Visiting Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan
Translated as Federal Territory Mosque, this amazing temple is one of our favourites spots to visit in Kuala Lumpur. A place off the beaten track, it is completely worth dedicating a morning to visit. In this post we share our experience!
The Mosque is not far from other touristic spots, but it is not accesible by public transport. We got there by Uber – the ride took about 10-15 minutes from Little India and cost around 3USD.
A nice guard greeted us when we arrived and gave us directions on where the entrance for tourists was. The place is so huge that we would have got lost otherwise!
We arrived at the tourist entrance, where we had to take our shoes and leave them on a shoe-rack. Then a lady provided us with approriate clothing: a long tunic for men, leaving the head uncovered, and a long dress for women plus a hijab (sort of scarf) to cover the hair.
We were lead to the tourism office, where a very nice guide called Rahim greeted us. We sat with him for some minutes and he explained a lot about the origins of the Mosque, its architecture and about Islam.
The building is inspired in different architectural styles: the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the Taj Mahal in India and typical Malay typical decorations. The combination of the design plus beautiful archways, detailed mihrabs (ornamental indentation in walls) and white marble floors achieve a perfect environment of both grandeur and peace.
Our first stop inside the mosque was the Ablution Area, which consists of a big washroom where worshippers have to wash themselves before entering the prayer hall. The purpose of this place is to get rid of the dirt from the outside world, as well as freshen up. Rahim made a demonstration of how you are supposed to cleanse yourself: hands, arms, feet, face and mouth.
Walking around the balconies we saw a couple getting married. We were very curious as to how the ceremony was, and Rahim was kind enough to ask them if we could come closer. The bride and groom, as well as their families, agreed to take pictures with us, which was a very nice touch to our tour. They even invited us to the banquet, invitation we had to politely reject due to time constraint.
After that, we entered the main prayer hall: a giant room crowned by majestic domes. Walls and roofs are carved with Islamic designs and semi-precious stones. A marble mihrab indicates worshipper the direction of Mecca. There is a rope separating the men’s from the women’s area. Women are supposed to pray at the back or on the upstairs balconies when the mosque is full. The purpose of this is not to denigrate women, as Rahim explained, but to protect them from men, as the prayer movements shows parts of the women’s body that might distract men from praying.
Rahim also explained there are five daily prayers and they are connected to the movements of the sun and the moon rather than specific times. He also explained about Ramadan and the purpose of sacrificial fasting. We were able to compare some of the rituals to Catholicism.
Our next stop was the main courtyard, which was probably the most impressive part. The marble floors were so bright that they reflected the building. Beautiful carvings and floral designs decorated the walls. We took some pictures there while Rahim continued to explain details about the architecture.
The views from the balconies are nice too. You can even see the Petronas if there is no haze.
Our tour ended back in the tourism office, where Rahim showed us a genealogical tree of Muhammad The Prophet. Muslims believe in the same God as Christians, the same prophets (Abraham, Isaac, Moses), including Jesus, although they consider Muhammad to be the final prophet, God’s Messenger. We were also given a book that explains the Quran.
As Rahim’s shift was ending, he kindly offered to give us a lift to the city centre and made a quick stop at the National Palace on the way.
We really enjoyed our visit to this unique Mosque, not only because it is a beautiful place, but also because we were able to learn a lot about Islam. We totally recommend making the time to go if you are in Kuala Lumpur.
Are you going to KL soon? Tell us in your comments!