Different from the other four Muslim communities in Vietnam, most Muslims in Hanoi are foreigners.
According to the management board of Al Noor Mosque, Hanoi is currently home to about 900 Muslims and 650 of them are foreign nationals. The Muslim foreigners are mainly diplomats and their relatives, numbering around 200 from 20 foreign embassies, representative offices and international organizations in Hanoi, The rest are foreign businessmen and workers working in companies with foreign direct investment.
Al Noor Mosque is the only place of worship for Muslims in Hanoi. It was completed in 1890 at No. 12, Hang Luoc Street, Hoan Kiem District.
Every Friday, the only Mosque in Hanoi as well as the northern region, Al Noor is always filled with devotees from all over the capital and surrounding areas.
Often, from 150 to 200 Islamic devotees gathers to pray in the mosque of more than hundred years old, and amongst them, only from 10 to 15 are Vietnamese, the remaining are foreigners (in which seven or nine of them are ambassadors extraordinary penitentiaries from foreign countries).
Foreign Muslims also make the majority in other social and religious activities organized by the five-member management board of the mosque.
At a religious service in Al Noor Mosque
After the religious gathering, Muslims often make exchanges on all life aspects in closeness and intimacy. Many work contracts have been initiated from these exchanges.
Exchanges after prayers
Al Noor Most frequently receives Muslim tourists from overseas, about two tourist groups daily. The mosque management board has also assigned a particular member or Imam to introduce the mosque to visitors and guide religious services when needed.
In addition, Al Noor Mosque is sometime selected by ambassadors of Muslim countries as a venue for holding diplomatic gatherings when their countries celebrate national events.
For the past years, the concerning municipal authorities in Hanoi have created conditions favorable to religious practices of the Muslim community in the city, including the approval for the establishment of the management board of the Al Noor Mosque representing Muslims living and working in the capital.
Since its establishment in 2011, the mosque management board has strived to not only meet religious needs of the Muslim community living and working in the Hanoi, but also promote friendship between Vietnam and foreign countries, especially Muslim nations.