Providing Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in Malaysian Existing Mosques


Asiah Abdul Rahim, Nur Amirah Abd. Samad, Che Raiskandar Che Rahim and Aiman Badhrulhisham


P5. Access to culture and tourism

Date and Time

2014-06-17, 12:00 - 13:45


MA 10
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Design Case

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The objective of this paper is to emphasise the importance of accessibility in Malaysian Mosques. In general, Mosque is known as the spiritual sanctuary for Muslims, acting as a centre for worship, religious activity centre, teaching and learning of Al-Quran, Hadith and Sunnah as well as organizing public events and seminars such as talks and weddings. Muslims are encouraged to attend congregational prayers at all five praying times and to participate in communal activities as well as intellectual discourses conducted at mosques. Existing Mosques in Malaysia varies in design concepts, design requirement, design guidelines, scale and also function but it is according to the architects in implementing good design practice. There are mosques that offer other complementary functions such as nursery/day care, religious school (madrasah) and bazaar (souq) for business purposes. Therefore, a mosque must be universally designed to cater all kinds of users, including the PwDs, the elderly and children. The importance of providing accessibility is to give the PwDs an equal opportunity for them to perform congregational prayers together with other devoted Muslims in the prayer hall. The lack of access creates physical barriers that burden the PwDs which eventually discourage them to visit mosques especially at parking area, the entrance, ablution area, toilets and prayer hall. Other issues related are hygienic considerations of using wheelchair into the prayer hall, management and maintenance issues. The methodology considers conducting access audit at case studies, observations, interviews and design recommendation on the analysed data with reference to Malaysian Standards and related Acts/By-Laws. Recommendation on good universal design practices for refurbishment is the main aspect to be considered to improve Mosque’s facilities. In conclusion, accessibility is important to be provided for all Muslim regardless of ability or disability to pray at Mosque comfortably.