The Istiqlal Mosque
The Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, is the largest in South East Asia both in structure and capacity.
It is the fourth largest mosque in the world. 120 000 people can worship at the same time.
It was constructed as the national mosque of Indonesia, to commemorate the country's independence. The name of ‘istiqlal’ means ‘independence’, is a reminder of Indonesia’s struggle against Netherland.
The visual appearance of the mosque is completely metalic. In the construction any wooden material was not used but only stainless steel.
It seems to be very big and beautiful outside. It has a magnificent appearance. The mosque, beautify Jakarta’s cityscape displaying an attractive and prominent architectural style and a remarkable feature.
Everyone should not miss visiting the mosque during their journey to Indonesia’s capital city.
The Istiqlal Mosque was designed in 1954 by Frederich Silaban, a Christian architect.
The construction of the mosque was commenced in 1961 in the presidential period of Soekarno and completed in 1978 during the reign of President Suharto.
Located near Jakarta’s Cathedral (Jakarta’s first Catholic church) and Immanuel Church (Jakarta’s one of the old Protestan churches). It was President Soekarno’s idea to build the Istiqlal Mosque in that location because he wanted the world to witness Indonesian people living in harmony despite the differences on their beliefs.These two buildings showcase the nation’s acceptance of religious diversity.
Indonesia is an Islamic country having the most crowded Muslim population in the world, with a population of 250 millions, being composed of Christian, Buddhist and Hindu peoples.
During Friday prayer and other holy days for moslems, namely, when the mosque is packed, the Cathedral opens always their parking spaces for moslems and the other way around.
Major Islamic activities and ceremonies in Indonesia are taking place here. Indonesian presidents, ministers and top officials go to worship here mostly.
It is not just a mosque where moslems pray, but inside, there’s an Islamic elementary school, a junior high school and a senior high school, so this place is never empty. In addition to its prayer place function, it also operates as a social structure for such as seminars, conferences and exhibitions.
The mosque has seven entrances, each of which symbolizes seven stages of Heaven.
It is very spectacular inside. But regarding to its magnificence, interior decoration is very common, mostly simple.
The mosque has a large rectangular prayer hall covered by a 45 meters diameter of spherical dome supported by 12 round stainless steel columns.
Its inner space is divided into five layers. Surrounding the hall are four levels of balconies.
If you’re not moslem you will be taken to the second floor directly (because the first floor is only for praying) where you can see the main praying hall.
A larger part of the structure is made of marble, very little ornamented, with the exception of the aluminum decorations seen on a few sections of it.
The mosque has only one minaret. The steel minaret is like a peak erected at one of the corners of the courtyard. It is 66.66 meters high.
Mosque is surrounded by moat-like waterways.
Located beyond the southern corner of the courtyard are a fountain and pool. The fountain projects water during important Islamic ceremonies and holidays.
It is the only mosque in Indonesia that the imam and also staff are being appointed by the state officially, and the expenses is being financed by the government.
The numerical properties used in the construction carry some special messages. The mosque was built on 12 huge metal-covered columns, symbolizing the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad, 12th. Rebiülevvel (3rd.month of Islamic calendar)
The 5-storeys in the main hall symbolize the 5 basic rules of Islam and its 7 main gates, referred to seven stages of the Heaven. The mosque’s single minaret is a symbol of God's uniqueness, while the minaret height is 66.66 meters symbolize the 6666 verse of the Quran. The 30-meter steel peak of the minaret refers to the 30 portions of the Holy Quran. The dome diameter is 45 meters indicating the year 1945, when Indonesia was saved from Dutch domination.