NOTE: This post was first written in 2013. Info deemed correct at that time.
With population of more than 400,000, Miri is the second largest city in Sarawak. Moslems in Sarawak generally are Malays, Bruneians and Melanau and others who converted. They are minority group making up about 30% of Sarawak population. In Miri they live around Piasau, Lereng Bukit, Pulau Melayu and Luak Bay, whereas Chinese could be found in Jee Foh, Krokop and Pujut areas. In this posting, I will share some of the mosques in and around Miri, that I have visited during my tour of duty.
Masjid Jamek Miri
Constructed in 1955, probably the oldest mosque around in Miri. This masjid is popular among budget travelers who arrived in the city for the first time and has no place to go. Every Friday night, following kuliah maghrib, decent dinner are served not only to jemaah but also passers by regardless of race and religion. Same with every Ramadan times. A 4-star Hotel Mega and a mid-sized shopping center are located next to the masjid. The prayer hall is air-conditioned. North Yu Seng Road, where most happenings at night in Miri take place is just few steps away from mosque entrance. Halal restaurants are plenty around the masjid. Muara, Serai Wangi, Madly, SCR are few worth mentioning. There are some more behind Hotel Mega. If you walk further up along Jalan Merbau, you will come to Bintang Mall, where you can find fast food chains like KFC, MacDonalds, Pizza Hut, One Station, Coffee Beans, Big Apples, etc. This mall is a popular haunting for Brunei folks looking for excitement during their weekend.
Despite the name, there is no solat Jumaat here, as Masjid Attaqwa is nearby. Parking space is available but very limited. Access is from the back thru Sekolah Agama Rakyat entrance.
This is the first masjid I came with contact with when I first arrived in Miri during Ramadan 2010.
Being the official district masjid, this is masjid frequented by VIPs and politicians and state government officials attending official functions. The structure is quite old and maintenance are bad despite the status as district mosques. Carperts should haen been changed long time ago.
Parking are spacious. Not air-conditioned. Jumaat prayers are performed here. Within 5-10 minutes walking distance from the mosque are Imperial Hotel, Imperial shopping center, Miri City Fan, Pustaka Miri, Wisma Persekutuan, Wisma Kastam, Stadium Miri, Dewan Suarah and are next to the mosque.
Masjid Annaim, Lutong
The biggest masjid north of Miri until Kuala Baram even up to Sungai Tujuh. The masjid is located in Lutong town, some 20 km from Miri city center. Lutong is home for Petronas Carigali and Shell Sarawak and because of this, every Friday, you could notice luxury imported cars filling up the car park.
The masjid epitomizes 1Malaysia concept as it co-exists with a church in the same plot of land. MYY Mall, a shopping mall under construction, is right in front of the entrance to the mosque.
Masjid Piasau Jaya
Piasau is a mature neighborhood in Miri, populated mainly by Muslims. Retired government officers and teachers settled down here in a quiet and clean neighborhood full of trees and schools and this mosque. The mosque is huge and clean and recently carpeted (as of June 2012). Ramadhan is a ‘happening’ month for this mosque. A lot of parking space. A number of halal restaurants nearby — among them are De Kelate, Alamak, Global Ikhwan’s owned Restoran Ikhwan. Solat Jumaat is conducted weekly at this mosque.
Surau Lereng Bukit
Kampung Lereng Bukit is located alongside Miri-Lutong main road opposite Pelita Commercial Center. If you have been wondering why Miri is known as oil town, you will have easy time to guess what bukit (hill) the name of Kampung Lereng Bukit refers to. The first oil rig in Miri was built on top of Canada Hill in 1910. From the hilltop you could see the whore Miri and environs and weather permitting, some offshore oil platforms. The kampung is mainly occupied by muslims from Malays and Melanau origins.
The surau is walking distance to Pelita Commercial Center where you can find Servay shopping center, Hotel Grand Palace, Hotel Imperial Palace, Secret Recipe, Cosway, etc. You must cross busy road though to get here.
Masjid Arrayyan, Tudan
This masjid is located north of Miri, in the neighborhood of Tudan about 15 minute drive from Miri downtown. Working class and partly squatters from among Malays and Ibans co-exist in Tudan. The masjid will be bustling with activities comes Ramadhan. Main prayers hall is air-conditioned. It has a huge compound.
Fully air-conditioned. Limited parking space. Jumaat prayers conducted here.
Masjid Padang Kerbau
Solat Jumaat is conducted here.
Masjid XXXX, Luak Bay
Going south along Tanjung Lobang road toward Bakam, you will come across this masjid.
Solat Jumaat is performed here.
Surau Kg Pulau Melayu
Pulau Melayu is located on a small peninsular between Miri River and South China Sea. Along the river, there are jetties, a gateway to offshore oil and gas platforms operated by PETRONAS Carigali and Shell Sarawak.
Solat Jumaat is performed here. Prayers hall fully air-conditioned.
Surau Darul Ikhlas, Lutong
This surau is located near Miri Crude Oil Terminal (MCOT) in Lutong, surrounded by villages forming early faces of Miri, along Jalan Miri-Kuala Baram. An old wooden structure, it is probably previously a double storey house converted to a surau. Hidden from main road, the surau is not easy to find. You need to ask local folk.
Masjid IKBN, Miri
It is located in Permyjaya neighborhood, a fast growing area of greater Miri.
Located deep inside Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara (IKBN) complex, it is frequented by folks living in the nearby new housing estates, and of course, the staff quarters of IKBN. With the opening of Giant Permyjaya late 2011, the are has become more exciting.
Fully air-conditioned. A lot of parking space. You must pass by security checkpoint at the entrance of IKBN, which a wave of hand would do. If you are stopped, just say you are going to the masjid and they will let you go with no questions asked. Activities are aplenty especially for IKBN students and sometimes public are also invited, thank to dedicated team of ustaz and ustazah there, one of them I know quite well — Ustaz Azatul, a Perak man with Sarawak heart. At the time of writing, he is still there.
Surau Pujut 9
This is a small wooden surau. Perhaps known to local only as finding it not easy as it is nestled deep inside the Pujut 9. Every Sunday at 9am to 10am, Ustaz M Amin from Petronas Carigali conduct Kuliah Ahad here, attended by few who are hungry of Islamic knowledge. Last time he was reading Tawhidul Am (Sifat 20).
NOTE: This post was first written in 2011. Info deemed correct at that time.