NATIONAL MOSQUE

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1.0 History and Background



Photo: National Mosque in 2010
Picture taken by Zamri Salleh (USM)




The National Mosque of Malaysia is located in Kuala Lumpur. It has a capacity of 15,000 people and is situated among 13 acres (53,000 m2) of beautiful gardens. The original structure was designed by a three-person team from the Public Works Department - UK architect Howard Ashley, and Malaysians Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim. The mosque was built in 1965 on the site of a church, the Venning Road Brethren Gospel Hall which had stood there since 1922 but appropriated by the Malaysian government. The mosque is a bold and modern approach in reinforced concrete, symbolic of the aspirations of a then newly-independent Malaysia.

Major development programs in areas of economy, social and architecture were actively implemented in line with the new government. The programs were also to portray new progressive culture and achieved democracy. Therefore, on 30 July 1957, in the meeting of the Federal Executive Council an idea to build a national mosque as a symbol of the country’s independence was mooted. In another meeting on 5 March 1958, Chief Ministers of the eleven states in the Federation of Malaya, a proposal was made to name the mosque Masjid Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, in recognition of Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj’s efforts in guiding the country to gaining independence. However, Tunku refused this honour; on the contrary he named it Masjid Negara in thanksgiving for the country’s peaceful independence without bloodshed.




 

The Makam Pahlawan, or Warrior Mausoleum (or Heroes' Mausoleum), is the burial ground of Malaysian statemen. Makam Pahlawan is located within the grounds of the national mosque, Masjid Negara, in Kuala Lumpur. It was first constructed in 1963 alongside the construction of the national mosque, and was completed in 1965. In 1973, Tun Dr Ismail became the first Malaysian leader laid to rest there. The following is a list of Malaysian leaders buried inside and outside the dome of the mausoleum.

Inside dome
Tun Dr Ismail - Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (died 1973)
Tun Abdul Razak - Prime Minister of Malaysia (died 1976)
Tun Hussein Onn - Prime Minister of Malaysia (died 1990)
Tun Ghafar Baba - Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (died 2006)



 

Outside the dome

  • Tan Sri Syed Jaabar Albar - UMNO Secretary-General and Minister of Rual Development (died 1977)
  • Tan Sri Syed Nasir - Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat (died 1982)
  • Tun Sardon Jubir - Minister of Works and Communications and Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri (died 1985)
  • Tan Sri Mohammad Noah - Minister of Home Affairs and Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat (died 1991)
  • Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Yusuf - Minister of Law and the Judicary, Attorney-General, Solicitor-General and Lord President of the Supreme Court (died 1992)

2.0 The Architecture

The mosque underwent major renovations in 1987, and the once-pink concrete roof is now clad in green and blue tiles. Today, Masjid Negara continues to stand sleek and stylish against the Kuala Lumpur skyline. An underground passage leads to the National Mosque located near the railway station, along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin. Its unique modern design embodies a contemporary expression of traditional Islamic art calligraphy and ornamentation. Near the mosque is the Makam Pahlawan (Heroes' Mausoleum), a burial ground of several Malaysian politicians. Makam Pahlawan is a 7-pointed star concrete roofed structure.




3.0 References

[Website]

1. Asian Explorer
Available at: http://www.malaysiaexplorer.net/places-of-interest-to-visit-in-malaysia.html

2. Viator
Available at: http://www.viator.com/Kuala-Lumpur-attractions/National-Mosque-Masjid-Negara/d335-a249

3. Please Take Me To
Available at: http://www.pleasetakemeto.com/malaysia/national-mosque/information

4. Malaysia Tourism Asia Net
Available at: http://malaysia.tourism-asia.net/wonders-of-malaysia.html