Sunday, May 12, 2013

National Mosque of Malaysia

Event date: 11th May 2013

National Mosque is our Malaysian heritage located in the heart of city centre, Kuala Lumpur. I feel ashamed to admit that yesterday was my first visit to the nation pride. But I hope, it will not be the last. A 73 metre high minaret with a backdrop of white clouds and blue sky catches my breath away at 8.05am, later I shared below photo in my instagram. How beautiful.

On the way to the washroom with my sister before the class commenced at 8.30am, I was told that the it will be more beautiful if the fountain is working surround the main prayer area. As soon as my sister finished her statement, a splash of water from a number of fountain made us both turn and gave a small laugh. Indeed, it was beautiful. Thus, I reminded my sister that heaven is actually a reflection on earth if we choose to appreciate God's natural beauty with what man's made creation.

The memory of Blue Mosque in Istanbul was in my thought when I was went inside

There was about 15 minutes before the class when I decided to explore and snapped some photos to share in my blog. I went in alone at the main prayer hall before I was stopped by the mosque assistant that I was not allowed to do so. However, I managed to snap 3 by the time he stopped me.

So at peace

Malaysia gained independence from the British on 31st August 1957, 56 years ago. Soon after, few major development programs in areas of economy, social and architecture were actively implemented in line with the new government. The programs were also to portray new progressive culture and achieved democracy. Therefore, a proposal laid out in the meeting of the Federal Executive Council to build a National Mosque as a symbol of the country’s independence was approved. 

In another meeting a year later, Chief Ministers of the 11 states of the Federation Malaya, a proposal was made to name the mosque as Masjid Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the first Prime Minister, in recognition of his efforts in guiding the country to gaining independence. However, Tunku refused this honour; on the contrary he named it Masjid Negara in thanksgiving for the country’s peaceful independence without bloodshed.

The Masjid has a capacity of 15,000 people, situated among 13 acres of beautiful gardens. The original structure was designed by a 3 person team from the Public Works Department, UK architect Howard Ashley and 2 Malaysians architects, Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim. The mosque was built in 1965 on the site of a church, the Venning Road Brethren Gospel Hall which had stood there since 1922. 

The mosque is a bold and modern approach in reinforced concrete, symbolic of the aspirations of a then newly-independent Malaysia. Its unique modern design embodies a contemporary expression of traditional Islamic art calligraphy and ornamentation. 

Its key features and attractions are a minaret that can be seen from distance and a 16 pointed star concrete main roof. The umbrella, synonymous with the tropics, is featured conspicuously. The main roof is reminiscent of an open umbrella, the minaret's cap a folded one. The folded plates of the concrete main roof is a creative solution to achieving the larger spans required in the main gathering hall. Reflecting pools and fountains spread throughout the compound.

The mosque underwent major renovations in 1987. The once pink concrete roof is now clad in green and blue tiles. Today, Masjid Negara continues to stand sleek and stylish against others Kuala Lumpur skyline and despite many others new mosques built later in Putrajaya.

I had a purpose of capturing the above photo, which clearly show rows of beautiful columns supported the umbrella roof, the decorative & unique ceiling and beautiful tiles that accommodates more people during obligatory Friday prayer to Muslim's man.

An underground passage leads to the National Mosque located near the railway station, along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin and adjacent to it is once Petronas famous Dayabumi in 80's and POS Malaysia. Near the mosque is the Makam Pahlawan (Heroes' Mausoleum), a burial ground of several Malaysian politicians. Makam Pahlawan is a 7-pointed star concrete roofed structure. I promise that I will blog about it later.

The tourist started queuing in line to explore the mosque at 8.30am. It was a main entrance to Masjid for the tourist and a dedicated pathway was line up for easy guides. The cloth cover to hide female bodice is being provided by the Masjid (seen in above 2 photo).

A closer view of the Railway Station which becoming our other pride beside the National Mosque and the historic building, Sultan Abdul Samad in above photo. Whilst, below photo is a far distance view of our KL Tower seen from the Masjid.

The main purpose I was there yesterday was to join a class conducted by Ustaz Basit from my native home town, Kelantan. Ustaz Basit is my sister's favourite religious teacher and he happened to provide 2 hours lecture at the Mosque Education Hall on Figh, Solah subject.

I took my sister's photo in the lecture hall, she was a bit embarrassed but I like the background which suited her abaya. Don't you think so?

In return, she took my photo with a beautiful laid mosaic as background near the exit of the lecture hall.

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