Larry Lam's Guide Note


Masjid Jamek of Kuala Lumpur is located at the confluence where the Gombak river flows into the Klang river. With its coconut palms and curved steps leading to the water's edge, it is a picture of peace and tranquility set against the background of a busy and modern KL. This oldest surviving mosque in the city was officially opened on 23 December, 1909 by Sultan Sir Alauddin Sulaiman Shah (then Sultan of Selangor).

The mosque was constructed on the 'Malay Burial Ground' - the first Malay cemetery in KL. Before its construction, the remains of the buried had to be exhumed, cleansed and later was transferred to the Gombak Muslim cemetery after a prayer session.

Masjid Jamek was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback, the government architect at the time. It cost RM32,625 and the money was raised by subscription from the Malay community and Government funds.

The design was inspired by Mogul mosques in North India. Cupolas and minarets top the brick walls and arched colonnades. Three domes surmount the prayer hall; the central dome is 21.3m (70 ft) high and is flanked by two lower domes. The prayer hall opens out onto a walled sahn (courtyard), which has now been covered over. At the corners are two red and white striped minarets 26.8m (88 ft) high, identical in design with chatris (umbrella-shaped cupolas, usually domed and open-sided) on the top. A large number of small chatris top the entrances and corners of the Mosque.

Until the opening of the National Mosque in 1965, Masjid Jamek served as Kuala Lumpur's principal mosque.

Jamik is derived from Arabic. It means a place of congregation for religious purposes.

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