Historical significance and architectural elements of masjid Al Qadim, Sibu

Historical significance and architectural elements of masjid Al Qadim, Sibu. Journal Of Architcture, Planning & Constructionmanagement, 9 (2): 2. pp. 11-21. ISSN 2462-2222 (2019)


There has not been many documentation and architectural analyses of historical building in Sarawak, particularly in Sibu. Masjid Al Qadim is one of the oldest mosques in Sarawak and the only one gazetted as Historical Buildings under the Sarawak Cultural Heritage Ordinance 1993. Lack of interest in historical building results in little effort, if not, none, to document and conserve historical building, which is a great loss to a society with the implication of sociocultural lost, lack of identity and sense of belongingness and social solidarity of a local community, especially among the new generation. Hence, the objectives of this paper are to highlight the socio-cultural significances of Masjid Al Qadim during early Muslim settlement in Sibu and; identify the architectural elements of Masjid Al Qadim. The research approach is through qualitative in-depth interviews, content analyses of historical archives and building survey to identify prominent architectural elements of the mosque. Findings show that the mosque played a significant role in the early settlement of Malay-Melanau Muslim community in Sibu. Masjid Al Qadim was situated in the centre of the villages and the centre for socio-religious activities. No definite dates could be established as to when the mosque was built but historical evidences suggested that the mosque was built between 1830s to 1860s. Changes in urban planning and the expansion of Sibu has influenced the importance of the building. In terms of architectural style, it is a vernacular mosque with main structures consisting of the four pillars of the “Saka Guru” methods, which is typical of Javanese architecture. The roofs are of three-tier pyramidal style, like Masjid Agung Demak’s design, reflecting Mount Meru which indicates a phasing out of Hinduism towards Islamisation among the Malay-Melanau in Sibu, reflecting the trend experienced in the Nusantara region during that period. The original mosque was expanded to meet the demand of the increasing Qariah. Earlier building materials of the mosque include hard timber, locally known as belian (Eusideroxylon zwageri) and nipah (Nypa fruitican) roof. The building material changed throughout time, and the mosque experienced three major renovations, in 1935, 1950 and 1968. In 1935, the work on the Moghul style mihrab and Neo-classical eclectic main entrance started and completed in 1936.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Vernacular Architecture, Sarawak, Masjid Al Qadim
Taxonomy: By Subject > Architecture, Planning & Surveying > Building Surveying
By Subject > Architecture, Planning & Surveying > Architecture
Agencies of Resources: Higher Institution > Public University > Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia > Kulliyyah Senibina dan Rekabentuk Alam Sekitar > Journal of Architecture, Planning and Construction Management (JAPCM) | IIUM/306/4/2 - 27/7/2020
Local Content Hub: Subjects > Architecture, Planning & Surveying
Depositing User: Amirza Suryati Maliki
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2021 22:11
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2021 22:11
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item