Name :Ms Nurul Humaira Kamarulzaman, Executive Events & Publications.

Book: The Mosque: History, Architectural Development & Regional Diversity 

Editor: Martin Frishman & Hasan-Uddin Khan

Publisher: Thames & Hudson; New Ed edition

Publication Year: 1994


A hardcover book with 288 pages and 378 illustrations and photographs, this book presents an architectural overview of the mosque that traces its origins and development as an Islamic symbol, explains the design elements featured on structures around the world, and discusses how they have been adapted to suit modern times. This book is a contribution by sixteen eminent scholars, traces the history and development of the mosque since its origins in Medina and Mecca in the time of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, explaining its traditional religious and teaching role in Muslim society as well as its architectural and decorative features.

The development of the mosque and its architecture is presented region by region, taking into account local building material, climatic factors, and craft skills, as well as major historical events such as the rise of the Ottoman and Mughal Empires. The physical form of the mosque is analyzed and illustrated with plans, elevations, and photographs, and its modern role as a religious and social institution is reviewed in the light of political developments. Contemporary mosques worldwide are discussed in a separate chapter, encompassing both those built by leading Muslim architects such as Abdel Wahid el-Wakil and Hassan Fathy and those built by Western architects. Richly illustrated with material drawn from a wide range of sources, this book provides comprehensive coverage of the architecture of the mosque, and it serves as an invaluable guide to an understanding of the mosque’s role in Muslim society and culture throughout the world.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in architecture, history, and Islamic culture.


“In South-East Asia, the easternmost region of the Islamic world, a number of competing images have become evident since c 1970. Three trends are present: the Javanese vernacular, the Indo Arabic cross-cultural mix and the modern. The indigenous architecture of Indonesia and Malaysia, in general, has characteristics that are prevalent in all structures, ranging from individual dwellings to public buildings. Perhaps the clearest characteristic features of the mosque included the pitched (meru) roof combined with the four column (saka guru) structure in the centre of the main interior space. This principle has been used in Said Naum Mosque (1977) in Jakarta, designed by Aedhi Morsid of Ateliar Enam. Another similar successful building is the University of Indonesia Mosque (1986) on the campus at Depok, near Jakarta, designed by Triantho Y. Hardjoko. In the same vein is one of a number of community mosques built by the Housing Development Board of Singapore, the Darul Aman Mosque (also 1986).

          It too recalls indigenous Malay buildings in its tripartite pre-Islamic roof form, hypostyle prayer hall and rhombic patterns. Taking this one step further is the earlier Masjid Negara (National Mosque) of 1965 in Kuala Lumpur: here the architect Baharuddin reinterpreted the roof form using a folded concrete slab to make a modern technological statement. This synthesis of the vernacular with modernism was the first of its kind in a major State Mosque. The architect went on to execute a number of other major mosque projects in the country using the same design principles. (Page 263-266).      


This book is available at the Perdana Library. If you are interested in reading or borrowing the book, please contact Ms Magdalena (03-88858968 / magdalena@perdana.org.my)