Salam. We are still discussing about the mosque and surau design in Malaysia. Previously, I shared about my 10 most visited mosque and surau. Based on my observation, they shared common problems in term of architecture and interior design. Let’s see one by one.
There are few mosque and surau which has been expanded and renovated from their original design to cater the growing number of Muslim in the area. However, some of the renovation was conducted by contractors, they are not really keen on the circulation. These renovation led to a confusion of circulation for the first timer. I don’t like it when I have to walk around the mosque looking for the restroom and ablution area. Maybe some direction signage should be installed inside these mosque.
2. Orientation inside the Ablution area
Inside the ablution area, there are few number of mosque which don’t make the wall of pipes facing the qiblat. It is a sunnah to take ablution while facing the qiblat.
3. Orientation of the Toilet
Some mosque or surau, once renovated, will experience odd orientation inside the toilet. It is makruh for Muslim to use WC while facing qiblat and that’s why some of the WC was rotated 90 degree. Users will find it hard to use the squat toilet while facing the wall. (Source)
Malaysia is a hot and humid country. Therefore, most of the mosque should have good ventilation to ensure the comfort of the user. However, most of the mosque was designed without proper ventilation and it causes the user to sweat especially in the afternoon. Some mosque or surau even installed air conditions to provide thermal comfort.
Last but not least, most of the big mosque will have the acoustic problem. This happen because the large prayer hall with brick walls causes noise and echoes. Its difficult to listen to the sermon with poor setting of the PA system inside the hall. However, most of the mosque manage to solve this issue by investing in good microphones and speakers.
These are the five common problems that I’ve been thinking about. Again, these are just my observation on the older mosque and surau. Some of the modern and latest mosque design has taken care of these problems.