At the other end of the world, in the remote village of Bantam, the largest on Home Island, you don’t need a compass to find not the north, but the direction of the Qibla!
On this azure islet which is part of the coral archipelago of the Coco Islands, visitors know at first glance which way to turn to pray towards Mecca. All they have to do is look at the local houses, picturesque and full of charm, to find all their bearings… 85% of them have the particularity of being oriented towards the Holy Land.
It was in 1906 that the inhabitants of this hamlet, surrounded by crystal clear turquoise water, discovered Islam, with the landing of Captain William Killing of the East India Company, and through workers from the countries of the East. East Asia and slaves boarded his boat. They were the first Muslims to set foot on this small island territory. But it will be necessary to wait for the arrival of two Scottish traders, a little later, so that a real craze for Islam is born..
The faith of some 500 villagers who now populate Home Island, mostly of Malaysian origin and all Muslims, has survived the ages and emerged invigorated, like the young generation who are passionate about the study of Islam, as well as for related religious and cultural activities.
In this little corner of Muslim paradise that is Home Island, bordered by a forest of coconut trees and adorned with long white sand beaches, as soon as the modulations of the Adhan resonate, a long procession of women and men forms. Dressed respectively in their most beautiful veils and kamis, they walk, deeply recollected, towards the one and only mosque on the island which shines in the landscape, flooded with sunlight.