Built in 1965 at a cost of KMIO million (USD2.42 million). the National Mosque (or Masjid Negara) is one of Southeast Asia’s largest mosques with a unique modem design embodying contemporary expressions of traditional Islamic art, calligraphy and orientation. Jointly designed by three architects of the Public Works Department (Or Jabatan Kerja Raya-JKR), namely Howard Ashley, Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim, the National Mosque features a 73-metre-high minaret and an 18-pointed star concrete main roof reflecting an open umbrella, with the cap of the minaret resembling a folded one. The multifold umbrella-like roof symbolises a renewed awakening and the aspirations of a newly-independent nation, as Malaysia had gained her independence from the British on 31st August 1957. Apart from the multi-fold umbrellalike roof, the National Mosque also has massive flat roofs covering a total area of approximately 33,000mt. The flat roofs accommodate many mosaic-finished domes, mosaic-finished pyramid roofs, sunken roofs and skylight roofs. The differing designs of the roof types are rare and hardly found In any mosque design in the country.
The National Mosque boasts a large prayer hell that can accommodate up to 15,000 worshipers at any one time, especially for the Friday prayer. The main prayer hall is surrounded by a covered deep verandah which serves a dual function, that of an additional space for prayer and also for cross-ventilation in response to the local climatic conditions. The mosque complex also has a multipurpose hall, mausoleum, library and administration office as well as open courtyards with reflecting pools and water fountains. The mausoleum is reserved for the tombs of national heroes of rise country. Located on a 13-acre landscaped garden near the Lake Garden in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the National Mosque is one of the main tourist attractions in the capital city. Both Muslims and non-Muslims alike are only allowed into the mosque building wearing a modest attire of robes and hcadscarves as a sense of submission, peace and respect.
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