In the age of Internet trolls and keyboard warriors, it’s more important than ever for interfaith harmony to exist in a multiracial country like Malaysia. That’s something that this beautiful mosque in the heart of Kuala Lumpur aspires to do.
Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan (also known as Masjid Wilayah for short, or the Federal Territory Mosque) conducts free tours that provide visitors a personalised and intimate glimpse into the beauty of Islam. More than just a serene venue for worship, the mosque also acts as a place for people from all backgrounds to come and learn about the various aspects of a Muslim’s prayer process.
The mosque has a comprehensive visitation programme that is conducted by volunteers. Since the initiative started in 2009, it has attracted tourists from many parts of the world. That international appeal also lies in the volunteers’ ability to conduct tours in French, Japanese, Tamil, Mandarin, English and of course, Bahasa Malaysia.
Why you should go
Despite its cosmopolitan location, Masjid Wilayah has been called a “Mosque in the Garden”.
The surrounding is a patch of refreshing greenery amid bustling traffic and nearby government complexes. Within the compound itself, visitors will find well-landscaped gardens and picturesque moats. Aerial views of the mosque are especially stunning, but exploring the grounds on foot is equally rewarding.
If the structure of the mosque strikes some familiarity, that’s because architecture-wise, it is heavily influenced by Turkey’s iconic Blue Mosque. Further elements of traditional Malay and Middle Eastern designs make the mosque a truly spectacular venue.
Visitors are required to dress modestly and free robes are available for use.
What to do
The tour usually lasts around 40 minutes. But during my visit, the guided walkthrough went past the designated time. Noting that this was my first time stepping into a mosque, my guide was especially patient in explaining the basic tenets of Islam and other unique aspects of the religion. If anything, visitors will leave with a better understanding of the faith.
Of course, there’s also much to see here. Masjid Wilayah is one of the country’s biggest modern mosques and visitors will have plenty to explore here.
There’s also a reason it’s one of the most photographed mosques in Malaysia. The various design elements – from the local woodcarving art on the arch to the important Islamic elements in the majestic prayer hall – need to be appreciated in person.
Who will like it
Besides its role as a place of worship, Masjid Wilayah has managed to establish itself as an important medium to disperse the knowledge of Islam.
For non-Muslim visitors especially, the guided tour is an enlightening experience. As for Muslims, the mosque provides a calm setting to perform prayers.
The location of Masjid Wilayah is not on the usual tourist route. The lack of public transportation might also render it almost inaccessible for many tourists. Your best bet would be ride-hailing services or driving here. Ample parking is available.