A Story from Jakarta Islamic Center Mosque

Right after I arrive in this mosque located in Koja North Jakarta, I’m easily mesmerised by its spacious area. Indeed, it is so large mosque complex. I can also figure out quickly how grandeur its design is. With the big dome, this Ottoman Turkish-architecture mosque can easily attract people who come here. Ottoman Turkish design itself appears from the big mosque building with spacious terrace/outdoor area as well.

The total area of mosque complex is 109,435 m². The mosque complex is not only for praying purpose, but also for educational activities, businesses, guesthouses, and event venue. Meanwhile, the mosque building itself is 2,200 m².

Entering the main hall of praying area, I see so many various ornaments applied. They’re beautifully arranged in detail. Not like other Ottoman Turkish mosques, it doesn’t apply pillars around hall. Thus, this inside area looks more capacious. In fact, it can accommodate more 20 thousands people praying.

Even though it has Turkish style, it still applies ornaments that bring the culture of Betawi or native Jakartanese. Those are applied mostly in its ceiling. One of the ornaments that attracts my attention most is the peacock-like hanging ornament. It looks so lavish and beautiful, so fit with the mosque.

With all good things this mosque has, it is so hard to imagine the past activities of the area. In fact, the area was prostitution area named Kramat Tunggak. It was so popularly known as the biggest prostitution area in Jakarta.
In 2001, Governor of Jakarta Sutiyoso began a study to dismantle that prostitution area and to transform it into a place which could bring positive message in the place that had been notoriously known so long as an area with negative perspective from society. After a long process including doing comparative study in couple countries, the mosque was finally inaugurated in 2003. A famous architect Muhammad Nu’man was assigned to design that mosque.
The progress of the religious activities here is fantastic. There are many communal activities conducted here. Those positive activities in fact quicly remove the past negative image of the area. Hopefully, it can bring much more positive vibe for people today to the future.

– May 5, 2016 –

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