Mosques are a fundamental part of Islam, as a place of worship and as a centre for the community. And oftentimes, they make for incredibly beautiful works of architecture to admire too! Many mosques all over the world have become renowned for being beautiful spaces that awe and inspire. From the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, no one can resist admiring these regal structures that are intricately detailed.
Malaysia has its own fair share of lovely mosques (check out this list of beautiful mosques in KL!), but did you know a new mosque in nearby Bandar Sri Sendayan (about 20 minutes drive from Seremban, and about an hour drive from KL) has been making waves? It's totally worth the drive to see this mosque because it will definitely blow you away!
When you see the mosque, it'll be easy to understand why it's been generating a lot of buzz - the imposing white mosque has stunning architectural elements that has quickly earned it a nickname of being the Taj Mahal of Malaysia, given its similarities to the iconic building.
The story of the mosque goes just beyond being a pretty new place of worship, however. While most large scale and notable mosques in Malaysia are funded by the government, this mosque was in fact a waqaf (donation) by Tan Sri Abd Rashid Hussain (the founder of RHB Group) to the Negeri Sembilan Islamic Council, who act as administrators for the mosque. Fun fact: This actually the third mosque that has been built and donated by Tan Sri Rashid, with the first being Masjid Aishah in Sungai Mengulu, Langkawi (named after his mother), and the second being Masjid Hussain in Seremban 2 (named after his father).
With a dedicated team overseeing the design and construction of the mosque (led by architect Zailan Yusop), a lot of sweat, hard work, and care went into the building and its surrounding landscape, which overall cost a whopping RM100 million to build ? The mosque was completed late last year and hosted its first gathering for Friday prayers on 20 September 2019.
The mosque is built on 4.5 hectares of land and can accommodate up to 5,000 worshippers, making it one of the largest mosques in Negeri Sembilan. The main hall of the mosque is a spacious area that can fit up to 3,000 people. As you enter the main hall, it'll be easy to be spellbound by many different elements of decoration that have painstaking detail poured into it - from the sculpted walls of the pulpit and the super high main dome to carvings of phrases of the Quran, chandeliers, and furnishings flecked it gold.
It's reported that the mosque's design is inspired in part by Masjid Nabawi in Madinah while also borrowing elements from Morocco, Turkey and more, all weaved together beautifully and tastefully.
#HHWT Tip: Visit the mosque between Monday to Thursday for the best chance to avoid the crowds!
Apart from the mosque itself, there are other structures on the mosque grounds, which house lecture rooms, a library, a multi-purpose hall, a designated area for funeral-related matters, and living quarters for the mosque staff.
#HHWT Tip: For Muslimah visitors, do note that the Muslimah prayer hall is located on the upper floor of the mosque. There is a lift available for those who have mobility issues, though don note some visitors have mentioned that signage is a bit unclear. Do ask staff if you're not sure where it is! There's also an ablution area on the upper floor, so you can take your ablutions there.
It's not just the interior of the mosque that's been carefully thought out, but the exterior too. With the mosque built on over 11 acres of land (to give you an idea, that's about 8 football fields!), its outside landscaping is just as impressive and help make it the beautiful attraction that it is. In any case, it's hard not to explore all the different nooks and crannies of the mosque without wanting to photograph the beautiful details. Visiting the mosque at night makes for a whole different view too!
Since its opening, the mosque has and continues to host various events, both with regards to worship, such as Yasin and tahlil readings and qiyamullail prayer sessions, as well as community-building initiatives, such as the Karnival Geng Masjid it held end of last year that had a whole range of activities from free haircuts for children to cooking demonstrations and dart competitions! Follow the mosque's Facebook page to stay up-to-date with their on-going and upcoming events.
#HHWT Tip: Do note that as of the time of writing (21 Feb 2020), the mosque is free for all to enter, with no specified requirements or restrictions. However, we do advise for all who visit to wear modest clothing, including head covering for ladies, as a mark of respect when entering the mosque grounds.
While Malaysia is home to many beautiful mosques, it seems like Masjid Sri Sendayan, with its spacious complex, stunning design and community vibe has truly made itself stand out as an attraction that we should visit not just as a place of worship, but to marvel at too. That it came as part of such generous donation efforts and strives to be fully beneficial as a community centre is also really heart-warming, and we hope that more people far and wide will be able to benefit and also aid these initiatives. In any case, it's definitely a must-visit for your next road trip - the drive there will be totally worth it!
Address: Masjid Sri Sendayan, Persiaran Idaman Villa, Bandar Sri Sendayan, 71950 Siliau, Negeri Sembilan
Getting there: The mosque is located in a residential area about 20 minutes drive away from Seremban, so the easiest way to get there is by driving. You can also take a Grab or taxi from the Seremban KTM station.