Sunday morning, one of the mosque's elders may let you peek into a madrassa class to see young children learning Arabic. Children aged 5 to 12 usually attend and are taught outside behind the mosque on a blackboard.