A forgotten Mosque in Kuala Lumpur Kampung Puak Mosque or Jamiul Ehsan Mosque Jalan Pahang
Hi guys this is Johnson your Local Tour Guide for JohnsonMalaysia.com. First of all, I would like to thank Haji Busran in Jamiul Ehsan Mosque, who made it possible to write this short article on historic of Jamiul Ehsan Mosque (Masjid Lama Setapak)
By 1880s, some of the earliest mosque built in Kuala Lumpur was Kampung Rawa mosque that stood on the place where today Burger King stands, along Jalan Tun Perak or old name was Jawa Street next to LRT station. The mosque was replaced to a bigger mosque on former Burial ground ie. Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque. I usually bring my tourist for Mosque tour on Old Kuala Lumpur walk https://johnsonmalaysia.com/the-heart-of-kuala-lumpur-walking-tour-3-5hrs-with-local-tour-guide/.
As a tour guide my eyes caught this Jawa pyramidical roof structure mosque that standing along Pahang road. Haji Busran allowed me to have a short interview with him and he willing to give a history lesson on the mosque as he himself an expert in Religion history and I find him a well-informed person.
Haji Busran explained
Haji Busran started by saying the original name of this mosque was Masjid Kampung Puak, probably erected in the end of the 1870s by the Puak, Mendaling Malay people. The mosque was wooden structure. The master builders have maintaining the architecture with Pyramidical roof that we can find in Malacca UNESCO site. If you wish to follow in a Malacca contact me, a short article on saint Paul hill Malacca https://johnsonmalaysia.com/the-ruin-of-saint-paul-hill-malacca-tour/
The evidence I saw on the road signage that carries the name Puak. Rivers were the lifeline for food, transportation and trade in OLD Kuala Lumpur till road and railway build by the British in 1880s Frank Swettenham was the railwayman. The Gombak river that flows near to Jamiul Ehsan Mosque, may have been built by the aid of Sutan Puasa (Dato Dagang), Mendaling people respected headman who had his fort on the Bukit Nanas or pineapple hill where today the 420m KL tower is standing on top of Bukit Nanas eco Park.
Chengal Tree woods
My conversation with Haji Busran continues as he said how the Kampung Puak people had to chop trees like Chengal (Neobalanocarpus Heimii) https://johnsonmalaysia.com/gentle-giants-in-malaysian-tropical-rain-forest/ and hardwoods from the forest to form the timber to build the Jamiul Ehsan Mosque, the pillar and the roof structure built using dowel joins that requires no rails but a Pasak. https://johnsonmalaysia.com/traditional-malay-malacca-house-tour/ The current mosque that bear the year 1933 was built after the World War One.
After the formation of Federated Malay State FMS (end of 1890s) Jamiul Ehsan Mosque was relocated opposed of current location which is across Pahang Road, next to a market. Today the market is no more, it was demolished to give way for new fancy high-rise condominiums. I still remember this market, mostly was patronage by Chinese. To my regret I can’t recall if I have bought anything from this Market as I was staying along this road for about 2 years.
Jamiul Ehsan Mosque was relocated again to the current location 1920s, did not see much progress as World War One started 1914 took a toll on the economy of Malaya. The British were depending on Malaya as a major economic contributor to them. As the economy improved after 1917, with the help of local government and the people in about 1930s a stone building was erected that stands till today with 1933 year log on the façade of Jamiul Ehsan Mosque. Sadly, the structure today, as I write this article was in ruin state. The Mosque at one point become a place where Dato Onn Jaffar’s held a Rally on opposing Malayan Union which can put an end to Malaya Rulership and give more power to the British.
Haji Busran said back in 1998 after the collapse of the Kuala Lumpur Jamek mosque roof due to heavy rain made the local congregation doubt Jamiul Ehsan Mosque Mosque safety. Haji Busran himself with another congregation member climbed up to the inner part of the roof column to check if there is any damage. The report then that there was not termite damaged He could still smell treated wood smell. The roof main wood the joints was intact and holding fast. The congregation continued to use the mosque till the new mosque built with the aid of Selangor government.
As I took this video after getting the approval from Haji Busran, I found this historical Jamiul Ehsan Mosque (Majid Lama Setapak) in a bad condition with the wooden door rotting away. The unique Pyramidical roof is on verge of collapsing. If this situation not curved it is waiting for destruction. I saw the Warisan (Heritage) Brown Marble emblem signed by Dato Professor Emeritus Zuraina Majid and embedded on the right side of entrance wall.
As Local Tour Guide and a fellow Malaysian, I hope the local authority and community will reconsider the current ruin situation of Jamiul Ehsan Mosque and restore this historical monument from destruction for the next generation
Lastly thank you to Haji Busran may Almighty GOD Bless.
Islamic Art Museum https://johnsonmalaysia.com/islamic-arts-museum-malaysia-must-visit-place-kuala-lumpur-local-guide/
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