Budget Travel Indonesia | Banda Aceh | Masjid Baiturrahim 10 Years After Tsunami

The word bait in arabic means house and Ar-Rahim means The All-Merciful; it is one of Allah's 99 names. Therefore, the name of this masjid means The Home of The All-Merciful. All mosques are in essence the house of Allah.

As I've mentioned in my previous post, this mosque is located just around 100 meters away from the shoreline, so it's among the area that were hit first by the raging tsunami. 

If you've seen any of the 2004 tsunami footage of mosques standing alone on 'cleared lands', this is one of them; there are a few others. However, the restoration works together with the rebuilding of the neighborhood surrounding it made the area look as if the waves never came.

Of course it has been a little over 10 years since the black day, but still.. it looked like nothing happened here mashaAllah.

Although the waves caused water to enter this masjid, somehow the building stood strong, managed to withstand the same waves that tore down and swept away every other thing that was in its way, including a 2,600-ton electric generator ship. Subhanallah.

Check out the photos below .. 

The photo of Baiturrahim mosque and its surrounding area after the water receded in January 2005
Baiturrahim Mosque in February 2015

There is a small corner in the mosque where they displayed post-tsunami photos of mosques in Aceh. All I can utter when I saw them was astaghfirullah .. I was practically lost for words. I kept trying to imagine the agony that the people here went through and how those mosques managed to stand strong amidst the chaotic wave but I just couldn't. It was unfathomable. Allahuakbar.

The main hall of the mosque

I read on an Indonesian blog that during the disaster, some people tried to take refuge on the ground floor and first floor of the masjid. When the water level rose, some of them swam from pillar to pillar to save their lives but luckily the water in there was calmer than the rolling waves outside ~ trying hard to imagine that.

A traditional drum that's used to notify the community of the prayer time, before givinging the Azan (call to prayer) .

We only got to tour this mosque briefly after our prayers before we boarded our ferry at the nearby jetty to Weh island, but we continued our 'tsunami sites tour' 2 days later starting with the Kapal Apung Tsunami Site where we were guided by a survivor.


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