Kapitan Keling Mosque
This historical mosque was built with bricks and the original was only a simple single-story structure building. It was designed and built by Henry Alfred Neubronner, a German architect. Throughout the years, it has gone through a lot of renovations. The Kapitan Keling Mosque was first established by the East India Company. Back then, they were one of Penang’s first Muslim settlers. That was back in the 1700s. Year after year, the community of Indian Muslims need a more permanent and settling mosque. Thus, in 1801, Cauder Mydin Merican, a leader of the community was granted with a huge 18-acre lot. Cauder Mydin Merican is also known as “Kapitan Keling.”
The mosque is bounded by a low wall and is beautifully decorated with yellow Moghul-style domes and towers. In the mosque’s area, there is a madrasah which is a place for religious classes to be held. The tower which was once used by the muezzin to deliver call to prayers is situated at the corner of Buckingham and Pitt Street.
Situated strategically on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (Lebuh Pitt), this mosque is rather easy to be found. Visitors can come for a visit either by foot if walking around the area of Lebuh Chulia and Jalan Buckingham or perhaps just take a taxi.
It is open to the public and also non-Muslims. However, do take note that the worship area is not allowed for the Non-Muslims. To learn in depth about this mosque, the Islamic Propagation Society provide free guided tours. Visitors can head on to the information office located at the tower. To show respect, all visitors are required to wear robes which are also provided by the mosque.
Image by xiquinhosilva.
Monday – Thursday: 11:30 am – 1 pm, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
Fridays: 2:30 pm – 6:00 pm.
Saturday & Sunday: 11:30 am – 1 pm, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
Entrance to the grounds is FREE.
Hear from others
Each morning, just before dawn, I hear the day’s first Adhan calling George Town’s Muslims to prayer. It’s coming from the nearby Kapitan Keling Mosque, the oldest in Penang. As I’m waking, the lyrical and hauntingly beautiful sound reminds me that I’m in Malaysia, where Islam is the official religion. Not being Muslim or from a place where the call to prayer is commonly heard, it seems equally exotic and comforting. It’s easy to be enchanted by it.