“Those who show a full attendance for the Subuh, Maghrib and Isyak prayers will be given a bicycle,” said senior imam Ustaz Baharin Yusoff of Mahmudi Mosque, located in front of Pantai Irama, Kelantan.
“Initially, they might come to the mosque for the sake of the free bike offer, but over time, their interest to perform prayers will grow,” he added.
Yusoff said the initiative started last year to encourage young kids to attend at least three of the daily five prayers.
Last year, more than 100 children attended the program, but only 15 managed a full attendance for the three prayers.
“Everyone can win a free bike if they fulfill the condition. This year, we are also rewarding the most active senior citizen who attends the most tarawih prayers,” he said, adding that the winners would be known on the 28th of Ramadan when the prizes are given away.
M. Abby Danial Mohd Hakiki, 10, won a hamper after participating the program and preforming the Taraweeh prayer for 30 days.
“I like coming to the mosque because I can help other jemaah (congregations) to prepare food and keeping the place clean. If I get a bicycle, it’s my good fortune. If I don’t, it’s okay, because I’m doing it for Allah,” said the Sekolah Kebangsaan Kemudi student.
Muhammad Zahin Najmi Zamri, 13, hoped he would get a free bicycle to replace his damaged one.
“I have told my friends about the free bicycle gifts ask them to come to the mosque. What I enjoy most is to be able to perform congregational prayers and recite the salawat together,” he added.
The Malaysian mosque reward program is not the first in Muslim countries.
In 2018, a mosque in Al-Beheira governorate of Egypt announced a competition to encourage children to keep up with their Fajr (dawn) prayers, offering LE 1000 ($55) to those who manage to pray at the mosque for 40 days in a row.
The idea of the competition is copied from a similar one in Sultan Selim Mosque in the Fatih district of Istanbul which offered gifts and bicycles to kids who attended Fajr prayer for 40 days in a row.
Muslims pray five times a day, with each prayer made of a series of postures and movements, each set of which is called a rak‘ah.
The five prayer times are divided all through the day which starts with Fajr prayer at dawn.