The beautiful recitation of Quranic verses by the 2011 International Quran Recital Competition winner, Ustaz Amir Rahman Abbas and vision-impaired reader Muhammad Qayyim Nizar Sarimi has stunned foreign tourists at Gema Wahyu @ Merdeka #QuranHour programme here Thursday.

Many of them, wearing a special red robe to cover themselves as a sign of respect for the mosque, were seen impressed and in awe when the readers started reciting verse 22 of Surah Luqman at the Sultan Abdul Samad Grand Mosque.

Two Chinese tourists from Shanghai who were into their fourth day of holiday here, Shen Ling Fen and Shen Ling Ping said they did not expect the programme to be held today at the mosque and were honoured to be part of the programme.

"It (recitation) was really beautiful and we have never heard it before. We don't know what they were 'singing' (recitation) and we don't understand what they were 'singing' about. But the 'singing' makes us feel peace and calm in there...It was lovely," they told Bernama.

Organised by Warisan Ummah Ikhlas in conjunction with National Day celebrations, the Gema Wahyu @ Merdeka #QuranHour is the first of its kind being hosted, featuring religious scholars and celebrities reciting the Quran as well as discussing the meaning of verses in the Quran.

Meanwhile, for a Canadian national who had just arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Toronto, her experience in attending the event gave her the first-ever opportunity to enter a mosque.

"I arrived just about two hours ago and stumbled upon this programme. I learned the local people are very friendly, and that the voices (of recitation) are very beautiful. I've never been to a mosque before. This is very exciting," said the foreigner who wished to be identified only as Sarah.

Wearing the red robe, she joined the crowd and passionately listened to the 'tadabbur' session by Pencetus Ummah Yusof Arbain and followed the Quran recitation session although she did not understand Arabic.

Sarah also engaged in discussion with local participants on Muslim clothing such as headscarf and said "It was very hot" to put on such attire.

She then commented that the two hours she spent in the country had given her a positive picture on Muslims. - BERNAMA