Masjid Sultan Zainal Abidin was formerly known as Masjid Besar (Grand Mosque) and Masjid Putih (White Mosque). Its structure was once a timber palace set up by Almarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin II between 1973 and 1808, which was then replaced with a brick structure by Almarhum Sultan Umar in 1852. The mosque was renovated in 1901, during the rule of Almarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin III, and again in 1972, during the rule of Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah.
The mosque’s classic white structure features a colonial architectural style with some Mughal characteristics, with bell-shaped domes, a tall minaret and arched pillars. Beautiful inscriptions of Qur’anic verses and calligraphies decorate both its exterior and interior, while fine Arabesque motifs adorn its pillars, doors and arches.
Masjid Sultan Zainal Abidin is also more commonly referred to as Masjid Abidin. A royal mausoleum is situated within its grounds.