My family and I would like to wish all muslim readers, muslim friends and relatives Selamat Hari Raya Eidulfitri and Eid Mubarak. May you have a safe journey in your “balik kampung” trip and may you have a safe journey back. Hope you will enjoy the upcoming festivities with your loved ones.
Continued with the Third Part of Street Shots along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. By the way these photos were shot on 8.8.2012
Hope you enjoy the photos. Comments and brickbats are welcomed
I would like to wish you, Muslim readers and friends, Ramadhan Kareem and Selamat Berpuasa.
May Allah answer our prayers during this special month. May our fasting and other ibadah be accepted by Allah.
Ramadan, a blessed month, has come to you during which Allah has made it obligatory for you to fast. In it the gates of Heaven are opened, the gates of al-Jahim are locked, and the rebellious devils are chained. In it Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months. He who is deprived of its good has indeed suffered deprivation. (Hadith – Al-Tirmidhi, Narrated Abu Hurayrah)
The Kapitan Keling Mosque boasts its long history spanning more than 200 years. Located at the intersection between Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (formerly known as Pitt Street) and Lebuh Buckingham, it sits strategically at the heart of the heritage enclave of George Town and has been the spiritual and community congregational point for the city’s Muslim community for two centuries. The mosque has been recognised by UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site as one of the heritage buildings that needs to be preserved.
I am pleased to share with you this mosque’s history in brief.
The majestic mosque was first erected by the troops of the British East India Company who were of Muslim religion when they arrived on the island near the end of the 18th century. That was soon after Francis Light took formal possession of the island from the Sultan of Kedah in 1786. The troops of Indian Muslims were said to be led by an East India Company major named Nador Khan who cleared a piece of land to erect a small Chulier mosque besides setting up their burial ground.
The predecessor of the present Kapitan Keling Mosque was merely an attap-roofed structure. By 1798, the Chulier mosque had already appeared on the local map. Its first Imam or religious teacher was one Ustaz Mohamed Haniffa who died in 1213 Hijrah (around 1798 or 1799).
In 1801 Sir George Leith, who was then Lieutenant Governor of Penang, appointed a prominent Indian Muslim leader, Cauder Mohudeen, as Captain of the South Indian “Keling” community. He granted a piece of land to build a mosque on the south side of Malabar Street (Chulia Street). Cauder Mohudeen (born c. 1759) was a ship mandoor or foreman from Porto Novo, which the Tamils called Paringgipettai and the Muslims Mahmudbandar, about 50 kilometres south of Pondicherry in India.
As the trade and population of the Settlement increased, attracting many Mohammedan traders and mariners it became necessary to erect a more permanent building and to provide a larger burial ground. Cauder Mohuddeen, a wealthy Mohammedan Keling, took the initiative by collecting subscriptions to build the present mosque. With the authorization from the government and the Indian Muslim community, Cauder Mohudeen brought builders and stones (or bricks) from India to erect the brick mosque.
Thanks to his great contribution and selfless effort Cauder Mohuddeen as The Kapitan (Captain in English) Keling was thus regarded as the founder of the mosque. He died in 1834 leaving behind an invaluable legacy that stands strong until today and has been serving countless fellow muslims.
The Kapitan Keling Mosque went through several stages of development. From 1803 the year a brick mosque was completed the Kapitan Keling Mosque was skillfully extended in 1910 with some parts of the original mosque walls were retained within the larger building; the original minarets can still be identified. The spectacular new look of the mosque could be described as Moghul or ‘Indo-Saracenic’, with a fancy roof of domes and turrets, and the walls elaborately stuccoed and coloured to simulate the Moghul monuments of India, which employed different coloured stone and marble. The architect for this project then was a Malacca-born Eurasian of German descent, Henry Alfred Neubronner. The building of the minaret in 1916 marked the completion of this phase of expansion.
The shophouses immediately to the south of the minaret were cleared soon afterwards so that the mosque could be fully viewed from Pitt Street (now Jalan Kapitan Keling). Its minaret became the most prominent landmark in the neighbourhood. In the 1920s, improvements were made to the ablution areas with modern plumbing and reinforced concrete coverings. In the 1930s the Kapitan Keling Mosque was again expanded and assumed its present form. A somewhat simpler and more weatherproof hip roof was added and a perimeter wall was built.
Below are the photos of the mosque in its present form taken during the last Chinese New Year holiday.
I welcome any comment and criticism with open arms either about the pictures or the history on the Kapitan Keling Mosque.
You can also view the slideshow of the Kapitan Keling Mosque pictures here.
I found an academic working paper on Malaysian mosque architecture entitled “The Political Ideas of Islam and Their Influence on Mosque Architecture in Malaysia” by Mohd Tajuddin and Alice Sabrina very interesting. It discusses the architecture of three mosques in Malaysia namely Masjid Negara (The National Mosque), Masjid Putra (The Putra Mosque) and Masjid Rusila (The Rusila Madrasa) and the three leaders who conceived the idea of the mosque – Tunku Abdul Rahman al-Haj, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and Tuan Guru Hj Abdul Hadi Awang respectively. It is their thinking, vision on Islam and their political influence that gave great influence on the architecture of the three mosques.
While I have some pictures of The Putra Mosque and The National Mosque unfortunately I don’t have any picture of The Rusila Mosque (Madrasa). I will take its picture whenever I go back to Terengganu next time.
The Putra Mosque in the early morning
The Putra Mosque in the late evening
The National Mosque completed in the early 1960′s just after Malaysia achieved its independence on 31 August 1957.
Do read the working paper by Mohd Tajuddin and Alice Sabrina entitled “The Political Ideas of Islam and Their Influence on Mosque Architecture in Malaysia” here which is in PDF format.
Check out my previous blog entry on Mosque Architecture in Malaysia.
Masjid Abidin is Terengganu‘s old state royal mosque built by Sultan Zainal Abidin II between 1793 and 1808. The mosque, which is also known as the White Mosque or the Big Mosque, is located in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia. The old Royal Mausoleum is situated near the mosque.
During the reign of Sultan Umar, the mosque was replaced with one made out of bricks. Tengku Panglima Besar later extended it with three round pillars and three minarets. The mosque underwent renovation recently, in order to accommodate about 2,500 people in a single prayer session.
Carved on the mosque’s entrance doors and grills are several calligraphic carvings of verses from the Holy Quran, prayers and arabesques.
- From Wikipedia.
I had an opportunity to shoot this beautiful and classic mosque when I stopped by in Kuala Terengganu on my way to my hometown in Jerteh, the nothernmost town of Terengganu.
The weather was very nice and clear resulting in flattering lighting as well as deep blue sky in the early morning. I jumped at this golden opportunity which doesn’t come often considering monsoon season is still on.
Here are some pictures of The Abidin Mosque a.k.a The White Mosque or Masjid Abidin / Masjid Putih in Malay.
I welcome any comments or brickbats
For more mosque pictures please feel free to visit my photo portfolio.