Islam first came to Indonesia in the late 7th century, but it bloomed in the 13th century. There are many relics to confirm this, most of them are in the form of mausoleum or graves. The early spread of Islam can also be seen in the oldest mosques that sprawl all over Indonesia.
There are many legendary mosques in Indonesia, most of them are important for the early spread of Islam. Some of them are already renovated but few of them still have their original constructions. Here are some of those old and authentic mosques in Indonesia.
Saka Tunggal Mosque
Located at Cikakak Village, Banyumas, Central Java, this unique mosque retains its original shape. Saka Tunggal means ‘lone pillar’. This mosque does have one single pillar in the middle of it, adorned with beautiful Javanese floral carvings. The pillar now is protected with a glass case. This mosque was built in 1288.
Standing on the northern shore of Maluku Island, Wapauwe Mosque has been in use since 1414. Several improvements have been made to the mosque, but it still has its original shape, including the grass roof. Wapauwe Mosque has several old handwritten Quran mushaf (copies), preaching scripts, and much more Islamic literature from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Sultan Suriansyah Mosque
Often called Kuin Mosque, this mosque was built by the first Sultan of Banjar; Sultan Suriansyah on the side of a river. In a glance, this mosque looks more like a traditional Banjar house instead of worshipping place. This 500 years old mosque still maintains its original traditional shape.
This one has many names as people also refers to it as Al Aqsa or Al Manar Mosque. The most interesting part of this mosque is its watchtower. Instead of destroying the old Hindu tower, they use it as the new face of the mosque. This is part of the strategy to ease the implementation of Islam teachings. The mosque was built in 1549.
Tuo Kayu Jao Mosque
When you look at this mosque, you might think that it’s just another old Minang house. However, Tuo Kayu Jao Mosque is a functioning place of worship that has been standing since the late 16th century. Located at Jorong Kayu Jao, Nagari Batang Barus, Gunung Talang, Solok Regency, this mosque is now a protected historical building.
Bayan Beleq Mosque
The oldest mosque in Lombok, Bayan Beleq is still in its original shape since 1634. Even though it has a very simple shape, the Bayan Beleq Mosque marks the beginning of the Islamic era in the Island of Lombok. Bayan area was the main gateway of Islam to this island.
Most of the first mosques in Indonesia originally uses local architecture shapes. Some have become milestones that connect the bygone era and the new one with Islamic teaching.