The Crystal Mosque in Kuala Terengganu is more than a place of worship.
BEAUTIFUL mosques are a common sight in Malaysia, but how often does one see a mosque – and a crystal one, no less – floating on water? Well, the people of Kuala Terengganu do almost every day.
The shimmering Crystal Mosque on Wan Man island is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, one that many locals take pride in. Last year, the Taman Tamadun Islam (TTI), or Islamic Civilisation Park, which houses the mosque and a variety of other attractions, made a profit of over RM2mil.
The success of the park has drawn criticism from some members of the public who see it as a commercialisation of a place of worship, but for Mohd Zaki Mat Yakim, deputy manager of the Crystal Mosque, every-thing done at the park is for the sake of education and unity.
Zaki believes it is a place where activities such as gotong-royong can be organised to draw the local communities of all races together. Apart from admiring the beauty of the Crystal Mosque, which was built over three years at an estimated cost of RM80mil, tourists can also go on a river cruise and visit an Arabic calligraphy display at TTI.
There is also a souvenir shop, as well as a park where people can have picnics.
“It is a beautiful place to spend time with your family and very often there are fun fairs, book exhibitions and colouring competitions held to bring the community together,” said Nazimah Mat Zawi, 34, who visits the mosque weekly.
the Crystal Mosque doesn’t hold any Friday prayers, as they are already being held at another nearby mosque, which is closer to the housing areas.
Instead, the beautiful mosque is often used for akad nikah (wedding) ceremonies and state prayers.
Kiwi tourist Gordon Wingfield, 80, couldn’t help but admire the architecture of the mosque.
“Though the mosque is built in modern times, the classic design is maintained, which makes it interesting,” he said.
The unique design of the mosque, however, makes maintenance a little harder than usual.
“The high tides from the sea have caused damage to the walls because of the traces of salt left behind,” said Zaki.
He further explained that over time, the salt will corrode the iron in the steel structures of the building.
“Sparrows also constantly fly into the prayer area and leave their droppings all over.
Thunderstorms have also caused leakage in the ceilings,” added Zaki.
Nevertheless, Zaki and the other members of the staff are proud to be working at the beautiful mosque.
“My dream is to see not only Malays, but also the other races come here and enjoy our activities,” said Zaki.