• Monday, 17 June 2024

History of the Great Mosque of Sang Cipta Rasa, Which is Believed to be Built in One Night!

History of the Great Mosque of Sang Cipta Rasa, Which is Believed to be Built in One Night!
Grand mosque Sang Cipta Rasa, the place where Sunan Gunung Jati, one of the Nine Saints of Java, spread his Islamic teaching, Photo: seatoday.com

SEAToday.com, Cirebon-Located in the Kasepuhan kingdom’s area stands a mosque that holds a history of Islamic civilization in Cirebon and West Java. Grand mosque Sang Cipta Rasa, the place where Sunan Gunung Jati, one of the Nine Saints of Java, spread his Islamic teaching. 

This is one of the oldest mosques in Java. Some said Raden Sepat and Sunan Kalijaga were the architects of this mosque. Over 500 people were involved in building this mosque, which is said to have been built in just one night!

From the gate, the hall, and the veranda, you can see the influence of Javanese Majapahit's Hindu architecture. The building is shaped like ‘Joglo’, a traditional Javanese house. This reflects the old society that lived in Cirebon, which was a mixture of people from Demak, Majapahit, and native Cirebonese.

Muhammad Ismail, the muezzin of this mosque said, "This is a Wali Songo heritage mosque. It was built in 1480, and alhamdulilah, one of the Wali Songo heritage mosques that has maintained its authenticity, is this mosque. Almost 90 percent of this building is still original, and the entire building has been designated as cultural heritage."

To enter the original building, nine entryways are uniquely built to be shorter than regular entryways. This teaches us to honor the mosque and the humility that one must possess to enter.

Ismail also said that these doors have symbolic meanings, “The 9 doors themselves are a symbol of the 9 saints. In addition, the 9 doors are also a symbol of openness. Because at that time, many residents here were originally Hindu and Buddhist. So when this mosque was built, they were allowed to enter because this turned out to be part of the saints' proselytization strategy.”

As we enter the area, we can see a unique mihrab, which is also a place for the imam to lead the prayer. There’s also a pulpit that resembles a huge chair with a lotus carving signature to Majapahit, which symbolizes holiness. 

In Islamic teaching, prayer is the foundation of belief. It reflected on the 12 pillars they built with heights of exactly 17 meters, the same number of prayers raka’ah in a day. Moreover, there are 30 foundations in the mosque, the same number as the juz in the Quran. 

More than just a building, every inch of this mosque kept prayers and messages of the meaning of Islamic teaching taught by the Nine Saints that stood strong up to this day. Perhaps that’s where the magic of this Sang Cipta Rasa Mosque truly lies. (SYARA/DKD)

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