A rescued mosque in Kuala Kangsar, Perak.

Source: Ikhwan Ng

The Ihsaniah Iskandariah Mosque was first built in 1936, funded by the late Almarhum Paduka Seri Sultan Iskandar Shah, the 30th Sultan of Perak.

Its design and decoration were inspired by and based on the architecture of Istana Kenangan in Bukit Chandan. The mosque is broadly cube-shaped and has a flat roof. The walls, made of kelarai (woven bamboo) in a diamond motif, were produced by local villagers. It is the only mosque in Malaysia (and possibly in the world) to have woven bamboo walls.

Source: Ikhwan Ng

This mosque had 20 windows resembling bird cages, with those on the ground floor built higher to provide privacy for the congregation. The many windows made for a comfortable atmosphere, with good lighting and air ventilation.

Source: Kosmo! Online

Every window is carved with these motifs: a shark’s gill, bean shoots, a crescent and five-pointed star. Every wood joint is decorated with a carved motif of the tikam seladang flower (Vallaris glabra).

The first floor of the mosque was used as a prayer hall, which could accommodate up to 200 people at any one time, while the ground floor was for meetings and community activities.

This mosque has not been in use since 1976 after being partly damaged by a fallen durian tree, but was recently rescued and conserved by the Perak Department of National Heritage in 2008.

Sources
1. Mohd Azli Adnan, ‘Kenangan Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah’, Kosmo! Online.
2. Department of National Heritage, State of Perak, Malaysia.

Darus Saadah, the first Chinese Mosque in Negeri Sembilan

By Azlan Kamarudin

Source: Azlan Kamarudin

Source: Azlan Kamarudin

Darus Saadah Complex, known as the first Chinese Mosque in Negeri Sembilan, is found in Negeri Sembilan. Its unique architecture is inspired by Xi An Mosque in Jian Xin, China, as well as a building in Uzbekistan. These two buildings formed major resources of concepts and style that are the pride of the Chinese community.

A courtyard and a pavilion form the heart of Darus Saadah Complex. It houses Muslims Reverts’ Association and acts as the main place for Muslims to gather and exchange views — activities which were the stronghold of ancient Chinese philosophers. These beliefs also indirectly unite the community through events organised here.

The interior of the prayer area, which can accommodate 500 people, is enlivened with decorative Chinese carvings imported from China, The colour red, used in every corner of the complex, makes this Chinese mosque stand out in its environment.

Like other meeting point, Complex Darus Saadah provides basic facilities such as a multipurpose hall, seminar rooms, conference rooms, and hostels to which singles and visiting family groups are given priority when attending an event or a course at Darus Saadah.

For more information on their activities, get in touch with the Muslim Reverts’ Association on Facebook or visit the blog of Darus Saadah.