Timothy Tye
Acheen Street Mosque (Masjid Lebuh Aceh)

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Acheen Street Mosque (4 July 2004)

The Acheen Street Mosque or Masjid Lebuh Acheh (GPS: 5.41444, 100.33619) is an old mosque located at the heritage enclave of George Town. It was also called the Mesjid Jamek as well as Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh. The mosque was founded in 1801, making it one of the oldest mosques in Penang. The founder was Tengku Sheriff Syed Hussain Al-Aidid, an Acehnese clan leader who moved to Penang at the invitation of Captain Francis Light, and settled at what became Acheen Street.

In the 18th century, with Malacca in decline, trades along the Straits of Malacca moved northwards to Acheh. When Francis Light established the trading post in Penang, he wanted to create a Britsh trading post that rivals Acheh. To do this, he attracted merchants and traders from all over to settle in George Town. As a result, Penang had substantial communities of immigrants from Phuket, China, South India, Acheh, Arabia, and Jews from as far away as Armenia. One of these who settled here was Tengku Syed, a wealthy Achehnese merchant of Arab descent.

Entrance to the prayer hall of the Acheen Street MosqueEntrance to the prayer hall of the Acheen Street Mosque (4 July, 2004)

The Acheen Street Mosque has a Arab-style minaret with a Achehnese roof. The difference between this mosque and the other one, the Kapitan Kling nearby, is that the Acheen Street Mosque was built by a Achehnese, hence a Malay, whereas the Kapitan Kling Mosque was built by the Indian Muslims.

Mausoleum of Tengku Syed Hussain Idid

The mausoleum of the mosque founder Tengku Syed Hussain Idid is located within the compound of the Acheen Street Mosque. As in Islamic tradition, it has simple unadorned tombstones. A shelter is built to shield the grave against the elements.

Tengku Syed Hussain Idid MausoleumTengku Syed Hussain Idid Mausoleum (4 July, 2004)

Getting there

Take the Rapid Penang Bus Nos. 10, 103, 301, 302, 308 and 401 to Pitt Street, walk down the road to Cannon Street, and you'd see the Acheen Street Mosque at the end of Medan Cannon. You can also take Rapid Penang Bus Nos. 11, 101, 104, 201, 202, 203, 204 or 206 to nearby Chulia Street, and then walk to Pitt Street followed by Cannon Street.

Acheen Street Mosque minaretAcheen Street Mosque minaret (4 July 2004)

Nearby Sights

The Acheen Street Mosque is on the map of Acheen Street

List of Mosques in Penang and Mosques in Malaysia

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