Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah is Selangor’s State Mosque, also known as ‘The Blue Mosque’. The Blue Mosque overlooks the Garden of Islamic Arts, a landscaped park inspired by the Quranic Garden of Paradise (Jannah). This 14 hectares of spiritual sanctuary houses nine galleries exhibiting a rich array of Islamic arts such as calligraphy, sculptures, paintings and architecture. The site is occasionally used for traditional Islamic performances.
Located in Shah Alam, the state’s capital city, the mosque was built between 1983 and 1987. It is one of the biggest mosques in Southeast Asia. The late Sultan of Selangor, of whom the mosque was named after, played a monumental role in the construction of this mosque. It was not only built under his decree, but also on a site that was chosen by him. He also donated his allowance for four months to the mosque, as well as gifted four crystal chandeliers and an antique clock.
The mosque’s stunning architecture is a clever combination of traditional and modern, with Middle Eastern and traditional Malay design elements. Its magnificent blue dome, which is the mosque’s trademark, is primarily constructed out of aluminium and measures 51.2 metres in diameter. Four minarets measuring 142.2 metres tall flank the building at each corner. Fine Arabic calligraphies made by a renowned Egyptian calligrapher (Shiekh Abdel Moneim Mohamed Ali El Sharkawi) adorn the walls and the main dome. Its windows are fitted with blue stained-glass panels, which render a serene bluish light upon its interior when sunlight shines through them. Its carved wooden pulpit was created by Kelantanese craftsmen, modelled after the country’s old mosques (Islamic Tourism Centre, 2013), while the mihrab is made of imported marble and antique Turkish tiles. The high ceiling has triangular panels of red balau and ramin timber wood that are set in crisscrossing pattern. The dome is constructed of aluminium and the outer surface is clad with vitreous enamel-baked triangular steel panels decorated with a rosette of verses from the Qur’an. (Wikipedia).
The Selangor’s State Mosque can fit up to 24,000 worshippers at a time. The main prayer hall is over two levels, fully carpeted and air conditioned and is one of the largest such spaces in the world. The upper gallery of the prayer hall is reserved for the use of female worshippers. It is also equipped with various facilities such as Islamic Art galleries, conference rooms, seminar halls, a library, religious classes and a huge multipurpose hall (Islamic Tourism Centre, 2013).