For many, seeking serenity has different meanings. It takes on a different path for a believer who is immersed in his relations to God. In Putrajaya, your faith in God gets stronger when you witness and feel the path you have been looking for exude both elements, that is, beauty and serenity. It is always an issue of serenity meeting beauty in many ways than one. For sure, you will be awed by the beauty and the serenity that these two great mosques in Putrajaya exude.
Putra Mosque or Masjid Putra is truly a great mosque, as it straddles across 1.37 hectares of land. Touted as one of the most modern mosques in the world, Putra Mosque is located within the 600-hectare of Putrajaya Lake. Overlooking the die-for scenic view of the lake, one cannot deny that the mosque is Putrajaya’s most distinctive landmark. It is located next to Perdana Putra which houses the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office and Dataran Putra (Putra Square), a large public square with flagpoles flying Malaysian states’ flags. All these three areas are linked to wide and large boulevards as far the eyes can see. It is like being right there at the boulevard of Champs dé Élysee but the view is even more fascinating without the array of high fashion boutiques like the one in Paris. From the onset, Putra Mosque, built in June 1997, looks like a reddish-pinkish rose clay building, as it was built with rose tinted granite which gives its desert-pink hue that offsets the cengal woodwork on the doors, windows and panels. It has an unusual and unique mixture of Malaysian, Persian and Arab-Islamic architectural designs with combination of traditional intricate design motifs; employing local and foreign craftsmanship.
The main entrance is designed in a similarity of a public building gate in early Persia. The mosque has a huge reddish-pink 166 metre-high minaret with symmetrical designs on it, with tinges of influences of Sheikh Omar mosque in Baghdad. One should go down to Putra Mosque’s basement wall to see the design which is similar to the King Hassan’s mosque in Casablanca, Morocco.
The Prayer Hall is just simply exquisite and intricately designs on all sides of the walls, with 12 huge columns supporting the 36-meter diameter main dome above. The mimbar (pulpit) and mehrab (niche that denotes the direction of Mecca) are adorned with khat or Islamic calligraphy. A unique feature has been added to the sound system design - front throw speakers are used to create the effect of all sounds originating from the direction of the imam. The mosque can comfortably accommodate a maximum of 10,000 worshippers while its compartmentalised complex is spacious enough that it can be utilised to hold seminars, conferences and symposiums for another 1,000 people. A paved courtyard in front of the Putra Mosque’s prayer hall is landscaped with water sprouts and fountains. It is so spacious enough that it can hold an additional of 5,000 people. But beware! Do not attempt to walk barefooted on the courtyard under the scorching heat of the sun, as your feet will be grilled like a skewer of fresh meat.
Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque
The “Iron Mosque” is popularly known by the locals for its physical outlook of stainless steel iron from afar. Officially, this mosque is known as Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque or Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin named after the former Yang DiPertuan Agong (King of Malaysia). Well, it is the second principal mosque in Putrajaya after the Putra Mosque. It is located in Putrajaya’s Presint 3, next to Millennium Monument. Construction began since April 2004 and was fully completed on August 2009. It was officially opened on Friday at the eve of the month of Ramadhan 1430 Hijra.
The mosque was built to cater to approximately 30,000 residents including the government servants working around the city center as well as areas within Precinct 2, 3, 4 and 18. Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque’s area is twice that of Putra Mosque, which is located 2.2 kilometers north. The mosque was officially opened on 4 September 2009 by the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.
The “Iron Mosque” features a district cooling system, and without assembly of fans or an air conditioning system. The mosque employs architectural wire mesh imported from Germany and China, which is also constructed at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, as well as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris. The main entrance is reinforced with glass reinforced concrete to increase the integrity of the structure and uses fine glass to create an illusion of a white mosque from afar.
The path towards the mosque crosses a skyway known as the Kiblat Walk which stretches an area of 13,639 m². This skyway contains landscaping adapted from the ancient castles of Alhambra. The interior will be decorated with Al-Asmaul-Husna (names of Allah) calligraphy of the Thuluth variation. The entrance to the main prayer hall will be adorned with verse 80 of Sura Al-Isra from the Qur’an.
This is also added with the Mihrab wall made of 13 meter-high glass panel imported from Germany inscribed with 2 verses from Sura Al-Baqarah on the right-hand side and Sura Ibrahim on the left. The mihrab wall is designed so that no light will be reflected, creating an illusion that the verses are floating on air. The 40-feet long edges of the mosque’s roof are able to shelter the people praying outside of the main prayer hall from rain.