BAITURRAHMAN GREAT MOSQUE
Baiturrahman Grand Mosque (Indonesian: Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman) is a large mosque located in the centre of the city of Banda Aceh, Aceh province, Indonesia. It is of great symbolic significance to the Acehnese people as a symbol of Acehnese religion and culture, especially since it survived the devastating 2004 tsunami intact.
The mosque was designed by an Italian architect and built by the Dutch colonial administration as a token of reconciliation following their destruction of an older mosque during the Aceh wars. Construction of the mosque commenced in 1879 and was completed in 1881. The mosque survived the massive 2004 tsunami which destroyed much of the rest of the city of Banda Aceh.
Architecture and design
The design of the mosque combines colonial and Moghul Indian influences. Its design is not dissimilar to the Mesjid Raya Tuban in East Java. The mosque combines few traditionally Acehenese features though it has come to represent the city of Banda Aceh and the cultural uniqueness of the Acehenese.
DEMAK GREAT MOSQUE
Masjid Agung Demak (or Demak Great Mosque) is one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia, located in the center town of Demak, Central Java Indonesia. The mosque is believed to be built by Sunan Kalijaga, one of the Wali Songo (nine Muslim saints) during the first Demak Sultanate ruler, Raden Patah during the 15th century.
Although it has had a number of renovations, it is thought to be largely in its original form. The mosque is a classic example of a traditional Javanese mosque. Unlike mosques in the Middle East it is built from timber. Rather than a dome, which did not appear on Indonesian mosques until the 19th century, the roof is tiered and supported by four saka guru teak pillars. The tiered roof shows many similarities with wooden religious structures from the Hindu-Buddhist civilizations of Java and Bali. The main entrance of Masjid Agung Demak consists of two doors carved with motifs of plants, vases, crowns and an animal head with an open wide-toothed mouth. It is said that picture depicts the manifested thunder caught by Ki Ageng Selo, hence their name “Lawang Bledheg” (the doors of thunder).
Like other mosques of its era, its orientation towards Mecca is only approximate.
Carving and historical relics of Masjid Agung Demak
Its walls contain Vietnamese ceramics. With their shapes derived from conventions of Javanese woodcarving and brickwork, they are thought to have been specially ordered. The use of ceramic rather than stone is thought to have been in imitation of the mosques of Persia.
Istiqlal Mosque, or Masjid Istiqlal, (Independence Mosque) in Jakarta, Indonesia is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and has the highest capacity. This national mosque of Indonesia was built to commemorate Indonesian independence and named “Istiqlal”, an Arabic word for “independence”. The mosque was opened to the public 22 February 1978. Within Jakarta, the mosque is positioned next to Merdeka Square and the Jakarta Cathedral.
After the Indonesian National Revolution 1945–1949, followed by the acknowledgement of Indonesian independence from The Netherlands in 1949, there was a growing idea to build a national mosque for the new republic, which had the largest Muslim population in the world. The idea of constructing a grand Indonesian national mosque was launched by Wahid Hasyim, Indonesia’s first minister for religions affairs, and Anwar Cokroaminoto, later appointed as the chairman of the Masjid Istiqlal Foundation. The committee for the construction of the Istiqlal Mosque, led by Cokroaminoto, was founded in 1953. He proposed the idea of a national mosque to Indonesian President Sukarno, who welcomed the idea and later helped to supervise the mosque’s construction. In 1954 the committee appointed Sukarno technical chief supervisor.
Several locations were proposed; Mohammad Hatta, Indonesian vice president, suggested that the mosque should be built near residential areas on Thamrin avenue, on a plot where Hotel Indonesia stands today. However, Sukarno insisted that a national mosque should be located near the most important square of the nation, near the Merdeka Palace. This is in accordance with the Javanese tradition that the kraton (king’s palace) and masjid agung (grand mosque) should be located around the alun-alun (main Javanese city square), which means it must be near Merdeka Square. Sukarno also insisted that the national mosque should be built near Jakarta Cathedral and Immanuel Church, to symbolize religious harmony and tolerance as promoted in Pancasila (the Indonesian national philosophy and the five principles which constitute the philosophical foundation of Indonesian nationhood). It was later decided that the national mosque was going to be built in Wilhelmina park, in front of the Jakarta Cathedral. To make way for the mosque, the Citadel Prins Frederick, built in 1837, was demolished.
Sukarno actively followed the planning and construction of the mosque, including acting as the chairman of the jury for the mosque design competition held in 1955. The design submitted by Frederich Silaban, a Christian architect from North Sumatra, with the theme “Ketuhanan” (English: “Divinity”) was chosen as the winner. The foundation stone was laid by Sukarno on 24 August 1961; the construction took 17 years. President Suharto inaugurated it as the national mosque on 22 February 1978. As of 2013 it is the largest mosque in the region of Southeast Asia, with a capacity of over 120,000.
The mosque have seven gates to enter, and all seven gates are named after Al-Asmaul-Husna, the names of God in Islam. The number seven represents the Seven Heavens in Islamic cosmology. The wudu (ablution) fountains are on the ground floor, while the main prayer hall and main courtyard are on the first floor. The building consists of two connected rectangular structures: the main structure and the smaller secondary structure. The smaller one serves as main gate as well as stairs and prayer spaces. The rectangular main prayer hall building is covered by a 45-meter diameter central spherical dome; the number “45” symbolizes the 1945 Proclamation of Indonesian Independence. The main dome is adorned with a stainless steel ornamental pinnacle in the form of a crescent and star, the symbol of Islam. The smaller secondary dome is also adorned with a stainless steel pinnacle with the name of Allah (God) in Arabic calligraphy.
The dome is supported by twelve round columns, and the prayer hall is surrounded by rectangular piers carrying four levels of balconies. Twelve columns represent the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 12th Rabi’ al-awwal. The main floor and the four levels of balconies make five floors in all; the number “5” represents the Five Pillars of Islam and also Pancasila, Staircases at the corners of the building give access to all floors. The main hall is reached through an entrance covered by a dome 8 meters in diameter; the number 8 symbolizes August, the month of Indonesian Independence. The interior design is minimalist, simple and clean-cut, with a minimum of stainless steel geometric ornaments. The 12 columns are covered with stainless steel. On the main wall on qibla there is a mihrab and minbar in the center. On the main wall, there is a large metalwork in Arabic calligraphy, spelling the name of Allah on the right side and Muhammad on the left side, and also calligraphy of Surah Thaha 14th verse in the center. The metalworks, stainless steel covers and ornaments were imported from Germany. Originally, as in the National Monument nearby, the white marbles were planned to be imported from Italy. However to cut costs and support the local marble industry, it was later decided that the marbles would be from Tulungagung marble quarries in East Java instead.
The main structure is directly connected to the arcades that are spread around the large courtyard. The arcades connect the main building with a single minaret in the southern corner. Unlike many Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Indian mosques with multiple minarets, Istiqlal mosque has a single minaret to symbolize the divine oneness of God. It is 66.66 metres tall to symbolize 6,666 verses, the traditional perception of the numbers of verses in the Quran. The 30-metre-high stainless steel pinnacle on top of the minaret symbolizes the 30 juz’ of the Quran. On the southern side near the minaret there is also a large bedug (large wooden drum made of cow skin). In common with the entire Islamic world, traditionally Muslims in Indonesia use the drum with the adhan (call to prayer). The mosque offices, function hall, and madrasah are on the ground floor. The mosque provides facilities for social and cultural activities.
In the southwestern corner of the garden surrounding the mosque, there is a large pool and a grand fountain that spouts water 45 meters high. The fountain only operates on Fridays during congregational salat and during Islamic holidays such as Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. The river Ciliwung flows across the mosque complex along the eastern side of the mosque.
Some Muslims in Indonesia said Istiqlal’s dome and minaret structure was much modern and Arabic in style. They regarded the architecture as being out of harmony with Islamic culture and architecture in Indonesia. In response, former president Suharto began an initiative to construct more mosques of the Javanese triple-roofed design.
US President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama with Grand Imam Kyai al-Hajj Ali Musthafa Ya’qub at the Istiqlal Mosque, Nov. 10, 2010
Following US President Barack Obama and his wife’s visit to the Istiqal Mosque in November 2010, about 21 visitors per day have come to tour the mosque. Among foreign dignitaries who have visited Istiqlal mosque are former US president Bill Clinton; President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi; Prince Charles of United Kingdom; Li Yuanchao, Vice President of the Communist Party of China; President of Chile Sebastián Piñera; Heinz Fischer, the President of Austria; Jens Stoltenberg, the Prime Minister of Norway, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2012.
There is one Grand Imam, one deputy of the Grand Imam, and seven imams in Istiqlal Mosque. As of 2013 the Grand Imam was Kyai al-Hajj Ali Musthafa Ya’qub, chairman of Darus Sunnah Hadis Research Institute in Ciputat, South Jakarta. His deputy was al-Hajj Syarifuddin Muhammad.
MENARA KUDUS MOSQUE
The Menara Kudus Mosque or Al-Manar Mosque is located in Kudus in the Indonesian province of Central Java. Dating from 1549, it is one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia, built at the time of Islam’s spread through Java. The mosque preserves the tomb of Sunan Kudus, one of the nine Islamic saints of Java (the Wali Sanga), and it is a popular pilgrimage point.
It preserves pre-Islamic architectural forms such as old Javanese split doorways, ancient Hindu-Buddhist influenced Majapahit-style red brickwork, and a three-tired pyramindal roof. The most unusual feature is the brick minaret on which a pavilion shelters a large skin drum (bedug) which is used to summon the faithful to prayer instead of the more common muezzin. Whereas a bedug normally hangs under the eaves of a mosque verandah, in the Kudus Mosque it sits in a tower like a Balinese Hindu temple kul-kul or signal drum used to warn of impending attack, fire, or communal event. No other mosque in Java is known to have a drum tower of this type.
In front of the minaret and around the compound are walls and gateways in the old candi bentar (split gate) and kori agung (main gate) styles. Inside are two gateways—a smaller, inner gate with relief panels on either side similar to those found in Mantingan, and an outer gate that is reminiscent of the 14th-century Bajang Ratu gate at Trowulan. Other pre-Islamic touches include 8 kala[disambiguation needed]-head water spouts in the ablution area and Ming procelain plates set in the walls.
The pre-Islamic elements suggest the complex has incorporated a pre-existing Hindu-Javanese structure. The mosque has been rebuilt several times removing evidence of what the original structure looked like. The Majapahit style gates, walls, and minaret that appear so incongruous today may have blended more harmoniously with the main structure (which probably had a meru roof supported by large pillars, as in Cirebon and Demak). The peaked roof is a 1920s renovation with terracotta tiles replacing wooden tiles, with glass windows inserted between the roof tiers. The roof is topped with a mastaka crown roof element. An inscription over the mihrab says the mosque was founded by Ja’far Shodiq in AH 956 (AD 1549). He is believed to be the venerated Sunan Kudus one of the nine Islamic saints of Java (Wali Sanga) who lies buried in an elaborately carved mausoleum behind the mosque. The complex includes a Mogul-style mosque with a silvery onion-dome and concrete pillars.
CUT MEUTIA MOSQUE
Masjid Cut Mutiah is named after the name of the Acehnese heroine, which is the name of the street in Menteng, Central Jakarta. The building was initiated in 1922 as N.V. (Naamloze vennootschap) Bouwploeg, a Dutch property developer/architecture firm of Pieter Adriaan Jacobus Moojen (1879–1955). The firm planned and developed the nearby residential area of Gondangdia. Afterwards the building was used as the department for drinking water.
During the coming period, the building was used for different functions such as post office and train company office. From 1959 until 1960 the building was used as a mayor office of Central Jakarta. Later the building was used as a drinking water department (Perusahaan Air Minum), Department of Residentials of Jakarta (Kantor Dinas Urusan Perumahan Jakarta), and People Assembly (MPRS).
From 1964-1970, the building was used as the Office of Home and Religion (1964–1970). After Ali Sadikin’s term as Governor of Jakarta, the building was converted into a provincial mosque on 18 August 1987 under the law SK gubernur no. 5184/198.