At first impression, this gleaming architectural edifice seems to be linked to the famous 1,001 Arabian Nights’ tales. Seemingly, it also looks like the famous Taj Mahal monument in India. To its credit, this mosque, named the Masjid Kristal, has become an icon of the East Coast city of Kuala Terengganu, because of its extensive use of glass material and the use of various onion-shaped domes, minarets and turrets. Kristal mosque is situated on the island of Wan Man in the Terengganu River, being an integral part of the local attraction, the Islamic Heritage Park. The 81-acres (33 hectares) park features Islamic architectural monuments from various Islamic countries around the world. Floating on the northeast parcel of the island, the mosque is often dubbed as the most photographed landmark in the park. The mosque is open to the public and is actively used for various activities and daily prayers. The unique beauty of the mosque would be its glistening exterior, made almost entirely of glass and steel cladding, thus earning its name ‘crystal’ when the surface of the glass dome reflects under the sun. During dusk and at night, it is lit with colourful lights that accentuate its glass structure.
The main dome is flanked by eight smaller domes and various smaller domes distributed across the mosque’s roof. Made of laminated and tempered glass, each dome is topped with a high pinnacle surmounted with spheres and crescent finials. The domes are strengthened with the use of prefabricated steel structure, which are seen from the inside. Accompanying the dome are four main
minarets, which sturdily stand on each corner of the mosque’s building. Inspired by the Ottoman-styled slender minaret, the laminated glass-clad minarets are supported with the use of steel structures and built with spiral staircases inside the minaret. Made of three tiers, the slender minarets are tapered with crescent finials. Minor and smaller minarets or turrets are found in the mosque’s building near the entrance gateway.
The interior is embellished using modern design, classical touch of white and gold palettes. Surrounded by the glass wall and domes, the main prayer hall is fully air-conditioned to cool its interior space. The cool granite floor is then covered with a floral carpet, thus giving the prayer hall a lush finish. The main prayer hall is surrounded by a full laminated glass wall imprinted with Islamic calligraphy, with the exception of the qibla wall. Decorated with beautiful yellowish tiles, the pointed arch with the use of muqarnas that form part of the mihrab niche. A white timber minbar sits to the right. Masjid Kristal, which sits on a concrete platform above the flowing river, is also equipped with a female prayer area, ablution and toilet facilities. Masjid Kristal is the country’s first ‘intelligent’ mosque with a built-in IT nfrastructure and WiFi connection, providing visitors with internet access with which to read the electronic Quran (Islamic Tourism Centre, 2013).