Istiqlal Mosque (Indonesian: Masjid Istiqlal, lit. 'Independence Mosque') in Jakarta, Indonesia is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and the ninth largest mosque in the world in terms of worshipper capacity. Built to commemorate Indonesian independence, this national mosque of Indonesia was named "Istiqlal", an Arabic word for "independence". The mosque was opened to the public on 22 February 1978. Within Jakarta, the mosque is positioned next to Merdeka Square and the Jakarta Cathedral (Catholic) and also of the Immanuel Church (Reformed).

Before the mosque  The Wilhelminapark and the Citadel Prins Frederik in 1946.

The mosque was formerly the location of the Wilhelminapark and a 19th-century Citadel.

Design and competition  Istiqlal mosque under construction. On the right side is the Jakarta Cathedral

After the proclamation of Indonesian independence in 1945, the idea of constructing a grand Indonesian national mosque was raised by Wahid Hasyim, Indonesia's first minister for religious affairs,[1] and Anwar Cokroaminoto, later appointed as the chairman of the Masjid Istiqlal Foundation. The committee for the construction of the Istiqlal Mosque, led by Cokroaminoto, was founded in 1953. He proposed a national mosque to Indonesian President Sukarno, who welcomed the idea and later helped to supervise the mosque's construction. In 1954, the committee appointed Sukarno as technical chief supervisor.[2]: 106  The architect of the Istiqlal Mosque was Friedrich Silaban, the winner of a design competition.[3]

Several locations were proposed; Mohammad Hatta, Indonesian vice president, suggested that the mosque should be built near residential areas on Thamrin avenue, on a plot where Hotel Indonesia stands today.[4] However, Sukarno insisted that a national mosque should be located near the most important square of the nation, near the Merdeka Palace. This is in accordance with the Javanese tradition that the kraton (king's palace) and masjid agung (grand mosque) should be located around the alun-alun (main Javanese city square), which means it must be near Merdeka Square.[5] Sukarno also insisted that the national mosque should be built near Jakarta Cathedral and Immanuel Church, to symbolize religious harmony and tolerance as promoted in Pancasila.[6] It was later decided that the national mosque was going to be built in Taman Widjaja Kusuma (formerly Wilhelmina park), in front of the Jakarta Cathedral. To make way for the mosque, the Citadel Prins Frederick, built in 1837, was demolished.[7][8]


The foundation stone was laid by Sukarno on 24 August 1961;[10] the construction took 17 years. President Suharto inaugurated it as the national mosque on 22 February 1978.[9][11] As of 2013[update], it is the largest mosque in the region of Southeast Asia, with a capacity of over 120,000.[12][13]: 65 

Contemporary events

On Friday night, 14 April 1978, a bomb made of plastic explosive was set off near the mimbar in Istiqlal Mosque. There were no casualties reported.[14] More than 20 years later, on 19 April 1999, a second bomb attack took place in the basement of the mosque, breaking the glass of the office rooms.[15]

Between May 2019 to July 2020 the mosque underwent major renovation at a cost of US$35 million. Works included: polishing and cleaning the marble exterior and stainless steel geometric ornamentation, a new mihrab and mimbar, upgrading electrical and plumbing systems, new lighting system using LED lamps, renovation of VIP rooms, new gates and improvements of garden, park and plaza, new kiosk for vendors, and a two storied basement parking space.[16][17]

A tunnel connecting Istiqlal Mosque and St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral has been constructed by the Indonesian authorities. This tunnel, known as the "Terowongan Silaturahmi" (Tunnel of Friendship), was expected to be finished in April 2020 before Ramadan 2020.[18]

 Inscription of the Inauguration of the Istiqlal Mosque in 1978
^ National Information and Communication Agency 2001, p. 6 ^ Travel Jakarta, Indonesia: illustrated guide, phrasebook and maps. MobileReference. 2010. ISBN 9781607789628. Retrieved 2013-05-13.[permanent dead link] ^ Sopandi, Setiadi (2009). "Indonesian Architectural Culture during Guided Democracy (1959–1965): Sukarno and the Works of Friedrich Silaban". In Vu, T.; Wongsurawat, W. (eds.). Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia: Ideology, Identity, and Culture. Springer. pp. 53–72. ISBN 9780230101999. ^ "Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta (official website)". Retrieved August 30, 2020. ^ "Masjid Istiqlal Merupakan Masjid Terbesar Dan Termegah Di Indonesia Yang Dibangun Pada Tahun" (in Indonesian). 30 September 2021. Archived from the original on September 30, 2021. ^ "Indonesia-Pancasila". U.S. Department of the Army. Retrieved 2013-05-18. ^ Dawuh, Guru (2021). "Masjid Istiqlal Merupakan Masjid Terbesar Dan Termegah Di Indonesia Yang Dibangun Pada Tahun". Dawuh Guru. Archived from the original on 2021-09-30. Retrieved 2021-10-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) ^ "Citadel Prins Frederick". Special Capital Region of Jakarta. 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-05-14. ^ a b Purba, Kornelius (2010-11-10). "Istiqlal: The work of a Christian architect". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 14 May 2013. ^ Dept of Foreign Affairs (1962), Indonesia 1962, Jakarta, No ISBN ^ Indonesian State Secretariat (1995), 40 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka, Jilid 3 (40 Years of Indonesian Independence, Volume 3), p1035, ISBN 979-8300-06-8 ^ "President performs Idul Fitri prayers at Istiqlal Mosque". Antara News. 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2013-05-14. ^ Phillips, Douglas A. (2005). Southeast Asia. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438104614. Retrieved 2013-05-14. ^ Tempomedia (1978-04-22). "Bom di istiqlal". Tempo. Retrieved 2020-07-20. ^ "Dalam Sejarah, Masjid Istiqlal Pernah Dua Kali Dibom". Republika Online (in Indonesian). 2019-04-13. Retrieved 2020-07-20. ^ "Istiqlal Mosque remains popular amid ongoing renovation". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2020-07-20. ^ Cite error: The named reference JP-Istiqlal July 2020 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ "Jokowi Bangun 'Terowongan Silaturahmi' Istiqlal-Katedral". nasional (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2020-02-07.
Photographies by:
Gunawan Kartapranata - CC BY-SA 3.0
Gunawan Kartapranata - CC BY-SA 3.0
Antonio Melina/Agência Brasil - CC BY 3.0 br
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