Pagoda-like mosque all set for debut

from The Star

RANTAU PANJANG: The RM8.8mil Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque, the first Chinese-style mosque in the country, is set to open its doors this Ramadan.

The mosque, also known locally as the Beijing Mosque, has a unique design that combines Chinese and Islamic architecture similar to the more than 1,000-year-old Niujie mosque in Beijing.

Developed on a 3.7ha land along the Kota Baru-Rantau Panjang road, visitors could mistakenly think it is a Chinese temple due to its pagoda-like structure.

Construction of the mosque started on Sept 12, 2005.

Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob, who is the chairman of the project, said the mosque symbolises that Islam is for all.

Majestic: A frontal view of the Sultan Ismail Petra Silver Jubilee Mosque in Rantau Panjang. It is locally known as Masjid China or Masjid Beijing.

He said despite its predominantly Chinese feature, the mosque also incorporated Indian and Uzbek features, especially for the interior decorations.

He added that the mosque could accommodate up to 1,000 people at a time.

The mosque’s main complex consists of a two-storey building where the second floor houses facilities like the main prayer hall and VIP rooms.

The first and mezzanine floors have amenities such as a multipurpose hall, library, kindergarten and a bazaar.

A local businessman, Muhammad Ali, 46, said he had been praying regularly at the mosque although it had yet to be officially opened.

He added the mosque has even caught the interest of the local Chinese who thought that it was a temple.

“Muslims have come here to pray on an individual basis although it is not fully built and I am told that contractors were rushing to finish the project before the Ramadan month begins,” he said.

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