Terengganu, of which Kuala Terengganu is the capital, is an Islamic State so religion forms a big part of everyday life here.
The State of Terengganu is also oil rich, and much of its wealth has been plied into making life more comfortable for its residents, and on a quite massive building program to modernise the city, and to make it more attractive.
The Crystal Mosque, or Masjid Krystal as it is called in the Malaysian language, is the main attraction on Man Wan, which is home to the Islamic Civilisation Park, a paean to all things Islamic.
Apparently, the Crystal Mosque is the only Mosque in the world to be built from steel and glass, and it is this glass exterior which gives it the resemblance of being made from crystal.
Certainly, when the sun’s rays reflect off the glass exterior it gives off a bright glare which gives the impression that the Mosque rally is made of crystal.
Because both glass and steel are inflexible materials, the dome and minarets are quite angular, so the Mosque doesn’t have that soft look of Mosques that are made of other materials.
Visitors are welcome to enter the Mosque outside of prayer times. Of course, correct attire is expected to be worn, but suitable covering is available for loan by those men and women who dress for Kuala Terengganu’s hot and sultry climate.
You can really appreciate the immense size of the building from the inside, particularly when you look up into the dome, which towers above, and admire the crystal chandelier which occupies a fair amount of space at the bottom of the dome.
Of course, shoes must be removed before entering the Mosque, but you do walk on a soft-patterned carpet.
The Crystal Mosque can hold 1,500 worshippers, who all pray facing Mecca. Women pray in a section that is divided by a thin wall from the much larger men’s section.
The whole of the interior is elegantly decorated using a lotus motif. Such is the quality of the work, and of the light that is allowed in through the glass walls, that you get a feeling of calmness and serenity as befitting a place of prayer.
When visiting Kuala Terengganu it is certainly worth making the effort to visit the Crystal Mosque because it is a very attractive and alluring building which much have taken a lot of engineering skill to complete.