Masjid Negara, Malaysia’s National Mosque, is the nationwide symbol of Islam. Comprising a main prayer hall with 48 smaller domes around it, it is set to the northwest of the old railway station, a couple of hundred metres towards the end of Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin.
Spread across 13 acres, the National Mosque is able to accommodate up to 15,000 people and is reminiscent of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, featuring abstract shapes and geometric lattice incorporated into its roofing and ironworks. The Grand Hall is undoubtedly the most intricate part of the mosque with verses from the Koran decorating the walls.
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The National Mosque
Built in 1965 (the year that Malaysia and Singapore split) it was designed by UK architect Howard Ashley, and Malaysians Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim. The contemporary-styled Masjid Negara’s main dome is star-shaped with 18 points: the points represent Malaysia’s 13 states and the five pillars of Islam. It can accommodate up to 8,000 worshippers.
The 73m-high minaret is easily the mosque’s most distinguishable feature and a prominent feature of the KL skyline. Also impressive are the beautiful outdoor gardens with white marble pools and fountains. The pink-tiled roof was replaced with blue and green tiles when the mosque underwent extensive renovations in 1987.
There is a seven-point, umbrella-shaped annexe, Makam Pahlawan (Heroes’ Mausoleum), towards the back of the mosque that contains the crypt of Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s second prime minister, as well as other political celebrities. Fun fact: there is an underground passage that connects the National Mosque to the old railway station.
You can only enter the mosque when prayers are over and visitors must be appropriately dressed. This means that sleeveless shirts, shorts or skimpy clothing are frowned upon; however if you have come ill-prepared, robes and headscarves can be borrowed from the desk at the mosque’s entrance gate.
Masjid Negara, Malaysia’s National Mosque
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 23:00 Saturday – Thursday; 02:45 – 18:00 Friday
- Address: Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
- Tel: +603 2693 7784