Historical Mosques and their Environs in Bangkok
The word “Muslim” refers to those who practice Islam. The word “Islam” in Arabic means “surrender” and “compliance” by respecting one and only one God, “Allah,” with Muhammad as the last prophet. Islam is originally practised in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia at the present. The Thai population, however, may refer to Muslims are those who live in the deep south, particularly the four southernmost border provinces, which has the largest concentration of those who practise the religion. This comes as no surprise, as since the ancient times, there is proper evidence of contact between the Malay state and the Sukhothai Kingdom. Much was done through trade, which led to the development of relationship between the two kingdoms. Up until the Ayutthaya, Thonburi and Rattanakosin periods, the Islam religion and Muslims have always been active in shaping the history of the land of Siam.
When the Rattanakosin Kingdom was inaugurated as the new capital, people were displaced and forcibly brought into settlements for reasons of population and labour. At the same time, various Muslim communities have moved into settlements with the Siamese along with other foreigners. They are often unofficially referred to as “kaek” by local Thais, followed by their origin of nationality such as “kaek-jaam,” “kaek-chawa,” “kaek-malay,” “kaek-jaosen” etc. It is believed that such term of referral is used for the convenience of indicating the identity of a specific group of Muslims according to their ethnic background. Muslims often live in communities scattered around the city, each with a unique way of life that paints a picture telling story, while establishing the unique identity of the community. Some examples include the militia Baan Krua Mosque Community and the artisan at Chakraphong Mosque Community.
Muslims have long played a pivotal role in the development of the Thai economy and contributed to the royal court of Siam in bringing modern foreign technology into the development of the kingdom, from the early Rattanakosin period up to the reign of King Rama V. When a policy was established to reform the governance and various social structure, with the aim of developing the Kingdom of Siam to be on par with other civilised nations, such wave of reforms also played a major influence on the Muslim communities. From the traditional way of life practised in a particular community, Muslims are now integrated into a larger society—making their living and continuing their way of life just as like an ordinary Thai citizen that we see today. Through different eras and evolvement of time, Islamic culture in Bangkok has also undergone a process of various adaptation with the modern-day society, while maintaining the identity as a “culture” in which its doctrine extends to the daily life.
The Siam Society will arrange a one-day study trip taking members and those who are interested through the Muslim culture to visit four Masjids in Bangkok in a charming background of its unique Islamic architecture which are Masjid Chakraphong, Masjid Bang Ao, Masjid Tonson and Masjid Bang Luang. We will also visit The First Presbyterian Church in Samre district which was awarded for conservation by The Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage in Bangkok.
Dr Navamintr Vitayakul
Council Member of The Siam Society
Khun Staporn Kwanyuen
Council Member of Masjid Tonson and Former Director of the Regional Office of the Fine Arts Department, Nakhon Sri Thammarat
The tentative programme will be as follows:
|Saturday, 28 May 2022|
|–||Arrival at The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Road, Sukhumvit 21.|
|09:00||Departure from The Siam Society.|
|Morning:||Visit Masjid Chakraphong, a mosque dated back to the King Phutthayotfa Chulalok (Rama I)’s reign during the early Rattanakosin period.|
|–||Visit Masjid Bang Ao, an old mosque in a unique design and architecture, near Chao Phraya River.|
|Noon:||Lunch will be at Masjid Bang Ao.|
|Afternoon:||Visit Masjid Tonson, considered as one of the oldest mosques in Bangkok and Thailand.|
|–||Visit Masjid Bangluang, a historic mosque within Kudi Khao Community by the Klong Bangkok Yai (formerly Klong Bang Luang) near the mouth of Chao Phraya River.|
|–||Visit The First Presbyterian Church in Samre, the oldest Protestant church in Bangkok.|
|18:00||Arrival at The Siam Society.|
|The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary.|
– The Society requires all study trip participants to be fully vaccinated. We kindly ask that you attach appropriate proof(s) along with your registration.
– To comply with the measures set forth by the government in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to protect yourself and others around you, the Society kindly asks our participants to follow the appropriate safety and precautionary measures as stipulated by the government and health organisations.
– The Siam Society may utilise photos taken from study trips, lectures, performances, and other activities as part of its public relations and marketing campaign. These photos, which may sometimes contain image(s) of activity participants, can also be featured on the Society’s website and other online social media channels.
The contribution of THB 2,800 (THB 3,300 for non-members), will cover transportation, lunch, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. In addition, basic travel insurance is included. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Please pay by cash or cheque payable to “The Siam Society”. Alternatively, you can transfer the money to The Siam Society travel account at TMBThanachart Bank (ttb), saving account no. 053-2-18000-7. Please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us.
For further information and bookings please contact Khun Prasert at Tel. 02-661-6470-3 ext. 504 or Khun Supanut Tel. 02-661-6470-3 ext. 506, Fax 02-258-3491 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Society office is open from 09:00 to 17:00, Tuesday to Saturday.