teradesa.com  The spread of Islam in Java was carried out by traders, spearheaded by Maulana Maghribi, better known as Maulana Malik Ibrahim. He spread Islam not only alone, but together with others or commonly called Wali Songo. These guardians conveyed the message of Islam in different ways, one of which is known as Ja’far Shodiq or commonly called Kanjeng Sunan Kudus.
Many people visit this mosque, especially on Muslim holidays.

The Menara Kudus Mosque is one of the historical relics, as evidence of the process of spreading Islam in Java. This mosque is unique because of its building design, which is a combination of Hindu culture and Islamic culture. As we know, before Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism had developed in Java with its relics in the form of temples and shrines. In addition, there is worship of the spirits of ancestors (Animism) and belief in objects (Dynamism). The Menara Kudus Mosque is proof of how a combination of Islamic and Hindu cultures has produced a building that is unique and has a high architectural style. A mosque building, but with a tower in the form of a temple and various other Hindu-style ornaments.

According to history, the Holy Tower Mosque was founded by Sunan Kudus or Ja’far Shodiq, the son of R. Usman Haji who was titled Sunan Ngudung in Jipang Panolan (some say the place is located north of Blora). Sunan Kudus married Dewi Rukhil, the daughter of R.Makdum Ibrahim, Kanjeng Sunan Bonan in Tuban. R.Makdum Ibrahim was the son of R.Rachmad (Sunan Ampel), the son of Maulana Ibrahim. Thus Sunan Kudus was the son-in-law of Sunan Bonang. Sunan Kudus was not only known as a religious expert but also as an expert in the science of tawhid, hadith and fiqh. Therefore, among the nine saints, he was the only one known as “Waliyil Ilmi”. Sunan Kudus’s way of spreading Islam was by means of wisdom, so as to gain sympathy from the population who at that time still embraced Hinduism. One example is, cows are animals that are highly respected by Hindus, one day the Sunan tied a cow in the yard of the mosque, after they came the Sunan preached, so that many of them embraced Islam. And until now, in the Kudus area, especially Kudus Kulon, it is forbidden to slaughter cows as a tribute to Hinduism until now.

Culture – Kudus Mosque
The minaret of the Kudus mosque is Hindu in style, resembling the shape of a temple. It is said that under the minaret, there used to be a source of living water.

Another tribute is manifested in the form of a Hindu-style minaret. According to history, the Kudus mosque was built by Sunan Kudus in 956 A.H. This can be seen from the slate located in the mosque’s Pengimaman, which is inscribed and in Arabic, which is difficult to read because many letters have been damaged. The stone is shielded, and the size of the shield is 46 cm long, 30 cm wide. It is said that the stone comes from Baitulmakdis (Al Quds) in Jerusalem – Palestine. From the word Baitulmakdis came the name Kudus which means holy, so the mosque is called the Kudus mosque and the city is called the city of Kudus.

The Menara Kudus mosque consists of 5 doors on the right, and 5 doors on the left. The windows are all 4 pieces. The large doors consist of 5 pieces, and there are 8 large poles in the mosque made of teak wood. However, the mosque is not as it was originally, it is bigger than it was because it was renovated in the 1918s. Inside there is a mosque pond, a pond in the form of “padasan” is a relic of ancient times and is used as a place of ablution. It is still a question today whether the pond is a relic of the Hindu era or was deliberately made by Sunan Kudus to adopt Hindu culture. Inside the mosque there are 2 flags, located on the right and left of the place where the khatib reads the sermon. On the front porch of the mosque there is a gate, commonly referred to by residents as “Lawang kembar”, it is said that the gate comes from the former Majapahit kingdom, the gate was used as a rearview door.

There are also various versions of the story of the Kudus tower, with some saying, “that the Kudus tower is a former Hindu temple”. The evidence is that the shape is almost similar to Kidal Temple in East Java which was founded around 1250 or similar to Singosari Temple. Another opinion says that under the Holy tower, there used to be a source of living water. Why? Because living things that have died when put in the spring become alive again. Because it was feared that it would be cultivated, the spring was closed with a tower building. The Holy Tower is about 17 meters high, around which are decorated with pictorial plates, all of which number 32 pieces. 20 of them are blue and depict mosques, people with camels and date palms. The other 12 pieces are red and white and depict flowers. The minaret has a staircase made of teak wood that was probably made in 1895 AD. The building and its decoration clearly show its connection with Javanese Hindu art. Because the building of the Holy Tower consists of three parts: (1) Leg (2) Body and (3) Top of the building. Also decorated with ornamental art, or artefix (decoration that resembles a small hill).

Culture – Holy Mosque
Grave pilgrimage is one of the many visits made by various levels of society from inside and outside the city.

From the front, the Menara Kudus mosque looks small, but once inside it is very spacious. In addition to the mosque, it turns out that behind the mosque is the tomb complex of Kanjeng Sunan Kudus and his family. The entrance to the tomb is located to the right of the mosque, then after going through a small road we will go through the second door to enter the complex in which there are lodgings. In the center of the compound is the largest building, said to be the meeting place of the Walisongo as well as the place where Sunan Kudus gave advice to his students. To the north of the complex is a small door leading to the burial complex of the Sunan. The grave complex is divided into several blocks, and each block is a separate part of the relationship to Kanjeng Sunan. There is the block of the sons and daughters of Kanjeng Sunan, the block of the warlords and the biggest block is the tomb of Kanjeng Sunan himself. What is unique is that all the connecting doors between the blocks are in the form of temple gates. The surrounding walls are also made of red bricks arranged in tiers, some jutting inward and outward like a temple building. The panorama that emerges is that of an Islamic cemetery with a Hindu character.

This unique and historical impression is very attractive to religious tourists and ordinary tourists. Every day this place is always crowded with tourists, tourists who come from around the city of Kudus usually visit on weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays are usually more visitors from outside the city. The 10th of Shura’ is the peak of the crowds in this mosque complex, in the context of the khaul of the death of Kanjeng Sunan Kudus. Despite its unique features, the layout around the mosque is chaotic. Because it is located in the center of Kudus city, only 5 minutes from the Kudus city square, this mosque is surrounded by dense residential housing. Thus, reducing the beauty of the Kudus Tower Mosque building complex which is now included as one of the cultural heritage. In addition, the number of beggars around the mosque can also disturb visitors who come. In order to continue to be preserved, the spatial arrangement around the mosque must be improved again to maintain the beautiful and unique impression of the Holy Tower Mosque.


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