Gili Trawangan: Religion • Prayer Times • Ramadan • Mosques

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3 min read
by Marlin
June 3, 2023

If you've been traveling across Bali and are planning to visit the Gili Islands, but you're worried about whether you'll have the same experience as you did in Bali, let me assure you that you will.

It doesn't matter what religion a place has, tourism operates in a similar manner across different locations in Indonesia.

I've come across numerous questions and complaints regarding certain religious aspects in Gili Trawangan, and I'll address them all here, so please continue reading until the end.

Gili Trawangan Religion

Even though the Gili Islands are really close to Bali, their culture is more influenced by Lombok since they're closer to it.

That means they share the language and of course the religion. So, if you're wondering:

Is Gili Trawangan Muslim?

The majority of people on Gili Trawangan are Muslim, just like in the rest of Gili.

great mosque in lombok
Great mosque in Lombok

There's absolutely no difference in how people behave or how tourists are treated just because they are Muslim.

But they do appreciate it if tourists dress modestly when they wander around the residential areas in the middle of the island, just like in Bali.

dress warning sign on gili trawangan to not wearing bikini on the streets
Dress warning sign near a school

Don't picture it like you're in the Middle East or anything. It's pretty much the same vibe you get in Bali.

But I gotta mention, there are a few things on the Gili Islands that might bug some folks.

Just like how tourists in Bali sometimes find it inconvenient when roads are temporarily closed for religious events, there are a couple of things that some tourists complain about in Gili Trawangan.

I'll spill the details in a bit, so keep reading.

Prayer Times

In Islam, Muslims have five prayer times, and they don't follow a fixed clock but rather determine them by looking at the sun's position, which changes with the seasons.

Here are the usual prayer times on Gili Trawangan:

  1. Dawn: 5:00 am

  2. Midday: 12:30 pm

  3. Afternoon: 4:00 pm

  4. Dusk: 6:10 pm

  5. Evening: 7:30 pm

Before each prayer, there's a call to prayer that's broadcasted loudly from the mosque speakers, which lasts about 1 to 5 minutes.

Now I get it, some people are cool with it, while others might feel a bit annoyed, especially at 5 am when they're still in dreamland.

mosque speakers gili trawangan
Mosque's speakers

Personally, it didn't bother me much because I've been to places with way louder speakers. The mosques on Gili Trawangan are actually quite alright.

But if you'd rather not hear it or just want to minimize the sound, you can try these tips:

  • Use noise-canceling headphones

  • Stay somewhere that's a bit farther away from the mosques' speakers

I can't give you an exact radius, but here's a rough estimate of the range covered by the main mosques' speakers. Just avoid booking a room too close to them.

Zoom in for better look

On Fridays, they have their own version of sunday school, which lasts for about an hour. It takes place at midday, and during that time the call to prayer tends to be longer.

They also use the speaker to deliver a sermon, but it's not as loud as usual, only about 35% of the regular volume.

Gili Trawangan During Ramadan

When it comes to the holy month of Ramadan in Gili Trawangan, or the Gilis in general, things do have a slight difference.

But don't worry, everything is pretty much business as usual. Restaurants remain open, activities continue as normal, and so on. So there's no need to worry.

However, since Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims, here's what you can expect during your visit to Gili Trawangan at that time.

Music stops at 10 pm

Most of the restaurants in Gili Trawangan stay open until almost midnight, and some even have live music to create a lively atmosphere and entice people to come and enjoy a meal.

But during Ramadan, they make a little adjustment out of respect for the locals who observe additional prayers. Restaurant can still open but no music is allowed after 10 pm.

No parties

Normally, parties kick off every night from 10 pm and go on until the early hours of the morning, around 4 am.

However, during Ramadan there are no parties. So if your main agenda is to party hard while visiting Gili Trawangan, the month of Ramadan is not the ideal time to go.

Busy night

During Ramadan, the night scene takes a different turn as the locals dedicate that time to additional prayers.

Right after the evening prayer, they kick off another prayer session that can go on for one to two hours. And after that, they continue reciting the holy book through the speakers until around 3 am.

But they usually lower the volume to about 35% after midnight so that it won't disturb those who want to get some rest.

After that, they make sure to wake up all the locals for an early morning breakfast before they start their fasting until dusk.

This is typically done through announcements or calls made over the speakers to ensure everyone is aware of the mealtime 🗣📢

I get it, not everyone wants to visit during Ramadan. So, if you want to plan your trip and avoid that time, here's a handy schedule for you.

Gili Trawangan Ramadan schedule

# Year Start Finish Status
1 2023 March 22 April 22 Ended
2 2024 March 9 April 9 Predicted

Mosques on GIli Trawangan

There are a few prayer locations but the two main mosques on Gili Trawangan are the ones that perform the call to prayer.

Whether you're a Muslim or simply interested in visiting, here's a glimpse of what these mosques look like.

Baiturrahman Mosque

baiturrahman mosque on gili trawangan
Baiturrahman mosque

This is the main mosque on Gili Trawangan. It has two main buildings: one at the front gate for women to pray, and the main building at the back for men.

baiturrahman mosque buildings
Buildings inside

What's cool about this mosque is that it actually has an old Japanese cannon from World War II. Back then, Gili Trawangan served as a lookout post for the Japanese army, so they left their mark there.

japanese cannon on gili trawangan
Japan-made cannon 💣 I think it's still function

Nurul Istiqomah Mosque

nurul istiqomah mosque on gili trawangan
Nurul Istiqomah mosque

The second mosque on the island is currently under construction. Like all the mosques here, the funding for its construction comes from charity.

As a result, it often takes several years or even decades to complete a mosque.

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