Built more than a century ago, Masjid Jamek is one of the country’s oldest mosques. It was officiated by the-then Sultan of Selangor in 1909 – two years after construction was completed – and served as the city’s main mosque before Masjid Negara was built. Located at the confluence of Klang River and Gombak River, the mosque stands on the city’s first Malay burial ground. It was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback and features Neo-Moorish architectural style reminiscent of colonial buildings in Northern India. Not far from Masjid Jamek across the Gombak River is the equally-historical Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which was designed by the same architect and shares a similar style. An LRT station which connects to other parts of the city sits right outside the mosque
Masjid Jamek is a fine example of Islamic architecture in British Malaya that was built in the early 20th century. The design resembles Islamic architecture in northern India, which is used not only for Islamic buildings but also as administrative buildings during the British Colonial era. The foundation stone near the entrance of the main prayer hall of the mosque indicates that this mosque started its construction on 14th Safar 1336 Hijri or May 1908, with the ceremony of placing the foundation of the column undertaken by Sultan Alauddin Sulaiman Shah, the Sultan of Selangor at that time.
Based on the design of the Masjid Jamek, it is clear that it was influenced by architectural designs from northern India. Amongst the designs include the use of onion-shaped domes that narrow upwards to its top (Aziz, A. A., 2016). Domes resembling a stupa had influenced the design of mosques originating from northern India, which was further developed to become part of the Islamic architecture. This was done by adding Islamic patterns or arabesque which originated from parts of the Middle-East. Multi-foil arch, semi-circular (horse-shoe) and pointed arches are used extensively in the Masjid Jamek, another common feature found in the Islamic architecture of the Middle-East and India. Furthermore, the columns with its capital and base are decorated with various geometric patterns. Floral ornaments and motifs are also common features in Islamic architecture. The main prayer hall of this mosque is made of concrete and finished with yellow grey terrazzo pieces. Each piece is decorated with a geometric pattern in brown colour on its surface.
The mihrab of the Masjid Jamek consists of a semi-circular arch built in the middle of the wall facing the Ka’aba. The mihrab measures 1.31 metres (4.3 feet) and its height is 3.53 metres (11.6 feet) to the ceiling. The minbar of the mosque has a domed roof made of wood. The size of the minbar, not including the staircase, is 1.09 metres (3.6 feet) and its height to the ceiling of the stage roof is 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) from the floor of the main prayer hall. There are two huge octagon-shaped towers located on the walls surrounding the mosque’s compound.