You’d be forgiven for thinking these pictures were taken in Central Asia somewhere, but they are from the Sarawak State Mosque in Kuching. I was on holiday for the first Friday after Eid, so I took the chance to visit the masjid with my son and nephew. As you can see, it has a very austere and imposing exterior, a giant white box perched on a slight rise in the middle of spacious grounds. It sets off the dome nicely, a turqoise shade that can be seen from some distance.
There are many things to appreciate about this masjid. One of them is the setting. The grounds meet with open land of several other institutions including the Sarawak State Library. It lends the whole area a quiet, stately air. The grounds are landscaped with shade trees which is a nice change from the usually bare masajid in town, though a lot more could be done to flatter the mosque as it deserves.
Another is the attention to detail. The mosque really only seems bare at a distance. At closer range, you can see calligraphy everywhere. And if you really take a close look, you see that the calligraphy is not a single word or phrase repeated over and over; in the case of the cornice along the inside, it appears to be the Asma ul-Husna. The interior of the dome is spectacular, with two bands of calligraphy along the base, one in red, one in black, dancing over a spiral flower motif. The black band is Surah ar-Rahman. I couldn’t make out the red. I couldn’t take a clear enough picture in the dim light to be able to examine it from the photo. The calligraphy in the gold circles reads Allah, Muhammad Rasul.
I’ll let the other pictures speak for themselves. If you hold your mouse over the photo, you’ll see a short description, and as always, you can click the picture to see the full size photo. You can also follow this link to see all my photos of the Sarawak State Mosque.