Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mosque Week - Masjid Jamek, KL


In conjunction with the month of Ramadan, whereby Muslims the world over observe the ritual fasting, I'll be running a weekly mosque spotlight. This may not encompass all the more spectacular mosques around the country such as the Ubudiah Mosque or even the Shah Alam Mosque because quite frankly I haven't had the opportunity to visit them so this may be in incomplete review. But I have selected several examples of significant mosques to include and I hope my choice will be appreciated. Mosques conjures a mystic element as all holy places of worship inevitably produce and is an integral heritage and architectural treasure that enriches Malaysia which is able to boast a multi racial and cultural tableau.


Masjid Jamek is a mosque with a history, its significance mirroring that of the rise of Kuala Lumpur from its small beginings to its current cosmopilitan state. Sited at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak river, the mosque began at the early site where Kuala Lumpur began. It is undoubtedly the oldest mosque in Kuala Lumpur, built in 1907 to serve as the prayer and congregation site for Muslims whom decided to settled in the early villages surrounding it. It served as the National mosque until a newer building was built near the KTMB Railway Station.


Its design was primarily executed by Arthur Benison Hubbock from the Public Works and Survey Department in the Mogul style. It is primarily constructed with three main white spired domes of varying sizes. Various minarets also pierce the ceiling covering the main prayer area with several major red and white bricked major minarets capping the corners of the building. The main prayer area has no walls and opens up to the exterior with decorative archways all along the perimeter.


Access to the mosque is easily available as opposite is sited the main interchange for both STAR LRT line and PUTRA LRT line and is one of the busiest stations along both major rail systems. Friday prayers are marked by the call of the imam for the worshippers to congregate and the mosque will be full of the faithful. Tourists are prohibited to visit when prayers are ongoing but other times are welcomed to admire the mosque but formal clothing like long pants and head covering for women are required before entry as with customs to any mosque sites.


With its stunning architecture and greenery at the confluence end of the mosque, it is a haven of greenery and historic foci in the midst of soaring skyscrapers and modern rail tracks. Access to other attractions are also within walking distance such as the various courthouses with Baroque and Moorish styles, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Central Market and Padang Merdeka. Daily an open air market can be found nearby selling various foodstuff and crafts.


lucia said...

wow! you really captured the beauty of the mosque, kervin. i'm spellbounded! if not for these pics, i wouldn't have know how lovely the masjid jamek is. i passed by masjid jamek a few times and just notice the external outline of it. never knew it is so beautiful.

yes do give us more pics of mosques as i'm quite interested in architecture of buildings.

menj said...

These are nice photos, masha'allah. I wonder if I could use one of them them for one of my sites? Do I have to pay you? Let me know.