Situated in a 5-hectares land, the mosque is the second largest mosque in Malaysia. The National mosque has the capacity of 15.000 people, making it definitely worth the visit. Aside from the beautiful mosque itself, you can also find the Heroes' Mausoleum, a burial ground for several Malaysian politicians including Tun Razak and Tun Hussain Onn. Even though it is a burial, you won't get that scary feeling as the Mausoleum was built with a unique 7-pointed star concrete roofed structure. You can also find a souvenir shop in the mosque's area and the site itself located not far from Lake Gardens.
National Mosque of Malaysia, the symbol of unity of the country
The history of National Mosque of Malaysia
National Mosque of Malaysia was built as a symbol of the country's independence. The idea to build the mosque started during the Federal Executive Council meeting on 30 July 1957. At a meeting in 1958, the mosque was about to be named as Masjid Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, taken from the name of the first prime minister. However, Tunku refused the honor and decided to name it as Masjid Negara as a thanksgiving after the country was able to achieve independence without bloodshed. The mosque was built from 1963 to 1965, and was declared open by the third King of Malaysia, the late Tuanku Syed Putra of Perlis on 27 August 1965. The mosque was built on the site of a church, the Venning Road Brethren Gospel Hall, which had stood there since 1922.
The architecture of National Mosque of Malaysia
The original structure of National Mosque of Malaysia was designed by a three-person team from the Public Works Department: UK architect Howard Ashley, and Malaysians Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim, while the engineer in charge was Antony Morris. The mosque was built with a bold and modern approach in reinforced concrete, as a symbol of the aspirations of a then newly independent Malaysia. The building was also inspired by the mosques in India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Spain. Before, the roof was built with pink concrete, but it was changed to green and blue tiles during the major renovation in 1987. In the center of the open umbrella shaped roof, attached an aluminium sheet sculptured with holy verses from Al-Quran, the Islam's central religious text.
The symbol of unity
The National Mosque of Malaysia has been said to be the symbol of unity in Malaysia. Apart from its meaning as a symbol to commemorate the independence of the country, the mosque as a symbol of unity can be seen from the story before the mosque built. During that time, the mosque needed RM 10 million. The federal government then gave RM 4.5 million. How the rest of the money collected is the heartwarming part. To get the money, the country held the first large-scale fund raising campaign. Donations then came from individuals and organisations from various backgrounds. Contributions also came from the armed forces, Malaysians studying abroad, the Brunei government, Yayasan Shaw, and the South India Muslim Mosque Committee.
The story behind the location of the mosque
Before built on where it is now, there were several choices of site for the mosque. The National Mosque was originally proposed to be built near the Parliament building that is also a symbol of independence. While one of the architects, Baharuddin, proposed to build the mosque next to Lake Gardens due to architectural reasons. However, Tunku refused and said that the mosque will be built near Kuala Lumpur railway station as it will make it easier for people from other states who came to Kuala Lumpur and want to use the mosque. The location itself was a steep slope and hilly terrain that made it the most unlikely place to build the mosque. Even during the colonial administration, the site was left vacant though government buildings were built around the area.
The Golden Jubilee of the National Mosque of Malaysia
On 27 August 2015, the mosque celebrated its golden jubilee. The Grand Imam of the mosque, Tan Sri Syaikh Ismail Muhammad, hoped that the mosque imparts its meaning and significance of its existence to all Malaysians, especially the youth. Special coins were also issued by the Malaysia Central Bank to commemorate the golden jubilee, while the Pos Malaysia Bhd launched special stamps and philatelic products. The golden year was also celebrated with an expo held for three days.
How to Get Tickets?
There is no ticket needed to visit the National Mosque of Malaysia. However, please be noted that the mosque is only open for public outside praying hours.
How To Get Around?
Public transport networks such as buses and trains are available to help you get around. There are also some package tour that will take you to famous spots in the area. You can also use apps designed to help you find your way around the city.
What Should I Wear?
Even though the mosque is open for public, but it is recommended for women to wear scarf. It is also important to wear proper attire during the visit to the National Mosque. Also, be noted that visitors will be asked to remove their shoes and caps inside.
Best Time to Visit
The mosque opens daily from 06.30 to 19.00, but it will not receive any visitor at 13.00 - 14.30 and 16.00 - 17.30.
Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
Will I Need a Guide?
There is no official guide from the mosque. However, when you go for a visit you can ask for a help from the management teams inside the mosque that will be able to give you explanations about of the Mosque.
How To Get There?
The mosque can be reached by walking north west of Kuala Lumpur railway station. Visitors can also ride the red line of the free GoKL bus from KL Sentral and stop at Masjid Negara.
If you are wearing inappropriate clothes, there are robes available for rent provided by the mosque for visitors. However, it is advisable to bring your own.