The State Mosque of Pahang, officially known as the Masjid Sultan Ahmad 1 (Masjid Sultan Ahmad Shah 1), Kuantan, is located in the heart of Kuantan town and was formerly a district mosque in Kuantan. Due to its centralised location and importance, the mosque was later demolished and rebuilt to make way for a new and bigger mosque which became the State Mosque of Pahang. The state mosque was completed and officiated by the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Mustain Billah in 1994. It was named in honour of the first ruler of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Al-Mu’adzam Shah. However, the history of the original mosque, which was smaller, was built in the 1960s, and was then officiated by Sultan Abu Bakar Riayatuddin Al-Muadzam Shah, the former Sultan of Pahang in 1964.
The old mosque can claim to be the only mosque built with a concrete dome pavilion. The dome itself is formed by a set of pendatives that continues its curvature smoothly to form the dome. It was able to accommodate approximately 2,000 worshippers at one time and had internal acoustics’ application to mask the echo sound due to its shape. A slender detached minaret stands on the west side, marking the qibla direction. The modernist mosque had at that time become the progressive architectural beacon of Kuantan, located near the town centre and many institutional buildings in Kuantan, bordering a public field and a stone’s throw away from the Kuantan River.
As the years passed and in the early 1990s, the mosque could no longer handle the increasing number of worshippers and Muslim residents in Kuantan. In addition, the Pahang state was lacking a state
mosque, and this led to the decision of having a larger state mosque to accommodate the needs of the Muslims in the area. A local architectural practice was tasked to design a new mosque that was completed in 1994. The old mosque built in 1964 was demolished to make way for the new mosque. The new imposing structure features a postmodern style of Arabian and Ottoman influences. The round pointed central dome is flanked by four smaller domes. It is adorned with four symmetrical minarets that mark the boundary of the mosque. They are placed at the corners of the flat roof on the upper tier. The tiered structure also has four slender minarets, reminiscent of the Ottoman era architecture.
Clad in bluish-turquoise colour on its external facade following a similar design approach was also used in its interior space. The tiered elevation has also shaped the main prayer hall, allowing for the clerestory windows, tucked in between the lancet arches of the hypostyle columns. It has lifted up the otherwise mundane interior and brought the unique color and its space, up to the underside of the main dome located above.
At its front, blind arches form the qibla wall, with a pointed arch in the middle, indicating the location of the mihrab wall. A unique and modest minbar is used, made of the marble platform linked by a flight of stairs. The exquisite marble and tiling works have created a pleasant ambience to the main prayer hall. The mosque is also facilitated with an upper female prayer gallery, library, guest room, office, store room, dining area, pantry and a mortuary.