Mosque Architecture in Melaka in Historical and Regional Context by Dr. Imran Tajudeen



In this public talk, architecture historian Dr Imran bin Tajudeen will examine the translation of various architectural features from the pre-Islamic period into the 15th century. Imran also invites us to reconsider the identity of Melaka’s mosques based on its position in Southeast Asia’s Islamic architectural historiography. This is the 6th Tawarikh Talk presented by Melaka in Fact.

Free admission.


Melaka’s extant historical mosques, minarets, and mausoleum buildings and their construction and ornamental details will be discussed through three questions. First, which attributes indicate continuities and changes from the pre-Islamic ritual architecture of the Peninsula, Sumatra, and Java? This comparison includes Melaka’s predecessor polities, namely 14th-century Singapura and Palembang-Srivijaya / Jambi-Malayu, as well as the unknown connections between pre-Islamic Kedah and early, pre-conversion Melaka, which together constitute a Straits Melayu Buddhist cultural thalassocracy recorded in Old Malay, Chinese, and Tamil sources alike. Second, which of the Tamil Muslim, Chinese, Hadhrami Arab, and European elements integrated into Melaka’s Malayo-Javanese mosque typology and its unique masonry minarets form a new synthesised building culture or, after Jay Edwards, a ‘creole architecture’ with its own grammar, and which features give rise to singular, disconnected cases of eclecticism based upon contingencies or expediency? Third, how do Melaka’s mosques, minarets, and mausolea suggest reconsiderations of her socio-cultural histories and of Southeast Asia’s Islamic architectural historiography, particularly through the connections of their features with those of Sumatran and Javanese examples?


For more information or to register, contact Melaka in Fact via:

Noor Muhaini (0173030394) or you can email to