Masjid Al-Manar, Kudus is one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia. It is located in the city of Kudus in Central Java. The mosque was built in 1549, in the earliest years when Islam first spread to Java.
Being one of the earliest mosques in the country, Masjid Al-Manar was built with elements of pre-Islamic architecture. Among the elements noted include the split doorway which is an old Javanese architectural form that has all but disappeared in Java, but still visible in Balinese temples. Other architectural styles that were incorporated into Masjid Al-Manar include the three-tier pyramidal roof influenced by Hindu-Buddhist architecture.
An old photo of Masjid Al-Manar from circa 1913-18
Unknown, source: Tropenmuseum
Masjid Al-Manar hold the tomb of Sunan Kudus, a local holy man who is one of the nine Muslim saints of Central Java. As such the mosque has become a popular pilgrimage point.
Over the centuries, Masjid Al-Manar has undergone numerous renovations and alterations, the result of which it no longer resemble the original structure. What remains is the elaborately carved mausoleum to Sunan Kudus located behind the mosque. A replica of Masjid Al-Manar can be found at Taman Tamadun Islam, an Islamic-themed monument park in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.
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