Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, so naturally Islam holds an important place in the consciousness of its people. It is also a profoundly modern place, one with a powerful economy, expanding science institutions, and a large commerce sector. And there is a reason why it is one of the world’s most sought-after tourist destinations – the land features gorgeous scenery, beautiful religious architecture, and rich urban and traditional life that provides tourists with a rich and diverse experience.
Many of Salam Stock’s own contributors come from Malaysia – a testament to the amount of creative energies and artistic inspiration that is being generated by communities there. In this photo essay, Salam Stock features some stock photos from The Collection that give some insight into what makes Malaysia the modern Muslim country that it is today.
Malay Pride – Pictured here are father and son holding little Malaysian flags on the National Day of Malaysia, known as Hari Merdeka. The day commemorates the independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule in 1957.
Youthful, Fun, Spiritual – These young Malaysian girls pose in front of an old castle in Perak, one of the 13 states of Malaysia. Archaeological discoveries indicate that Perak was inhabited since prehistoric times. Malaysians are sometimes characterized as a blend between modernity and tradition. They are often considered to be committed to their religious identity as Muslims, and find opportunities to be creative, partake in spiritual activities, and have fun.
Rockets into Modernity – There are hardly any other symbols more reminiscent of a country’s trend towards modernity than skyscapers. The Petronas Towers pictured here looming in the background were for a time the tallest buildings on earth. In the Muslim world, some welcome these architectural achievements as symbols of progress and acceptance, while others worry that the competition for the ‘tallest building’ is a showy hubris foreign to the Islamic spirit.
Love and Marriage – Pictured here is a young Malaysia couple during their marriage ceremony. The Quran states: “And of His signs is that He created for you mates from your own selves that you may take comfort in them, and He ordained affection and mercy between you. There are indeed signs in that for a people who reflect.” (30:21)
Floating Children of the Bajau Laut Tribes – Two children in little canoes float upon the beautiful, clear waters of Semporna, Malaysia. The Bajau Laut tribes of Semporna are known for their seafaring skills.
A Time to Read – Taken inside Information Resource Centre of Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Perak, Malaysia. This modern library has been constructed with modern architecture and finishing, and provides students a comfortable and convenience place for them to study and learn.
Tropical Island of the Muslims – The Mabul Island of Malaysia is a famous tourist spot that features some of the most beautiful and clear waters of the world, making it a fantastic spot for underwater photography.
Pangkor Fishing – Taken at Pangkor Island Jetty of Perak, Malaysia. Fisherman will park their boats at the jetty for fish processing before sending out to market. This fisherman has just finish his fishing trip and ready to go to fish processing plant.
Religion in Pastels – A Muslim family overlooks the islands of the Pacific ocean atop an observatory in Langkawi, Malaysia. Each member of the family wearing attire as one way to display their Islamic identity. While many people seem happy with the way the state handles religous diversity, some feel Malaysia can still improve by making more accomdations to religous minorities.