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Penang12 - Acheen Street Mosque

Penang12 - Acheen Street Mosque

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Published by: mohd qisti on Jun 22, 2009
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05/12/2010

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ACHEEN STREET MOSQUE
Figure 16 : Acheen Street Malay Mosque.Source : Field Study (2008.)
The Acheen Street Malay Mosque is located on the southern end of GeorgeTown, on Lebuh Acheh also known as Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh (Malay Mosque).The Acheh Street Mosque was built in 1808 on land donated by an Achenese aristocrat,Tengku Syed Hussain Al-Aidid. It all began in 1792 when Tengku Syed Hussain openeda Muslim settlement in the area near Lebuh Acheh. Over the following years, thissettlement became the centre of Islamic studies in Pulau Pinang, frequented by tradersfrom the surrounding Malay archipelago, Arab and India.
 
The mosque was built alongside houses, shops and a Madrasah for QuranicStudies. One of the religious figures of the time was Sheikh Omar Basheer Al-Khalilee,who was succeeded by his son Sheikh Zakaria who later was appointed as the firstMufti of Pulau Pinang and in 1888, Sheikh Yahya, his older brother, was appointed asthe first Kadi of Pulau Pinang.Following the demise of Tengku Hussain in mid 1800's, the Lebuh Acheh Muslimsettlement continued to thrive and was at one time referred to as the Second Jeddah,as pilgrims from nearby congregate here before departing to Mecca by sea. Every timethe Haj season begins, the Lebuh Acheh area is thronged by pilgrims and their families.However, all this ended with the establishment of the Lembaga Tabung Haji in the1970s.Architecturally, the Mosque is essentially hybrids; with a taste of the Moorishinfluence, oriental forms, and Neo-Classical features. The styles can be seen from itsarches, windows, columns, hipped roof, and other elements on the minaret. TheMosque is a good example of masonry building that is rich in architectural details andvocabulary as well as the adaptation of building elements to the local climate. Theexternal walls are made of bricks which were plastered and painted with lime wash.There has been a succession of colour coatings on the plastered walls startingfrom white, light blue, yellow to the present colour of ivory. Decorative plasteredrenderings are featured on the capitals of the interior columns and cornices. Besidesplaster and bricks, timber and marble floor tiles are widely used in the building. Timber is used for the roof structures, casement windows, fanlights, grilles and ceilings. Granitecan be seen mainly around the pool and the verandah steps. The hipped roof, whichresembles most of the Chinese temples, uses asbestos sheets and mortar locatedunderneath the ridges. Later constructions made in the Mosque include metal awningabove the verandah, cemented floors, toilets and a modern ablution area.

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