Thursday, February 2, 2017

Malaysia Federal Territory Mosque (Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan)

Date: 26th January 2017

It was my first time driving around in Jalan Duta's Federal Government Complex. I've been called to the magistrate court for traffic offence as summoned by JPJ. The court session started at 8.00am. I arrived at Jalan Duta before 7.30am and accidentally passed by this jewel which look so stunning from a distance, the KL Mosque (Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan). KL Mosque or the Federal Territory Mosque is a major mosque in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. It is located near MATRADE complex and the Federal Government Complex off Jalan Duta, just opposite the KL High Court.

Image from the mosque's website, ""

The Mosque was constructed between 1996 to 2000, situated on a five hectare site near the Government Office Complex along Jalan Duta. It's official name "The Wilayah Persekutuan (Federal Territory) Mosque" was opened to the public on 25 October 2000 and was officiated by the 12th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin ibni Almarhum Syed Putra Jamalulail. It is the 44th mosque built by the Government within the city limits. The mosque can accommodate 17,000 jamaah (worshipers) at any one time. This are the facts that I gathered from the mosque website.

Mosque that surrounded with water features and beautiful landscape

If Shah Alam Blue Mosque is in my opinion, a 100% Malay architectural design that reflects a true Malaysian arts and pride, these are not the case for the KL Mosque. In my eyes, the mosque's design is a blend of Ottoman and and a little bit of Malay architectural styles, heavily influenced by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. It has 22 domes made from a composite material of glass fibre fabric mixed with epoxy resin to make it durable and light. The domes obviously a copy and paste all of the Ottoman's mosque design. Those who have been touring Turkey, especially Istanbul would agree with me. For the record, the mosque has attracted tourist from all over the world, 198 countries to be exact and I maybe the late guest. As a Malaysian, I feel shy to admit this.. hehe, apologies to all Malaysian people!!! 

Construction of the mosque area was realized on 25 Shawwal 1416 Hijri, i.e. 15 March 1996 and was completed on 30 August 2000. It took 4 years to built this magnificent complex. The ceremony of handing over the property to the Territory Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) was immediately held in September 2000. JAWI is the official custodian of the huge complex. The whole complex occupied ​​about 13.4 hectares seated on the site of a former court and government offices which later was shifted to Putrajaya. The master mind behind the proposed mosque was inspired by none other than our one and only Tun Dr. Mahathir who then became the Prime Minister for the fourth time. It is a project of the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department Kuala Lumpur (Jawi) and being recognized the status of the State Mosque. Thank you Tun, we are greatly indebted for your intelligent and wise wisdom.

Federal Territory Mosque is located in a hilly area in Jalan Duta, near the intersection to the center of Kuala Lumpur. The mosque is named Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan with an iconic concept of "a mosque in the garden". It's purely designed and built using traditional Ottoman mosques in Turkey, on the external facade that resembles Istanbul Blue Mosque. However its internal architectural design and decoration is a combination of an East Malaysia Malay tradition concept. It is indeed a national landmark added to the whole Government Complex of Jalan Duta. The mosque built up area is about 47,000 meters square, complete with modern facilities.

Community centers and science complex are included to form the basis of the design concept. It has adequate facilities for JAWI to spread the Islamic teaching in this country. Masjid Federal Territory Mosque became one of the main mosques in Kuala Lumpur, seated near the complex Matrade and government official. Tun Mahathir has brought an original drawings of Ottoman mosque ideas filled with the past glorious history of this century added and/or combined with an influence of the Middle East and Malay architecture. Like I said earlier on, the mosque has the effect of architecture of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. The entrance facade (as seen in below photo) is adapted from Iranian mosque, an influence of shiah's design. I'm sorry to those who might disagree with my opinion. My years of travelling abroad has made me reach to that conclusion.

The design of the dome is a unique series consisting of a main dome, half domes, a vault and other small domes above it's main centre domes. The main prayer's dome height is 30 meters reaching up to 45 meters of the floor space at the main prayer hall. As a whole there are 22 domes altogether in this mosque. Apart from the main prayer hall built in the middle of the building, there are plenty of other areas that is also serves as a prayer interaction, i.e. in the court yard, an open concept similar to the Jama Masjid in Delhi. The main hall, multi-purpose hall and dormitory is all equipped with air-conditioning system. The mosque is also equipped with fire-extinguishing systems, service elevator to the 4th floor, and an escalator that connects to the 1st floor and 3rd floor.

Reminded me so much of the Moghul architecture when I saw the mosque courtyard

A delicate and unique carvings can be seen not only on  a plastered wall finishes but on a high or low plastered ceiling that has been carved and shaped using a special mold. Special motif, mostly on wood carvings that adorn the mosque is shaped from five kinds of fragrant flowers like flowers pierced wildebeest (flower mas), frangipani, ylang, cape, jasmine and green leaves like ferns.

Wood decor specially carved from East Coast craftsmen

And all these wood decor consists of cengal carved by skilled local craftsmen brought in from Terengganu and Kelantan. The interior of the mosque is decorated with lights that emit light sparkled from inside out. The chandeliers that hung on the inside of the dome-shaped is of a modern and exclusive design. Its beauty is revealed when all the lights were installed, especially at night. I was there in the morning, hence the beauty and the charm of this chandeliers cannot be seen at that time. Hubby has done shopping 4 chandeliers for our new house. Soon, I would be surrounded with the crystals beautiful lights. I am so indebted to Allah for granting me with not only 1 chandelier but 4.

Stone carvings were made at the main gate and the chamber. Type of stone used consists of marble "Makarana" (I honestly do not know what it was). The stone is organized from 3 centers located in Agra, Jaipur and Makarana in Rajestan, India. These stones were carved by skilled artisans in India using the concepts of in lay out of precious stones and assembled at the construction site by local workers and updated and refined by Indian workers. No wonder I have the same kind of feeling when visiting this mosque. Not only it adopt an Ottoman architecture, it also has a Moghul architecture element brought in. Indeed, a very unique mosque.

KL Courts seen from the KL Mosque

Various types of precious stones such as rock layers of lazuli, black onyx, malachite, jasper red and golden, mother of pearl and tiger eye has makes this mosque as a very special and majestic complex. "Thuluth" calligraphy also plays an important and meaningful role as a decorative calligraphy to this Territory Mosque. It is applied in certain places for people to easily appreciated and understood  the beauty and the meaning of it. Take note of this calligraphy, especially at the entrance gate.

There's no one apart of the 2 cleaners inside the main hall prayer areas when I stepped inside to snap some photos. The domes and the inner wall are mostly painted (or wall paper, I'm not sure here) with layered of a bee nest, that reminded me so much Chapter 16 of the Quran, An-Nahl or the Bee where Allah has reminded all Muslim to gathered in the mosque for learning the Quran and spreading its wisdom to all. Let me share with you 2 verses from Surah An-Nahl, 16:68&69 "And your Lord inspired to the bee, "Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct. Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you]." There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought".

Finally, I like touch a little bit on the hard landscape and external layout. The pedestrian lanes that are provided around the pool is paved with pebbles from the river. Indoor water fountain is equipped with seven refined and artificial waterfall added with natures softness and tranquility. The pool is equipped with bio-filters to keep the water clean all the time. Landscape concept for the mosque is a mosque in the palace garden as oriented in Islam's teaching. Beautiful gardens complete the mosque as a center of education, research and recreation. The mosque is surrounded by a pool of water created an atmosphere of comfort, peace and quiet. The mosque is equipped with walkways and fountains. Visitors will be impressed by the beauty of the various species of flowers and plants that are grown here. That was the purpose.

The mosque facing the Government Administrative Complex and the Court Complex

Last but not least, I hope I shall visit more mosque in Malaysia in the future and blog about it.

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