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Mosques in Penang

Tall minarets, arched walkways and high ceilings make up the distinct architecture of mosques that reflect the history of the community that congregated in them centuries ago. Here, Leonard Selva captures a few examples around Penang


Masjid Al-Malik Khalid

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Gelugor

'I never realised how Al-Malik Khalid mosque at Universiti Sains Malaysia stands out against Penang’s sky at dusk. Named after the King of Saudi Arabia during the late ’70s, the mosque is the result of a joint venture between the governments of Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. It was completed in 1983. The mosque is located on the left as you enter the university’s entrance at Sungai Dua. The university’s modern contemporary architecture complements the traditional domes of the mosque.'

Acheen Street Mosque

Attractions Religious buildings and sites George Town

'The Acheh mosque minaret is located at the junction of Pitt and Acheen streets. It stands tall and is a visually captivating landmark in George Town. I used to call it the "Lighthouse Mosque" as the minaret looked like a lighthouse to me when I was a kid. As Penang was a port city, the large number of Muslim traders signalled the need for a mosque. Acheh mosque catered to these traders as well as the Achehnese, Arab and Jawi Peranakan communities. Today, the mosque is filled with traders such as jewellers, tailors and money changers fulfilling their duties as Muslims just as their ancestors did more than two centuries ago.'


Masjid Abdullah Fahim

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Tanjung Bungah

'On the mainland, the Abdullah Fahim mosque is located in Seberang Perai Utara at Kepala Batas. It’s a relatively new mosque – construction started in 2009 and completed in 2012. Amongst the many Mosques in Penang, this one sits on a huge piece of land that gives the mosque a majestic grandeur. It’s regularly used as a backdrop for wedding photography. The mosque looks heavenly with brightly coloured blue domes. It stands out, contrasting against the sky.'

Masjid Kapitan Keling

Attractions Religious buildings and sites George Town

'The oldest mosque in Penang, Kapitan Keling Mosque is located in the heart of George Town’s heritage zone and on a street fondly known as the ‘Street of Harmony’, on which you’ll find places of worship for virtually every major religion in the country. It’s a famous tourist spot and the design of the mosque marries both Indian and Western architectural influences. Once a year, the Muslim community holds a banner-carrying procession parading around the mosque to commemorate Maulud Nabi – Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.'


Nagore Dargha

Attractions Religious buildings and sites George Town

The Nagore Dagha is actually a shrine that honours a Muslim saint, Syed Shahul Hamid. The revered saint and Islamic preacher’s actual tomb is in Nagore, India. In honour of his memory, the early South Indian Muslim traders built this shrine in the early 1800s. Mainly visited by Tamil Muslims, this shrine is located in the heart of Penang’s Little India, on Chulia Street. This shrine is a testament to the active Muslim trade and influence that existed here in Penang centuries ago.


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