Salam. Hope all of you are doing great. I’ve been postponing about writing this entry because I need time to do some research about this topic. I refer to mosque because most of them have bigger built up area than surau. Some mosque really utilize these spaces and maximise the role as community centre. Let’s see what are the mosque trend in Malaysia, now and in the next few years.
1. Conference room / Lecture hall
Its where educational program and indoor activities, workshop or short courses can be conducted. It doesn’t has to be big but should be conducive with sufficient facilities for lecture and teachings.
2. Telco transmitters on minaret
Telecommunication operator (telco) such as Celcom, Maxis and Digi always try to find a way to improve their coverage by placing the transmitter on strategic places. Seems like minaret has more function besides calling people to the mosque, it also allows communication for the locals.
A kindergarten is one of the infrastructure in Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan Jalan Duta.
4. Religious school (sekolah rendah agama) & Tahfiz programme
Some mosque have religious school in the morning or afternoon session for children. Some even have tahfiz programme with hostel near the mosque.
5. Traditional and modern healthcare facilities
Some surau and mosque provide traditional and modern health care facilities such as having dialysis machine for old folks in the society. Its a good thing because its easy for people to come rather than going to clinics or hospitals.
6. Hotel and accommodation service
Some mosque have ‘Musafir’ room for overnight stay. By applying hotel concept, Masjid Al-Ghufran in TTDI has introduce accomodations with comfortable rooms and amenities.
Usually the mosque management will get rent one premise for cafeteria within its compound. Masjid Al-Ansar in Keramat has Ansar Steakhouse which is very popular among the local.
10. Slaughtering facilities
Eidul Adha is the annual celebration for Muslim. In Malaysia, mosque and surau will slaughter cows, goats and even camel. Hence its important to have this facilities to ensure the smoothness of the slaughtering process.
11. Multimedia facilities
Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) had introduced the usage of khutbah multimedia for all mosque in Kuala Lumpur such as LCD projector and flat screens. It is one of the best way for people to get the message and prevent from sleeping. The trend is growing as more and more mosque in Selangor had installed this facilities.
13. Business centre
A row of shop premises can be built within the mosque compound by charging minimal rental fee for the shop owners.
14. Internet facilities (Cyber cafe)
I was in Tanjung Malim where I spot a mosque which have a small cyber cafe. Internet facilities such as wifi also should be introduced inside mosque. Computer & internet lab can be introduced to attract childrens & teenagers to mosque. Cyber cafe nowadays is very risky as it exposes the customers to illegal gambling. Read discussion about wifi facilities in mosque.
In a conclusion, these are some of the promising trends of mosque that I’ve seen. The advantages is clear where mosque can generate their own income where they can organize more activities.
Professionals from various background including engineers, architects, business should involve as volunteers or committee members, which can benefit the mosque as an organization, not just a place for prayers.
This article was inspired from Milenia Muslim September 2009 edition magazine.