Not like a typical mosque with a dome, Indonesian architect Ridwan Kamil made two unique houses of worship: Masjid Al-Irsyad and Masjid Jami’e Darussalam. His masterpiece of Masjid Al-Irsyad has a special concept. Al-Irsyad has an open-air kiblah with a view of nature, as a way to remember God’s creation. The rounded big stone with the word Allah on it in Arabic gives strong vibes on how God created the world.
The interior design of the mosque is inspired by the 99 names of Allah (Asma ul husna), thus Kamil put 99 lights in the form of boxes. The holes all over the mosque have an artistic function. As the night is approaching and the lights are on, the tawhid – La ilaha ilAllah (there is no God but Allah) appears on the wall that is shining from the outside. In addition. Hence, the local people of Indonesia called Masjid Al-Irsyad as the giant Arabic calligraphy building.
The square shape of the mosque is inspired by the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and the circles on the outer part of the building are inspired by the concept of tawaf (walking around the Kaaba during pilgrimage).
Meanwhile, Masjid Jami’e Darussalam has a completely different concept. Many Indonesians say that the building looks like the typical Indonesian church, that is why Kamil’s idea was once rejected by the local, as it does not look like a typical mosque with a dome. But Kamil has a different opinion. For him, a dome is not very suitable for a place with tropical weather. In addition, he mentioned “a mosque is a place to worship God together (jamaah). The shape of the building depends on the imagination of a human being. Qur’an does not mention about the shape of the building. Thus, a dome is not identical to Islam. I experimented this with equilateral geometry theory.”
These unique mosques are a must-visit to lovers of architecture and spirituality!