The Jakarta Post
An aerial view of the floating Amirul Mukminin Mosque in Makassar, South Sulawesi. (Shutterstock/Akhmad Dody Firmansyah)
As the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia is home to more than 800,000 mosques.
Some parts of Indonesia have strong coastal cultures, and people living in areas surrounding the country’s principal rivers are more than familiar with making a life close to the water – or even on it. This includes practicing their religion, which has inspired a number of communities across the archipelago to build their mosque above the water.
Here are three of these unique places of worship, as compiled by kompas.com.
Oesman Al Khair Mosque, North Kayong
Officiated by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in late 2016, the mosque is named after its founder: politician and businessman Oesman Sapta Odang. According to a report by kompas.com, the name Oesman al Khair itself means “Oesman’s kindness” and is reportedly meant to inspire people to be kind to one another.
The mosque, located by the beach in North Kayong regency, West Kalimantan, was designed by an Indonesian architect whose name was never revealed. Its design took inspiration from Saudi Arabia and is further complemented by Moroccan influences.
Oesman al Khair Mosque looks as if it is floating on the surface of the water, thanks to 23-meter-high poles supporting it from the bottom of the sea.
Amirul Mukminin Mosque, Makassar
Also known as 99 Al Makazzary Mosque, referring to the 99 names of Allah, Amirul Mukminin Mosque was built to serve as the primary landmark of Makassar, South Sulawesi. The three-story mosque is located east of Losari beach and is able to host 500 worshipers.
Amirul Mukminin Mosque has two domes, each measuring 9 m in diameter. Worshipers praying and contemplating inside the mosque can also enjoy the view of the sea and cool breeze coming through its windows.
Arkham Babu Rahman Mosque, Palu
Built in close proximity to Taman Ria Beach in Lere village, Central Sulawesi, Arkham Babu Rahman Mosque features four towers and a dome. It is 121 square meters with the capacity up to 150 worshippers.
Perched above the waters about 30 m away from the beach, the mosque is accessible from the coast via a bridge.
When you visit #PaluBayBeach in #Palu , you will be amazed by the beautiful #floatingmosque, the #ArkhamBabuRahmanMosque. It was built in 2011 and stood 10 meters into the sea. Not only does this mosque float above the sea, it also has a dome that emits 7 colors light into the night Don’t forget to visit it when you attend the #PesonaPaluNomoni Festival 2018 this 28-30 September! @kemenpar @indtravel #wonderfulindonesia #genwi #genwi_int #genwiindia #genwiinternational Follow @genwi_india for futher info about Indonesia tourism
Unfortunately, Arkham Babu Rahman was among the many buildings affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit Palu on Friday. An aerial photo of Hasanuddin International Airport shows the mosque disconnected from the shore, its bridge nowhere in sight. (mut)