Masjid Agung Sunda Kelapa is perhaps one of the most famous masjid in Jakarta that can hold thousands of visitors at one time. Its popularity might be second next after Istiqlal, the biggest one in Indonesia so far.
The construction of this masjid started in 1960s and finally concluded under the leadership of Jakarta’s most famous governor, Mr Ali Sadikin. The design itself is different than most masjid as there’s no sign of Middle Eastern influence here at all, except for Arabic letters. The architect back in the 1960s wished to apply a local taste in it and also designed the roof specifically resembling a boat, which symbolizes both of hands opening when praying to Allah SWT.
The existence of Masjid Agung Sunda Kelapa has been very important for Jakartans as it is located strategically around Menteng neighborhood, nearby to many government buildings as well as both Sudirman and Kuningan business districts. This masjid serves as a perfect stop from any direction to perform your daily shalat, making it no excuse for Muslims to stop by specifically for Maghrib prayer as they will be most likely get caught in traffic jams on their way home.
Not only that, Mesjid Agung Sunda Kelapa is perhaps one of the best-equipped in Jakarta. Hundreds of mushaf are available for your Quran recital needs and many decent presentation equipments are also frequently used for religious seminars with notable Islamic teachers and particular youths of this masjid (RISKA – Remaja Islam Sunda Kelapa). Televisions are placed in every corner and used to broadcast the imam’s speech especially during Friday prayer, the very time when congregation may reach the limit of this masjid capacity.
Expansions have been done within the past one or two decades in order to increase its capacity and also to accommodate multi events such as wedding for example. Just recently, hawkers nearby the masjid received upgrades from the local government, making them appear tidier and more organized.
On the downside though, as per this February I found that the website is currently inactive since the last activity was recorded back in December 2012. It would be very convenient for many people nowadays who prefer to seek information about specific events they wish to attend.
In terms of cleanliness, sometimes I found it a bit negligent especially on the plaza after the main gate of the masjid. Additionally, the main trash bin is just right beside the main gate, which I bet making everyone who passes it by uncomfortable with the smell. Bottom line is, I personally think the management should pay more attention with overall maintenance, especially for the outdoors. It’s such a shame as the indoor hall of prayer is actually very comfortable with thick carpets and air conditioned. Hopefully this insight will encourage us as Muslims to always donate and contribute for the best of our beloved masjid anywhere it is. (RF)
Masjid Agung Sunda Kelapa
Jalan Taman Sunda Kelapa no. 16, Menteng – Jakarta, Indonesia