Sabah State Mosque, as the name states, is the primary or most important mosque in all of Sabah. Constructed in 1974, this national mosque is located at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman in Sembulan, Koa Kinabalu. It is clearly one of the most unique and spectacular structures in the city, specifically for its majestic domes, gold inlays and honeycomb pattern designs. There are not many buildings in the world as beautiful to the eyes as this one.
Needless to say, since this is a mosque, Muslim followers in Kota Kinabalu come here primarily to pray and meditate. However, it is also a leading tourist attraction and so a number of non-Muslim tourists come here to be amazed at the architectural beauty and observe Muslim ways. For non-Muslim visitors, both local and foreign, it is necessary to observe proper codes of dressing and conduct. Tourists are not allowed to enter through the back or side doors for safety purposes. As they do enter through the main door, tourists and tourist guides must report of any visit to the security officer, because simply, tourists are not allowed to enter the mosque without official permission. Male tourists cannot enter wearing short pants, while the women need to cover up by wearing a sarong or robe and head scarf. Upon entering, all visitors must remove their shoes and leave them with the security guard at the entance. Inside the mosque, everybody must be silent at all times. Non-Muslim visitors are discouraged to visit on Fridays since this the Muslim day for prayer, although the mosque remains open for everyone.
This modern yet traditional architectural wonder is huge enough to accommodate 5,000 worshippers at one time. It also has a special place on the balcony for Muslim women to pray on their own. The special room can accommodate 500 people.
Sabah in the island of Borneo is the second largest state of Malaysia. Its capital city is the highly industrialized Kota Kinabalu, more easily referred to by tourists as KK. Its most important attractions are its pristine islands, white-sand beaches, amazing dive sites, virgin forests, traditional villages, and the majestic Mount Kinabalu. KK’s international tourism is steadily gaining momentum as more and more foreigners are seen to be touring the city every year. Regular flights are coming in from main Asian cities, including Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Manila, and Singapore, including a number of domestic flights from all the main cities of Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur.
The Sabah State Mosque is a stone’s throw away from the city center, which makes it very easy to visit. In fact, it is difficult not to see it. For those who wish to visit the mosque without walking all the way, taxi fare from the city center costs only RM 10 (US$3.35). The mosque is open for visitors on Mondays through Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and on Fridays 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Near the mosque is Sabah’s State Mausoleum.