Kapitan Keling Mosque, Penang
Kapitan Kling Mosque
Kapitan Keling Mosque is the largest and one of the oldest historic mosques in town, founded before 1800. The Kapitan Keling Mosque was first erected by the troops of the East India Company who were some of Penang’s first Muslim settlers. The Kapitan of the Indian Muslim settlers, Cauder Mydin Merican also referred to as ‘Kapitan Kelingâ€™ was credited with the founding of the mosque that was subsequently named after him.
The original Kapitan Keling mosque was a single-storey structure, but over the years, the mosque has seen plenty of renovation works. British architects who were commissioned by the Muslim and Hindu Endowments Board gave the Kapitan Keling mosque its British Moghul Revival appearance in 1916. A madrassah (a place where religious classes are held) can also be found within the mosque’s compound. The tall minaret, once used by the muezzin to deliver his call to prayers, is located on the corner of Buckingham and Pitt Street.
A unique tradition of George Town Muslims is that the Friday prayers take turns between the Kapitan Keling Mosque and the Acheen Street Mosque.
Location of the mosque is also fortuitous; lined up in the same row, and within walking distance from the Kapitan Keling Mosque, are the Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) Temple and the St George’s Church; a silent reminder of the religious harmony that is sacred to all Penangites. The compassion of Buddhism, the simplicity of Islam and the serenity of Christianity – each unique in its own way, but together they represent the intertwined strands of George Town’s populace.
Visitors are welcome into the Kapitan Kling Mosque grounds but permission to enter must be obtained from mosque officials. Also do remember these things before you enter the mosque building.
Location: Kapitan Keling Mosque is on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Kling (Lebuh Pitt) in between Lebuh Chulia and Jalan Buckingham.