Originally known as Masjid Besar Kota Bharu, the original wooden structure was built in 1867. It was replaced with a more solid concrete structure between 1922 and 1925, and named after the late Sultan Muhammad IV, who was fiercely dedicated to the state during his lifetime. It is also known as Masjid Besar among the locals. Further renovations were done on the mosque in 1959, 1968, 1976 and 1987.
The mosque adopts an open design concept with a Colonial architectural style. This yellow-and-brown structure features Moghul-style domes and the liberal use of arches and pillars throughout. Its main prayer hall is adorned with stunning Roman columns embellished with beautiful dark brown carvings around the top. Air vents along the walls provide natural ventilation in the building.
Masjid Muhammadi is also a renowned Islamic learning centre in the region, particularly among religious scholars and those seeking knowledge of the religion. One of the mosque’s primary functions is to spread the teachings of Islam, earning it the nickname ‘Serambi Mekah’ (Corridor of Mecca). The mosque’s teaching system is similar to that of Masjidil Haram in Mecca. Several prominent Islamic scholars had taught here in the past.