ABSTRACT The main purpose of the assignment is to set up an initial framework of architectural description of Muslim architecture in Malaysia within the context of the architectural concern of „style‟. The main concern is to explain the different architectural styles of Muslim architecture and suggest hypotheses for future studies in relation to the forces which might have been instrumental in the conception of these styles. This assignment is important inorder to project the message that much of what we understand as „IslamicArchitecture‟ in the present literature comes from various artistic and politicalagendas that have questionable merits compared to an analyticalapproach of Islamic architecture from the Qur‟an and the Sunnah of theProphet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The research is also important forpracticing architects to understand that the present syntax of „IslamicArchitecture‟ with its references in Middle Eastern, Mid Asian and Africanmodels are not necessarily the best precedence to project the architecturalmessage of Islam. As opposed to the three classifications of Traditional,Colonial and Modern styles of mosque architecture, the research hasidentified seven main styles with a suggestion of the rationale and influencesof those styles.IntroductionGeorge Town is spectacularly situated at the cape or promontory at thenorth-eastern tip of the island, between the hills and the sea. The hills providea stunning backdrop the city which is built up to the foothills. The settlementthat Francis Light, the British country trader, had originally created (1786) andnamed did not have any grand design as it was not intended to be a“settlement colony”. Light had neither resources nor staff to develop the
town. The development of George Town during the first century after its founding could be attributed to the courageous and entrepreneurial spirit of early migrant communities whofound in Georgetown a place to make a living and begin a new life.Further south is the Malay town which evolved between Prangin River andthe southern portion ofChulia Street, with the AchehMalay Mosque as itscommunity centre. This mosque was founded in 1808 by Tengku Syed Hussain,a wealthy Arab merchant prince who became Sultan of Aceh. Over thefollowing years, this settlement became the centre of Islamic studies in PulauPinang, frequented by traders from the surrounding Malay Archipelago, Araband India.In the old days when the Muslim pilgrimage to Melaka was madeby ship rather than by airplane, Acheen Street was the centre of haj travel.Pilgrims came from North Sumatra, Southern Thailand and the northern statesof peninsular Malaysia to purchase their tickets, shop and attend religiousclasses while waiting for the Haj ship. The Mosque is historically important as it is the focal point for the spread of Islam in Penang Island. It was built complete with an octagonal minaret following the 16thcentury Moghul architecture common in old
mosques in Aceh, an ablution area, a pool, a veranda and a cemetery. The1798 Popham map marked this mosque and tomb as a landmark of theMalay township; it was the first Muslim urban parish and the earliest centre ofspice traders and malay entrepreneurs on the island.The Acheh Street Mosque was built in 1808 on land donated by an Achenesearistocrat, TengkuSyed Hussain Al-Aidid. It all began in 1792 when TengkuSyed Hussain opened a Muslim settlement in the area nearLebuhAcheh. Overthe following years, this settlement became thecentre of Islamic studies inPulau Pinang, frequented by traders from the surrounding Malayarchipelago,Arab and India.The mosque was built alongside houses, shops and aMadrasah for Quranic Studies. One of thereligious figures of the time wasSheikh Omar Basheer Al-Khalilee, who was succeeded by his sonSheikhZakaria who later was appointed as the first Mufti of Pulau Pinang and in 1888,SheikhYahya, his older brother, was appointed as the first Kadi of PulauPinang.Following the demise of TengkuHussain in mid 1800s, the LebuhAchehMuslim settlementcontinued to thrive and was at one time referred to as theSecond Jeddah, as pilgrims from nearbycongregate here before departingto Mecca by sea. Every time the Haj season begins, the LebuhAcheh area isthronged by pilgrims and their families. This mosque and Acheh StreetMosque is situated was a popular spot for Muslims to gather andmake arrangements for their pilgrimage to Mecca. However, all this endedwith theestablishment of the LembagaTabung Haji in the 1970s.Although Malay Muslims make up roughly 60% of Malaysias population, asmaller percent lives in Penang as most of this islands inhabitants are Chinese(roughly 90%). The Malay Muslims inPenang originally hailed from Acheh,Arabia, Java, India as well as Peninsular Malaya, and theirdiverse culturalbackgrounds gave birth to the existence of many different styles of mosquethatcan be found in Penang today.
Architecturally, the Mosque is essentially hybrids; with a taste of the Moorishinfluence, oriental forms and Neo-Classical features. Fusion of Chinese andclassical elements can be seen from its arches, windows, columns, hippedroof and other elements on the minaret. The Mosque is a good example ofmasonry building that is rich in architectural details and vocabulary as well asthe adaptation of building elements to the local climate. The external wallsare made of bricks which were plastered and painted with lime wash. Therehas been a succession of colour coatings on the plastered walls starting fromwhite, light blue, yellow to the present colour of ivory. Decorative plasteredrenderings are featured on the capitals of the interior columns and cornices.Besides plaster and bricks, timber and marble floor tiles are widely used in thebuilding. Timber is used for the roof structures, casement windows, fanlights,grilles and ceilings. Granite can be seen mainly around the pool and theveranda steps. The hipped roof, which resembles most of the Chinesetemples, uses asbestos sheets and mortar located underneath the ridges.Later constructions made in the Mosque include metal awning above theveranda, cemented floors, toilets and a modern ablution area.Roof Structures The Acheh mosque has a Arab- style minaret with a Acehnese roof [Limas roof top]. The difference between this mosque and the other one, the Kapitan Kling nearby, is that the Acheen street mosque was built by aAchehnese, hence a Malay, whereas the Kapitan Kling Mosque what built byIndian Muslims. The roof structure of the mosque is made by asbestos sheets,mortar, roof ridges, timber ceilings and trusses. After years, some of the roofstructures such as timber trusses and rafters are badly attacked by termites.Such condition may result in roof sagging or structural collapse. Hence, anurgent renovation work is carried out I n order to prevent further decay to
other parts of the building. This includes removing existing asbestos sheets andintroducing new roof tiles, fixing new timber trusses and rafters before placinginsulation of aluminium sheets in the roof for water proofing and heatreduction. It is also desirable to replace the existing mortar underneath theroof ridges. In addition, all harmful growth found on the roof, parapet, wallsand minaret will be carefully removed. The minaret is a distinctive architectural feature of Islamic mosques. This also plays a role to call prayer and provide a visual focal point on the land. Minarets have been describe as the “gate from heaven and earth” and as the Arabic language letter alif. The minarets basic form consists of three parts: a base, shaft and a gallery.For the base, the ground is excavated until a hard foundation is reached. Gravel and other supporting materials may be used as a foundation; The gallery is a balcony which encircles the upper sectionsfrom which the muezzin may give the call to prayer. It is covered by a roof-like canopy and adorned with ornamentation, such as decorative brick withdifferent pattern like triangular,„t‟ shaped and hexagon.Walls and ColumnsAfter restoration started, plaster is widely used on the existing brick walls,columns and minaret. Some of the original plaster renderings are peeling off
and deboned, exposing the bricks and mortar joints. This can be seen on column bases, interior and exterior walls; and minaret. There are also signs of pollution and fungal stains or mould on the exterior surfaces which will be removed during the renovation work. This includes the cleaning of walls using either mechanical tools, scrappers or the dry-cleaning method. Lime wash also had been used on the existing plaster. One may see layers of coatings from the broken plaster. New lime wash will be applied to the existing walls in order to allow the building to breathe. Two coatings of lime wash will be used on the walls including a white coating for the first layer followed by lime wash with pigment (colour to be decided) for the second. Most of the columns in the Mosque are still in good structural condition. Balcony of the masjid Verandah of the masjidWudhu pool, before entering the prayer hall MakamTemake sure that we are in state of ablution to respect the Lord of the House
It wasnt Dzuhr prayer service time Column with Neo-Classicalyet so we just perform tahiyyat al- features of carving elements asmasjid salat to respect the Lord of shop houses near to LebuhAcheh the House Cornicewith Neo-Classical Cornicewith Neo-Classical features of carving elements as features of carving elements asshop houses near to LebuhAcheh shop houses near to LebuhAcheh
Prayer hall with the place to deliver sermon which is called as minbar and mihrabMoorish style of corridor archesDecorative brick withdifferent pattern liketriangular,„t‟ shaped andhexagon as wall panel ofthe roof
Moorish style of entrance feature Traditional style houses of masjid staffs Modern style houses of masjids residence
CONCLUSIONThere is a varied architectural style for mosque design in Malaysia. The idea ofa definitive „Islamic Architecture‟ vocabulary leaves much to be desiredsince there does not seem to be a preference for any one particular stylethat is repeated. The advocates of Middle Eastern revivalism must admit thatthough Islam may have been given birth there, that fact is in no way a strongsupport for the style‟s monopoly over Islam. If anything, one can concludethat Islam allows the variety in architectural language because of its principlereligious tenets that is beyond racism or parochialism. The varied style is atestament to the adaptability of Islam to the various cultures and beliefsystem that does not contradict its main focus of worshipping one God.