Thursday, 2 January 2014

Masjid Jamek Batu Uban, Penang 1734


Masjid Jamek Batu Uban has a large original rectangular ablution pool at the main entrance. The old masjid has been expanded and a wooden stage now stands over the original ablution pool. The ancient pool is still there and is kept in case of emergency and there is need for freshwater. Water from the ancient well is pumped into a more recent small ablution pool in front. People can perform ablution at the many taps at the rear portion of the masjid. There is a separate ablution place for ladies (behind a high brick wall).

Masjid Jamek Batu Uban was expanded in the 1980s. The original masjid is in front and new parts are at the right and rear sides. The graveyard is at left side and uphill. Qiblat is uphill towards the graves and banana trees. Kg Batu Uban is rich with banana trees, coconut trees and sugar-cane plants, the original trees that Nakhoda and his men grew, so that they had food. It is not known where they planted rice.

The original masjid has 4 huge tall cengal cylindrical pillars. The interior is painted light and dark green, just like Masjid Sultan in Singapore. There are many Quran stuck in the window grills. The clock hands turn anticlockwise just as we perform tawaf. The numerals of the clock are arranged anticlockwise. The original masjid has 5-foot skirting all round except in front or Qiblat side.

We met Haji Tahir and Encik Kamal from JK Masjid Jamek Batu Uban who told us stories about the masjid. Haji Tahir showed us around inside the masjid and showed us the original parts and newly added parts of the masjid and the ancient well and ablution pool.

A diagram of the original Masjid Jamek Batu Uban was drawn by Shaikh Abdul Aziz bin Shaikh Mohamed bin Shaikh Ali bin Shaik Hassan al-Khaiyath, former imam and a descendant of Nakhoda nan Intan, son of Nenek Umi Kalthom bt Mohd Yunus @ Wan Teh (Kg Melayu Batu Uban). It was a decision of the Mesyuarat Qariah Masjid Batu Uban on 29 September 1996.

Dato' Jenaton. Catatan Salasilah Keluarga Melayu di Malaysia dan Indonesia. Buku susunan Prof Ahmad Murad Merican. 2013. ISBN 978-967-11945-0-8.

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(built 1734; oldest masjid in Penang)

Old Masjid Batu Uban, initially built in 1734 AD by the sea, by Penang's founder, Haji Muhammad Salleh and his followers. He was an Imam and a Sufi master.
Masjid (red roofs) viewed from parking lot
Plaque says 1734, which is well before Captain Francis Light's arrival in Penang. Nakhoda Kecil went to greet and receive Captain Francis Light at Tanjong Penaga. How is that for real history? Great, isn't it?

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New additions are prayer spaces. The original masjid is beyond the staircase at right.
Main entrance to the original masjid.
Rear corridor of the original masjid.
Square doorway is the main entrance to the main prayer hall of the original masjid. According to Hj Tahir, the square doorway had a bendul.
Left corridor of the original masjid. Makam Nakhoda Nan Intan can be viewed from these windows.
Left corner of the original main prayer hall.
Mihrab and mimbar
New ceiling. The original roof was like that of Masjid Kg Laut - square and 3-tier.

Main prayer hall is the original masjid with 4 cylindrical pillars made of cengal. These cengal pillars were brought from Sumatra.

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Original ancient large ablution pool underneath the stage covered with red carpet.
Ancient pool underneath the stage.


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