During the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims congregate at mosques to pray together, break fast and give to the less fortunate.
In conjunction with the holy month of Ramadan, this Digital Special Report features some of the most prominent houses of worship in the region.
The video highlights 10 iconic mosques, including the National Mosque and Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque (Malaysia); Masjid Sultan (Singapore); Ash-Shaliheen Mosque, Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque and Sultan Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Mosque (Brunei); Dian Al Mahri Mosque, Istiqlal Mosque and Lautze Mosque (Indonesia); and the Kamalulislam Mosque (Thailand). This series is a project by Asia News Network members - The Straits Times (Singapore), The Star (Malaysia), The Brunei Times (Brunei), The Jakarta Post (Indonesia) and The Nation (Thailand).
Here's a look at each of the mosques.
Masjid Sultan, Singapore
Masjid Sultan was built in 1824 by Sultan Hussein Shah, the 19th-century ruler of Johor and Singapore. It is located in the historic Kampong Glam, the heart of Singapore's Muslim community. The original building was torn down a century later to make way for the current mosque which was completed in 1932. Masjid Sultan is considered the national mosque of Singapore.
Brunei Darussalam’s top three iconic mosques
Brunei Darussalam’s three iconic mosques include the Ash-Shaliheen Mosque, the Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque and the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien (SOAS) Mosque. Of the three, the Ash-Shaliheen Mosque is one of the country’s most high-tech places of worship. Located near the Prime Minister’s office complex, the mosque has a retractable roof.
Dian Al Mahri Mosque, Indonesia
The Dian Al Mahri Mosque is also known as the Golden Dome Mosque. It has five domes coated with 24-carat gold, making it one of the most famous places of worship in Greater Jakarta. Located in Depok, the mosque was designed by architect Uke Setiawan and financed by businesswoman Dian Juriah Maimun Al Rasyid and her husband Maimun Al Rasyid. This mosque, said to resemble India’s Taj Mahal, is considered to be one of the most magnificent in South-east Asia.
Istiqlal Mosque, Indonesia
The Istiqlal Mosque is South-east Asia’s biggest mosque. It is located opposite the Jakarta Cathedral. The two buildings were deliberately built close to each other to symbolise religious harmony.
The name “Istiqlal” is an Arabic word for independence. It can accommodate up to 120,000 people.
Lautze Mosque, Indonesia
Lautze Mosque is named after the street on which it is located. It sits in the middle of an area that is popularly known as Jakarta’s Chinatown. It can be mistaken for a temple, with its Chinese features, red walls and excerpts from the Quran written in Arabic hanging alongside Chinese scripts. The mosque was intentionally built in a predominantly Chinese community to educate Chinese-Indonesians about Indonesia's moderate Islam.
Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, Malaysia
Named after the 13th Malaysian ruler, the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque is located in the country’s administrative capital, Putrajaya. Construction began in April 2004 and the mosque was completed in August 2009. Dubbed the “iron mosque”, it was built to cater up to 20,000 people. The mosque is built without a minaret.
Masjid Negara, Malaysia
Masjid Negara or the National Mosque, was built in 1965 after Malaysia achieved its independence. Located in Kuala Lumpur, it was built at a cost of RM10 million (S$3.4m), with RM3 million raised from public donations. The mosque’s prayer hall can accommodate 15,000 people and a heroes mausoleum is built adjacent to it where prominent Malaysian leaders were buried.
The Sai Kongdin @ Kamalulislam Mosque, Thailand
The Kamalulislam Mosque in Bangkok’s eastern suburb was built along the Saen Saeb Canal in the 1820s. Also known as the Sai Kongdin Mosque, it serves the large community of Muslims living in the eastern suburb and also as a centre of Islamic education in Bangkok