7 beautiful mosques in Malaysia that are also architectural wonders

As a multi-cultural and multi-religion country, Malaysia has many beautiful and interesting buildings worth checking out, including religious structures like mosques, temples and churches.

According to the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), there are more than 6,800 mosques in Malaysia today. Here are seven of the nation’s most intriguing mosques that the public can visit.

For non-Muslim visitors, do remember to dress appropriately and observe all rules and regulations as stipulated by the mosques you are visiting.

Federal Territory Mosque, Kuala Lumpur

Located next to a government complex, the construction of the Federal Territory Mosque started in the late 1990s and was officially opened in 2000.

The mosque has a massive hall that can hold up to 17,000 people at a time, making it one of the largest in the country.

Besides its impressive size, the stunning facade gives this prayer house a unique look, featuring a blend of Ottoman-Malay architecture with 22 domes and two towering minarets.

This sprawling mosque boasts similar features to the popular Blue Mosque in Turkiye, with traces of Moroccan and Indian architectural styles.


Moorish designs can be seen in the tiles with intricate patterns that are used on some of the walls.

Federal Territory Mosque Kuala Lumpur. — Photo: UWE ARANAS/Wikimedia CommonsFederal Territory Mosque Kuala Lumpur. — Photo: UWE ARANAS/Wikimedia Commons

Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, Johor

The majestic Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque is a historical building in Johor that sits atop a hill, overlooking the Straits of Johor (formerly known as Straits of Tebrau).

The mosque, heavily influenced by Victorian-Mughal architecture, was built in 1892, and completed eight years later. Considering it is more than a century old, it is amazing that many of the original features of the colonial mosque are still intact today.

The domed minarets add to the building’s splendour, while the wall moulding found along the exterior of the mosque is said to be unique.

The moulding is not just meant to decorate the building but also has an important function: It prevents rain water from roling on the surface of the wall and entering the windows or any openings.

Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, Johor. — Photo: CHONGKIAN/Wikimedia CommonsSultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, Johor. — Photo: CHONGKIAN/Wikimedia Commons

Zahir Mosque, Kedah

The Zahir Mosque is 111 years old this year and is regarded as one of the most amazing mosques in Malaysia. The ancient mosque is strategically located in Alor Setar’s historical Medan Bandar, standing near the Pelamin Palace and Balai Besar (Great Hall).

The most prominent part of the mosque – which is considered Kedah’s state mosque – are the five black domes, said to represent the Five Pillars of Islam.

Zahir Mosque’s design reflects the Kedah royalty’s Islamic ruling tradition, in which buildings had to be designed in both the Moghul and Moorish styles.

Before the mosque was built, the site was a burial ground for local soldiers who died in combat during the Siamese invasion of Kedah.

Zahir Mosque, Kedah . — Photo: MOSHEA/Wikimedia CommonsZahir Mosque, Kedah . — Photo: MOSHEA/Wikimedia Commons

Ubudiah Mosque, Perak

Ubudiah Mosque was built in 1917 in the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak.

The original building used to be smaller but as the Muslim community grew and more people started praying at the mosque, Ubudiah was expanded in 1933, and then again in the early 1990s.

The mosque features Mughal architecture and design, with its onion-shaped golden domes and four octagonal minarets. Each of the minarets has a balcony, too.

The residence of the Sultan of Perak and the Royal Mausoleum are nearby. If you are planning to visit, make sure to set an appointment in advance.

Ubudiah Mosque, Perak. — Photo: GEORG WITTBERGER/Wikimedia CommonsUbudiah Mosque, Perak. — Photo: GEORG WITTBERGER/Wikimedia Commons

Malacca Straits Mosque, Melaka

The Malacca Straits Mosque was built on stilts on the man-made Malacca Island. This floating mosque incorporates traditional Malay and Middle Eastern craftsmanship and has been welcoming visitors since 2006.

The stained glass windows of the archways are decorated with Islamic motifs. There are four small towers surrounding the main prayer hall. The entire complex is lit up at night, making it even more beautiful.

Malacca Straits Mosque. – Photo: YEE THEEN GEE/ Wikimedia CommonsMalacca Straits Mosque. – Photo: YEE THEEN GEE/ Wikimedia Commons

Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque, Penang

Apart from being a place of worship, the mosque is also a popular tourist attraction in Penang, thanks to the building’s beautiful design.

The Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque is located between George Town and Batu Feringghi, and was constructed in 2004 to replace an older mosque, which was badly damaged during the tsunami that happened in the same year.

The mosque stands on stilts in the sea bed, making it the first one in Malaysia to be built in the sea itself. It has a Moorish design, with a towering minaret as its most outstanding feature.

You can see lots of flower motifs and geometric patterns in the decor, mostly on the ceiling underneath the main dome, in the stained glass windows and in perforated panels along the walls.

Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque, Penang.  – Photo: SHEBA/Wikimedia CommonsTanjung Bungah Floating Mosque, Penang. – Photo: SHEBA/Wikimedia Commons

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, Sabah

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is the biggest mosque in the state of Sabah, with a maximum capacity of 12,000 people. It is one of the two main mosques in Sabah that’s located in the capital; the other one is the older State Mosque.

The beautiful white mosque sits on an artificial lagoon and bears resemblance to the Nabawi Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

This architectural grandeur is one of the most photographed buildings in the state, as it is located right in front of the coastal road, and when the sun sets, the colour of the mosque changes into a beautiful hue.

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. — Photo: UWE ARANAS/Wikimedia CommonsKota Kinabalu City Mosque. — Photo: UWE ARANAS/Wikimedia Commons

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