Kuala Lumpur, commonly known as KL is the largest city and the national capital of Malaysia. This city is one of the three federal territories. A skyline punctuated by minarets, Mogul-style domes and skyscrapers; colorful, food-stall-lined streets shaded by a leafy canopy of banyan trees together summarises Kuala Lumpur.
It is a varied mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Tamil, Thai and many more people living in this amazing city.
Islamic Arts Museum
This is Southeast Asia’s largest museum of Islamic art in South East Asia with more than seven thousand artifacts from the Islamic world.
It is one of the most popular attractions of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The impressive architecture of the museum leaves everyone spellbound.
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Malay: Muzium Kesenian Islam Malaysia was officially opened on 12 December 1998. The museum is located amidst the lush greenery of Perdana Botanical Gardens and within walking distance to the National Mosque, Bird Park and National Planetarium.
Every bit of building impressive as its collection, the museum exhibits beautiful Islamic decorative arts preserved from around the globe. Small models of the best Islamic buildings of the world, various fabulous textiles and carpets, jewellery and calligraphy-inscribed pottery all fight for attention.
Also the recreated Damascus Room from 19th-century is a gold-leaf-decorated delight. Don't forget to take a look up at the building's intricate domes and tile work.
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia are made up of a huge blue turquoise dome on top of the building, glass walls that allow natural light to flow in, domed ceilings adorned with beautiful Islamic patterns, and a vast exhibition space which spans 30,000 square meters.
Housing more than 7,000 artifacts, the permanent galleries are situated on the two upper floors, which span twelve themes:
● Quran & Manuscripts
● Malay World
● Arms and Armour
● Coins and Seals
● Living With Wood
This gallery brings across fine and beautiful examples of Islamic architecture ranging from Far East to the Africa. The most famous and most like models are of the Taj Mahal, unusual mosque designs in various countries. The large scale model of the Masjid al-Haram, Mecca is also one of the favourites.
Quran & Manuscripts
It mainly focuses on the written word with examples of fine calligraphy, beautiful penmanship, ornate gold embellished texts and minimalist early Kufic works.
Here the superb metalwork of the mughals is and examples of portraiture (not seen as strictly in conformity with Islam by some).
This theme is about the mixture of the Chinese and Islamic influences. It actually produces some exquisite artworks including cloisonné wares and calligraphic scrolls.
Natural motifs such as plants, fruits and clouds are used carefully to make their way into local arts such as textiles. Examples of wood carving, metal handicrafts and kris designs are also featured.
Elaborate and luxurious Indian jewellery sets made from diamonds, emeralds, rubies and pearls together are displayed with examples of more simple ethnic styles from North Africa, Central Asia and China which features items like nose and toe rings.
Costumes are collected from all over the Islamic world and are on show as well as some fine wall coverings and rugs.
Arms & Armour
Beautifully decorated firearms, swords, daggers, axes, maces, spears, shields and armour are displayed impressively so as to attract tourists attention.
Coins & Seals
Islamic Art Museum Malaysia has a wide ranging collection of both coins and seals dating back many centuries.
Brass and bronze trays, bowls, jugs, vases and many more are mainly exhibited.
Blue and white collections, Ottoman Iznik ceramics, Kashan lustreware and Nishapur calligraphic bowls are among the artifacts.
Living With Wood
Inscriptions, finely detailed carvings, screens and windows with intricate geometric patterns, inlaid work and laquerware are featured in this gallery.
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia has notable exhibits that include the 1964 Kiswa, which is the exquisite door curtain of the Ka’aba (the House of God) that gets changed annually, and manuscripts like prayer books from the 17th century.
The architecture gallery deserves a mention too; models of impressive mosques all around the world are on display and with high attention to the detail of each building.
These models consist of the holiest site in Islam, which is the Sacred Mosque (Al-Masjid Al-Haram) in Mecca, and the Great Mosque of Xian in China.
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is also an interesting place for children as it provides some additional facilities and activities such as children’s library, storytelling sessions every Saturday, as well as arts-and-crafts lessons.
There is a good Middle Eastern restaurant. Visitors who are hungry and craving for food by the end of their visit at Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia can head to the Museum Restaurant, where they can enjoy dishes from different parts of Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and the Arab Gulf.
Located at the Ground Floor, the Museum Shop has a remarkable selection of Islamic crafts and artifacts from around the world, including stationery, tee shirts, books, puzzles, and even intricate jewellery from the Middle East.
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is definitely a pleasant way to spend your afternoon, offering a unique and mesmerizing insight into the world of Islam that is not usually seen by the public.
The KL Hop-on Hop-Off Tour is highly recommended if you’re a first-time visitor in Kuala Lumpur. It is actually a double-decker and air-conditioned tour bus that takes you to over 40 attractions throughout Kuala Lumpur.
Best thing is that pre-recorded multilingual commentary is available for each of the attractions, including the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia.
Museum Galleries & Shop
Open Daily including Public Holidays from 10am - 6pm.
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am - 6pm
(Closed on Mondays)
Address: Jalan Lembah Perdana, Kuala Lumpur