Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai is a one of the most famous mosques in Brunei and is located in Bandar Seri Begawan. One of the things that will strike you immediately is the length of the name of the mosque. What will stay with you long after if the beauty, simplicity and peace that this gorgeous mosque has within it despite being in the heart of Brunei’s capital. If someone had to ask me whether Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai was worth visiting, I would say yes. Without a doubt. Put it on your list because it is definitely one of the most beautiful mosques I have ever seen. It is easy to visit both the mosque and Kampong Ayer together since they are both walking distance from each other.
MASJID OMAR ALI SAIFUDDEIN DAN BAHTERA MAHLIGAI
Located close to the boardwalk in Bandar Seri Begawan, Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai is named after the 28th Sultan of Brunei. Its construction was finished in 1958 and was designed by Rudolfo Nolli, an architect and sculptor. A symbol of modern Islamic architecture, the gorgeous mosque dominates the skyline.
While the Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai is open for devotees, non-Muslims do have to adhere to certain timings. This is largely so that the prayers and religious functions are not disturbed. Even then, you are allowed to walk around the mosque. The inner sanctum however is closed so people can pray. I’m just going to note the timings so you can plan your visit around them.
Saturday to Wednesday: 8:30 am–12:00 noon, 1:30 pm–3:30 pm and 4:30 pm–5:30 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am-12:00 noon, 1:30 pm-3:00 pm and 4:30 pm-5:30 pm
Friday: 4:30 pm-5:30 pm
Closed during any religious activity or prayer time.
PROPER ATTIRE IN THE MOSQUE
Like all mosques, you need to adhere to proper attire when entering Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai. I thought that I would just drop a note here so that you know what is conserved proper Islamic attire for religious areas.
Women: Women are expected to wear a hijab and loose fitting clothing when entering the mosque. Long skirts are permissible if they cover the legs till the ankles. As far as the hijab goes, one needs to cover everything except the face. Hands need to be covered till the wrists. If you are not wearing the right attire, don’t panic. They do have burkas and hijabs that you can use to enter.
Men: Men need to wear loose fitting clothes. They are not permitted to wear shorts that leave their knees uncovered.
Both men and women need to remove their footwear outside the mosque.
EXPLORING MASJID OMAR ALI SAIFUDDEIN DAN BAHTERA MAHLIGAI
There are two things about Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai that will instantly catch your attention. The first one is the gorgeous golden dome that reflects the sun rays at all times of the day. The second is the boat shaped structure in the idle of a manmade lagoon. As you walk around the mosque you will slowly realize that every single aspect of the mosque will leave take your breath away.
Here are a couple of things that you should stop to look at or o while visiting Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai.
WALK INTO THE MOSQUE
A glimpse inside.
If you have reached at a good time to enter, walk into Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai and you will not know where to look at first. We arrived when a wedding ceremony was in progress so we were just allowed a peak in but if you have the opportunity to wander in then do. You won’t regret it.
CROSS THE BRIDGE TO THE BOAT SHAPED STRUCTURE
Boat shaped structure near the mosque.
The boat shaped structure in the middle of the lagoon is supposed to be a replica of the Sultan Bolkiah Mahligal barge from the 16th century. It is a beautiful place to stop and sit while enjoying the full beauty of the Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai. It is also a great place to click photographs.
SPOT THE STAIN GLASS WINDOWS
While I did not get to see them from inside in all their beauty, I did notice some gorgeous stain glass windows as we walked around the Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai. I enjoyed trying to spot them all. Simple pleasures in life.
SIT AND ENJOY THE AMBIANCE THAT SURROUNDS THE MOSQUE
One of the things that I loved the most was sitting outside the mosque and listening to the birds that were flying around. It is very peaceful and there are a number of places where you can perch and let time fly by. From the seats at the entrance to the lagoon or if possible the inner sanctum. The peace is something that I enjoy a lot. If you reach in the late hours of the evening you will find yourself treated to one of the gorgeous sunsets that the coast of Brunei is famous for. The Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddein Dan Bahtera Mahligai looks gorgeous in the bright orange skies of the setting sun.