Built to further affirm Malaysia’s newly found independence in 1957, the National Mosque is the country’s pledge to a progressive government in economic, architectural and social areas. It was originally intended to be named Masjid Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj as an acknowledgement of the contribution of Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj in setting the country free from the British rule. This was, however, humbly refused by Tunku and they named the mosque Masjid Negara instead to symbolize the country’s peaceful revolution.
Located in Kuala Lumpur along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, the National Mosque sits just a few steps away from the Kuala Lumpur Old Railway Station, and is connected to it via an underground passage. It is also near the Makam Pahlawan or Heroes’ Mausoleum, a burial place for Malaysian politicians who are considered heroes in the country. The Makam Pahlawan reflects the Islam cultural heritage as well with a roof that has a star with 7 points.
In comparison, the National Mosque also has an interesting architecture. Billed as one of the most beautiful mosques in the whole of South East Asia, the mosque was skillfully designed by two Malaysians headed by Architect Howard Ashley of the Department of Public Works of U.K. It has a 73-meter-high minaret and its main roof was made in cement with an 18 jagged-star. The main roof is likened to an open umbrella, the minaret to a folded one.
It can seat a total of 15,000 people, and occupies an area of 13 acres of landscaped garden appropriated by the government from the Venning Road Brethren Gospel Hall, a church that has stood on the property since 1922. Then in 1987, the Mosque was refurbished, so that the once pink roof would become what it is now: a bright green and blue roof visible from several hundred meters far, and complementary to the beautiful skyline of the city. The minaret also sounds to signal the time for prayer and its sounds can be heard across Kuala Lumpur.
There are also 48 smaller domes of green color spread throughout the yard. The design was copied from the mosque in Mecca. Around the yard, there are also several beautiful fountains, which along with the striking blue and green cement roof have added in making the mosque look really modern. But even though stylishly designed, the Mosque truly reflects the Islamic culture and religious beliefs. Thus, nowadays, most considered it a modern mosque for a modern Islam. It is actually Kuala Lumpur residents’ main mosque in the city.
Since this is a mosque, when you come visit, you should observe proper decorum and wear appropriate clothes. Remember that it is a place of worship and not just a point of attraction in Kuala Lumpur. Most importantly, dressing appropriately will show that you respect the country’s religion and religious beliefs. So see for yourself why all kinds of tourists from around the world have found the National Mosque to be worthy of their time and visit, and why it’s one of the top destination of tourists in the country.