Malaysia, a country in Southeast Asia, is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural. However, there are many mosques in the country as Islam is recognized as the official religion of the country. Located in the Islamic Heritage Park Taman Tamadun Islam on the man-made island called Pulau Wan Man in Terengganu, Malaysia, the Crystal Mosque or Masjid Kristal is one of the most spectacular Islamic places of worship in the world. The stunning architecture made of steel and glass gives the mosque its crystal-like appearance. Its domes and minarets made up of facets of bronze-tinted, smoked glass, and reflecting each other, provide a dreamy riverside image.
The sleek and modern look of the mosque reflects off the water, and when illuminated from the inside, its glass domes shine like an illustration of a fairy tale. However, the Crystal Mosque comes alive at night with a mesmerizing display of lights, which changes the colour of its domes and minarets to pink, green, yellow, and blue. The glittery, splashy, unique mosque becomes a magical place in the moonlight when it is illuminated and almost seems surreal as a dream.
The unique structure of the Crystal Mosque was constructed in a contemporary style, infused with some Moorish and Gothic elements. However, it also contains some elements of Chinese architecture, much to the chagrin of many Malaysians. The mosque was mainly created out of a very unique and unusual material which makes it unlike any other mosque in the world. However, although there is some actual crystal present within the inner structure of the mosque, much of its clear material is glass. Aside from that, the Crystal Mosque is reinforced with steel, which in combination with the glass and crystal gives it a sleek and modern look which is usually not associated with the mosques. Nevertheless, with its four traditionally designed minarets, the Crystal Mosque clearly exhibits a distinct flavour of Muslim art and architecture. Although it is capable to accommodate around 1500 worshippers at a time, more can be accommodated outside the proper mosque. It especially happens during the days of Ramdhan, a commemoration of Muhammad’s first revelation, which is religiously observed by the Muslims all over the world as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community.
Construction of the Crystal Mosque was completed in two years, between 2006 and 2008, and was officially opened to the public on the 8th day of February 2008 by the 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, also known as the Paramount Ruler, or the King, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu. Since made of steel and smoky glass, the Crystal Mosque looks coated with gold, during the daytime.
The corridor leading to the mosque and also the corridor behind it has artistic latticework in white, commonly associated with Islamic architecture. While huge crystal chandeliers hang just below the domes, the Mihrab, created in yellow on white, is entirely covered with Islamic calligraphy, which can also be seen all over the walls and the doors of the fairyland mosque. Famous for its architectural beauty, the Crystal Mosque is the first intelligent mosque in the country with a built-in IT infrastructure, and Wi-Fi connection, providing internet access to the visitors for reading the electronic Quran.
Although the Crystal Mosque is the star attraction for the tourists, the Islamic Heritage Park Taman Tamadun Islam, which contains the magnificent mosque, is not less interesting. It is a theme park that embraces Islamic culture across the globe, also contains replicas of several famous mosques and mausoleum around the world, which includes, among others, Al-Haram Mosque of Mecca, Aleppo Citadel in Syria, the Taj Mahal in India, Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, and the Grand Mosque of the Alhambra, in Spain.