Sunday, June 8, 2008

The official opening of the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque State Mosque of Selangor Darulehsan

Commemorative issue of postage stamps to mark the official opening of the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque State Mosque of Selangor Darulehsan

Date of Issue: 1988-03-11
Denominations: 15 cents, 20 cents and $1.00
Stamp Size: 29.85 mm x 40 - 64 mm
Paper: SPM watermarked phosphor coated
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Security Printers (M) Sdn. Bhd. Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Sheet Composition: 50 stamps
Designer: Raja Zahabuddin Raja Yaacob

Stamps in the Series:

First Day Cover:

The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque is the largest in Malaysia and one of the most beautiful in South East Asia. The mosque costing over $160 million is built on a site of approximately 36 acres of land situated to the north of Shah Alam town Darul Ehsan. The design of the mosque reflects a blend of traditional Islamic Mosque architecture and local Malay architecture. The ground floor of the mosque consists of an office, meeting and conference rooms, the library, the reception, the classrooms and the storeroom.

The main prayer hall covers an area of 73,000 square feet and is surrounded by verandahs on its three sides except for the mihrab side. The total prayer area is about 162,000 square feet and can accomodate up to 16,000 people in one season. The prayer hall is structured so as to provide constant air movement. With a fair number of extract fans and fresh air piped in through the pole ducts, the main prayer hall provides an atmosphere for carrying out prayers in comfort.

The carpet on the floor of the main prayer hall is made of fine worsted wool bearing geometric patterns on a blue background. The pilasters and walls are lined with Mahsuri White Langkawi Marble while the mihrab wall is lined with imported marble. The center of the mihrab wall framed within two pilasters is finished with antique Turkish tiles whereas the mihrab design itself consists of white marblework, decorated with traditional Quranic verses. The main prayer hall has four large chandeliers.

Ablution facilities are located in a separate building with access to the main prayer hall. Another special feature of the Mosque is the special prayer hall for ladies. The ladies prayer hall can be reached directly by a small staircase from the ladies ablution area on the ground floor. Below the main prayer hall is a Hall which can be converted into an additional prayer hall when necessary.

The courtyard floor has patterns in green slate and white tiles. The floor has a hidden fountain system which springs into display when activated. The water disappears and the floor dries up when switched off, ready for use as extra space for prayer. The center of the courtyard which is raised to the same level as the main floor could be transformed into a dais for Quran Reading Competitions.

The two side walls of the gallery are constructed entirely with aluminium grills covered with coloured glass. This is the largest stained glass wall ever built in the country.

The dome of the State Mosque, 180 feet high and 170 feet in diameter designed by computer is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world. The structure of the dome was designed with the tubular triodectic system using aluminium. The dome soaring up to 300 feet above the ground carries decorative steel panels, each triangular in shape, finished in vitreous enamel of blue and light grey. It is free from rust and long lasting. Besides this a 35 feet high aluminium finial finished in gold crowns the dome.

Using a similar technique, an inner dome was built where the lower profile formed by the tubular triodectic system are filled with timber lattice work which provides ample Islamic design. The result is a traditional design capped with a special rossette of Quranic Verses at the apex which is written in blue script on a golden yellow background.

The ring beam on which the domes are built is finished in vittreous enamel panels carrying blue Quranic Khat on light grey background. For the inner dome, the ring beam carries Al-Yassin Quranic Verses in golden yellow on blue background. This decorative khat is the work of a famous Egyptian 'Khatar' Sheikh Abdel Moneim Mohammed Ali El Sharkawi. Pinball lights are fixed on the timber ceiling of the dome for 'starry night in the desert' effect.

Four identical minarets are situated at the main corners guarding the dome of the Mosque. The 28 feet wide and 460 high Minarets which are tallest in the world have three tiered crownests each accessible by spiral staircases. One of the minarets near to the lake is serviced by a lift to the highest landing at 358 feet level. The minarets also carry aircraft warning lights at the top which are terminated with star and crescent shapes. All the crownests carry horn speakers and floor lights which provide illumination for the dome.

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