Heritage status for 1938 mosque
By FOONG THIM LENG
Photos by LEW YONG KAN
MASJID Ihsaniah Iskandariah in Kampung Kuala Dal, Padang Rengas, near Kuala Kangsar is set to regain its former glory now that it has been restored and accorded heritage status.
Conservation works on the mosque, popularly known as Masjid Lama Kampung Kuala Dal, was completed after a year on Dec 17, 2009.
The mosque, with a design like a bird’s nest, was conserved as part of the Department of National Heritage’s overall objectives to encourage the present generation to appreciate and learn more about national heritage inherited and passed down through the generations.
Visitors to the mosque would be impressed by the beautiful intricacy of plaited bamboo walls and carvings that dominate the building’s facade.
Masjid Kampung Kuala Dal was abandoned in 1976 after another mosque, Masjid Al- Wahidah, was built at a site close to it until recently.
Mosque committee chairman Mohamad Anuar said the Friday prayers were now being rotated at the two mosques.
Masjid Al-Wahidah would be used for the Friday prayers consecutively for two weeks followed by one Friday at the restored mosque.
He said the prayer hall on the first floor of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah could accommodate about 200 people while the hall at Masjid Al-Wahidah could take in about 500 people.
The ground floor would be used for religious functions, he added.
Located about 5km from the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, the old mosque was built in 1938, commissioned by Sultan Iskandar Shah, the 30th Perak Sultan who ruled between 1918 and 1938.
“It is believed that the Sultan made a vow to build a mosque for the recovery of a son who was sick.
“He had also earlier passed by the area after a picnic at Lata Bubu nearby and seen the local people praying in a dilapidated madrasah,” said Jaafar.
Construction of the mosque was by Chinese artisans with assistance of the local community carried out in the traditional gotong-royong manner or teamwork spirit.
The land on which the mosque was built belonged to a nobleman Juragan Abdul Shukur who bequeathed the property to the state through a verbal declaration.
The land was subsequently listed as waqaf land under the state religious administration.
Today, the mosque, restored to its original structure and design, has become the pride of the people in Padang Rengas, if not the state.