Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Kelantan's Islamic Museum

I confused myself.
The one in KL that most of us visited was the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, located on Jalan Lembah, Tasik Perdana where else the one I went to recently in Kelantan was the Kelantan Islamic Museum that is situated in Kota Bharu (KB). I was overwhelmed, and highly encourage you guys to drop by at this place if you are ever in KB.

Before I even start sharing about the museum, I have to say that the building itself was amazing. For those who love architecture or old buildings, this is one of the nice few in KB. It seems that the architecture is a blend of Nusantara and colonial touch. This double story bungalow was built by wood and embedded with Islamic calligraphy of verses from the Quran, it was later renovated, and bricks and cement were used.

One might not know (or already know) that Kelantan is also coined as ‘Serambi Mekah’ or ‘Verandah to Mecca’ as it being the hub of Islamic Education hundreds of years ago. Its traditional education ie ‘sekolah pondok’ or ‘pondok studies’ flourished in early 19th century and still in existence till this present day, I have also written about it HERE.

Kelantan Islamic Museum is also known as Syura Hall or Balai Syura, was built back in 1902 as a residence for the Chief Minister of Kelantan, who served from 1900-1920.
Its intricate Kelantanese carving of the wall panels in known as Janda Berhias, a motif that was popular on the Peninsular Malaysia East Coast. Bumbung Limas Bungkus is the other character of the house roof which is a multi-tiered pyramid structure and it is covered with clay roof tiles called Genting Singgora – originated and named after the province of southern Thailand.
When I wrote this, I tried to find a site that state how the museum is being segmentised but to no avail, hence I am gonna break-it down to the best of my knowledge and gutfeel.
Kampung Laut Mosque

Known to be the oldest mosque in Malaysia, this 300 years mosque was originally located in Kampung Laut in Tumpat and later was moved to Nilam Puri due to recurring flood. To ensure its safety and that the architecture being preserved, the authority feels the need to move it. Unlike many modern mosque that is highly influenced by middle eastern or moor architecture, the Kampung Laut Mosque characteristic is of Nusantara style where the floor plan is square in shape that reflected on its roof as well - a three-tiered Meru roof (pyramidal roof). The museum shared information of this old mosque invaluable architecture, its carving, the mimbar, its gong (used to call for prayers) as well as belindan plank (kancapuri); a grave boundary used at the tombs of the Malay Kings and noblemen.
Textile of the Muslim

Showcased beautiful textiles worn by Muslim that were exported worldwide. Beauty and cleanliness is highly emphasize in Islam, it is being reflected in clothes, vail, handkerchief as well as household décor such as curtains, table cloth, tray cover and etc. Usually the motifs are of floral and cosmos.
Kelantan Religious Scholar

Highlighting the likes of Tok Kenali, Tok Bachok, Tok Selehor, Tok Padang Jelapang and many more. One that was stressed upon was Tok Kenali, he is the ‘father of Islamic education’. A Malay theologian and teacher that became the archetype of the rural Malay religious teacher (alim), he developed the Arabic-language instruction, help shape the state Majlis Agama Islam or Islamic Religious Council to oversee all aspects of Islam in Kelantan. This later became the model for the other Malay states.
Cheng Ho Treasure Ship

"Chinese treasure ships" (宝船; Bǎo Chuán), used by the commander of the fleet and his deputies, nine-masted, about 127 metres (417 feet) long, 52 metres (171 feet) wide, with four decks.
To put into perspective, some asked ‘Whose ship was bigger Columbus or Cheng Ho?
Zheng He's nine-masted flagship measured about 400 feet long; for comparison, Christopher Columbus's Santa Maria measured just 85 feet.
Cheng Ho is born in a Muslim family and adopted the surname Zheng conferred by the Yongle Emperor. History said that Cheng Ho was the great-great-great-grandson of Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar, he served Mongol Empire administration and was also the governor of Yunnan during the early Yuan dynasty.

Stated the story on how Nabi Musa A.S or Prophet Moses led his people cross the Red Sea. It is when Firaun/Pharaoh and his army approaching the Red Sea and about to take the very same path that Nabi Musa A.S took, the people and Nabi Musa A.S pleaded to Allah and ask Allah to close the sea. However, Allah commanded Moses not to smite the sea with his staff again, for Allah's decree was already in action. When the Pharaoh and his army were midway, Allah commanded the sea to return to its former state. The waters closed over him, drowning him and his entire army. Read HERE for the whole story

Other interesting section that you should look out for are the :
- Ottoman Soldier’s Battle Dress
- Flight Machinery by  Abas Ibn Firna

- Astronomy Quadrants by Taqi Ad-Din
- Dardanelles Cannon by Munir Ali
- Astrolabe by Umar Ibn Yusuf

- Pinhole Camera by Al-Haitham
- Mongul Illuminated Illustrated Manuscript

Kelantan Islamic Museum
Jalan Sultan
Kota Bharu

Operating Hours
Saturday - Thursday : 8.30am to 4.45pm
Closed on Friday

Entrance Fee
Adult : RM2.00 (Local), RM4.00 (Foreigner)
Kids :RM1.00 (Local), RM2.00 (Foreigner)

Kelantan Islamic Museum : +609-7482266
Kota Bharu Tourist Information Centre : +609-7485534

The Ihya’ Ramadan Kelantan 2022 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Malaysia Wilayah Timur in partnership with all its sponsors.

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