Imagining Islamic Aesthetics #37 – Islamic Architecture in the Malay Peninsula

Islam came to the Malay Peninsula as early as the 11th Century, when the king of Kedah, Phra Ong Mahawangsa, abandoned the Hindu faith to embrace Islam, and established the first Sultanate of Kedah in 1136 following the attack of the Indian Chola Navy in the Srivijaya Kingdom of Sangrama Vijayatungavarman in Kedah.

There are three theories of how Islam came into the Malay Peninsula – Merchants, Sufis and the conversion of rulers. Of course, this will be covered in detail in another post. the Malay Peninsula had a strong Hindu and Buddhist beliefs prior to Islam, and when Islam came into the peninsula, the artists of the Malay Peninsula had taken the new aesthetics of the faith and culture and combined it with their existing Hindu and Buddhist culture.

Source - Author- Igor Laszlo

Kampung Laut Mosque in Tumpat, Kota Bahru, Malaysia. It is recognized as one of the oldest mosque in Malaysia, dating back to the 18th Century. Influences of traditional Malay and Javanese architecture is apparent, combined with dome-like finials, the hallmark of the traditional Mosque in the Middle East, though it is still influenced by the temples of the Hindus and the Buddhists.

Author - Vmenkov

Masjid Kampung Hulu in Malacca, Malaysia. Again the traditonal Javanese or Hindu architecture of the Malay Peninsula is still apparent, and even the finial on top of the roof is Hindu in style.

Author - Matahari Pagi

Suriansyah Mosque, Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan province, Indonesia. It was built over 300 years ago, and shows the pre-Islamic architecture of the Banjar.

Author - Dekoelie

Masjid Gedhe Kraton Yogyakarta or Masjid Besar Kasultanan Yogyakarta. The architecture is clearly Javanese, and the three tiered rood is an influence of the Hindu Architecture, where the three tier roof is a representation of Mount Meru, the central mountain figure in Hindu legend and faith.

Author - G.F.J. (Georg Friedrich Johannes) Bley (Fotograaf/photographer).

Minaret of the mosque at Kudus, or Al-Manar Mosque.The Minaret has a very apparent influence of the Hindu Architecture, As it resembled a Hindu Pura, or temple, or more specifically, the Balinese Kulkul tower.


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One response to “Imagining Islamic Aesthetics #37 – Islamic Architecture in the Malay Peninsula

  1. Pingback: Study – Islamic Art in the Malay World | Stars in Symmetry

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