March 7, 2015

1244, 1478 BRUNEI - Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque

1244 - Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque

Posted on 24.09.2014 and 07.03.2015
Built on an artificial lagoon on the banks of the river Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque dominates not only so-called village in the water, Kampong Ayer, but even the skyline of  Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the sultanat. The mosque initially seems more attraction than place of worship. However, this could not be farthest from the truth, and the grandiose mosque was in fact designed solely for prayer to Allah. Completed in 1958 and named after Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei who also initiated its construction, the mosque serves as a symbol of the Islamic faith in Brunei, the official religion of the state. Formally, the freedom of religion is guaranteed, but more recently the Sultan has announced strict penalties for those who leave Islam.

1478 - Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque

The mosque, the largest in the Far East, is an example of modern Islamic architecture, uniting Mughal architecture and Italian styles. The design was done by A.O.Coltman of the firm Booty and Edwards Chartered Architects, who were based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at that time. It has marble minarets and domes covered in pure gold, a courtyard and is surrounded by a large number of trees and floral gardens. A bridge reaches across the lagoon to Kampong Ayer in the middle of the river. Another marble bridge leads to a structure in the lagoon meant as a replica of a 16th Century Sultan Bolkiah Mahligai Barge. The barge itself was completed in 1967 to commemorate the 1,400th anniversary of Nuzul Al-Quran (coming down of the Quran) and was used to stage the Quran reading competitions.

The main minaret is the mosque's tallest feature (52m), and can be seen from virtually anywhere in city. It has an elevator to the top, where a visitor can enjoy a panoramic view of the city. The interior of the mosque is for prayer only, with features such as stained glass windows, arches, semi-domes and marble columns. Nearly all the material used for the building were imported from abroad: the marble from Italy, the granite from Shanghai, the crystal chandeliers and the stained glass from England and the handmade carpets from Belgium and Saudi Arabia.

About the stamps
On the postcard 1244
The first stamp is part of the fourth series of butterflies, designed by Haji Mohammad Khalid bin Haji Hamid, and issued on April 14, 2014. The second stamp belongs to a definitive series depicting Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

On the postcard 1478
The stamp belongs to a definitive series depicting Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque - Wikipedia
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque - Brunei Resources

Sender 1244: Saedah Ismail
Sent from Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), on 19.08.2014
Photo: Terence
Sender 1478: Matthew Lai KH
Sent from Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), on 14.02.2015

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