Mosque a unique tourist attraction


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 04 Jun 2019

Captivating structure: Covering an area of 5,000sq ft (464.5sq m) and surrounded by a man-made river, the Ar-Rahman Mosque in Kampung Pulau Gajah, Sabak in Kota Baru was built to cater to the increasing number of haj pilgrims in Mukim Pulau Gajah. (Bottom) The water faucets for ablution that were imported from Turkey. — Bernama

KOTA BARU: The unique architecture and design of Ar-Rahman Mosque in Kampung Pulau Gajah, Sabak has become a new attraction for tourists.

Standing proud at the fringe of the village, the mosque, thanks to a corporate philanthropist, was built three years ago.

Covering an area of 5,000sq ft (464.5sq m) and surrounded by a man-made river, the Ar-Rahman Mosque was built to cater to the increasing number of haj pilgrims in Mukim Pulau Gajah.

The imam, Hasan Mahmood, said the uniqueness of the RM6mil structure lies in the cengal and teak wood used in the construction as well as the incorporation of Malay architecture and those from five other countries.

“Its interior decor is a wonderful mix. Its main door is imported from Yemen, the two green pillars and pulpit are from Morocco, the drum set is from Indonesia, the chandelier from India while the water faucets for ablution are imported from Turkey,” he said

The idea and inspiration to build the mosque came from the philanthropist who travelled a lot and was inspired by several mosques overseas such as the Masjid Agung Demak in central Java, Indonesia and those in Turkey and Morocco.

In the middle of the prayer hall are five solid wood pillars representing the five pillars of Islam.

In the dome are sketches of 15 stars and calligraphy of Khulafa’ Ar-Rasyidin done in a circle, inspired by the Blue Mosque in Turkey.

“The beauty of the mosque is also painstakingly etched in every corner where 80% of the 99 names of Allah illustration is hand-crafted along with Surah Yasin, Al-Mulk and Ar-Rahman which often leaves the visitors in awe,” said Hasan

He said that the mosque, which sits amidst a forest, has received visitors from Brunei, Australia and Sabah.

Six builders from Indonesia were commissioned to construct the mosque that took two years to complete and can accommodate 1,000 people at any one time.

The mosque offers ample parking space, recreational areas and canteen for the comfort of visitors and members of the congregation.

Hasan and the mosque committee members are also looking at providing kayak facilities since there is a “river” nearby.

A wood craftsman, Salleh, 46, who hails from Jepara, Indonesia and his five other countrymen had been instrumental in all the wood carvings for the mosque.

“Some of the carvings on the mosque were done by us while some were imported from Indo­nesia. It would take about three months to carve something like the Surah Yasin.

“It needs total focus and attention to detail to ensure every surah is accurately carved out. An Islamic authority would then make sure the surah’s authenticity is accurate before it is hung on the wall,” said Salleh. — Bernama

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