DYMM Sultan Iskandar Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah (Sultan Iskandar), the 30th Sultan of Perak (1918-1938) was known to be a pious monarch. As the head of the Islamic religion of the state, Almarhum was heavily involved in the development of Islamic teachings in Perak. While returning from picnic at Lata Bubu nearby Padang Rengas (sometime in 1936), Sultan Iskandar Shah saw his subjects praying in a dilapidated madrasah. To Almarhum, a mosque is not just a house of God but an important place for the community. Therefore, he had commissioned the construction of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah of which named after him.
Few sources mentioned that the mosque was built at a cost of 8,000 pound sterling* and funded by Almarhum himself on a land waqaf (endowment) by Dato’ Setia Bijaya DiRaja Jeragan Abdul Shukur. Interestingly, the mosque was constructed by Chinese artisans with help of the local community carried out in the gotong-royong manner. The mosque which located about 5km from the royal town of Kuala Kangsar was officially opened by Alamrhum on 11 February 1938.
The architectural style of Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah or widely known as Masjid Kampung Kuala Dal is very unique and one would be impressed by the beautiful intricacy of plaited kelarai (woven strip bamboo) and carvings of the building’s facade. For those who are familiar with the Istana Kenangan in Bukit Chandan, the mosque resembles the distinctive of that palace.
Unfortunately, Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah was abandoned in 1976 after another mosque, Masjid Al-Wahidah, was built at a site close to it. However, Jabatan Warisan Negara (Department of National Heritage) in 2008 initiated the conservation work on the mosque. Masjid Ihsaniah Iskandariah regained its former glory after the completion of restoration work on 17 Dec 2009. DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah officially re-opened the mosque on 6 May 2011 and it was accorded heritage status by the Jabatan Warisan Negara.
* The editor is of the view that the construction cost may not be accurate. During that period, it was quite a big sum and moreover there were saying that the mosque was probably built by using the remaining balance of Istana Kenangan’s materials. We stand to be corrected.
Note: Almarhum – ‘the Late’
1. Jabatan Warisan Negara: https://www.heritage.gov.my
2. Unique Perak Mosque restored, Perak Heritage Society: http://perakheritage.wordpress.com/2010/06/
3. Ihsaniah Iskandariah Mosque: http://www.1jati.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1488&Itemid=406
4. Kenangan Masjid Ihsaniah iskandariah: http://www.kosmo.com.my/kosmo/content.asp?y=2010&dt=0324&pub=Kosmo&sec=Rencana_Utama&pg=ru_01.htm