My number one recommendation for places to visit in Kuala Lumpur is the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. The beauty, culture, history, architecture…everything is just perfect [in my book]. I spent h o u r s there. I would have taken much longer, or even returned, if I could have.
I read just about every plaque attached to each artifact, took pics of practically everything in there, and just stood in awe and amazement of everything before me. One of my favorite nerdy things to do, is to imagine what life was like centuries ago. Each case housed items that I imagined being used before my eyes. Clothing fit for royalty. Handwritten Qur’anic verses on gloriously decorated pages. Pottery that held the sweetest of fruits. Jewelery heavy with precious stones that graced the dainty collarbones of princesses.
There was so much information to soak up. I wanted to learn all about the history of this art form that I loved so much. The following was taken from one of the informational plaques.
The fundamentals of Islamic art can be attributed to the earliest days of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). It was during his time that the Arabic script gained its distinct status, and thus calligraphy gained prominence as a decorative form. Similarly geometry gained eminence as it reverberates circling the Kaa’ba in Mecca while performing Tawaf [circumambulation] during the Hajj [Holy Muslim Pilgrimage] season. Furthermore, the basic decorative element, the continuous vegetal scrolls and arabesque all found endorsement as they reflect perpetual beauty of the vegetation in the gardens of paradise.
One of the main reasons I was able to really immerse myself in the museum was because my awesome sister watched my kids for me! Oh, sweet, sweet vacation. There is a large and impressive children’s lounge/library area that they spent much of their time in. I brought the girls up to the museum to do a bit of a walk through. They were drawn to the replicas of the mosques around the world, the magnificent domes, and Qur’an displays.
Everything about the museum captivated me. But nothing moved me as much as the section of the museum that displayed numerous ancient Qur’ans. What made this part of the museum so enchanting, beside the exquisite calligraphy of those glorious words, was the beautiful recitation of the Qur’an being played throughout the exhibit. I seriously just had to take a few minutes to sit and take it in. It brought tears to my eyes and renewed a piece of my spirituality.
I can’t stress it enough. If you ever visit KL, take an entire day (or two) to spend at IAMM. The gift shop was awesome. I picked up majority of my gifts from there. Totally reasonable prices, nice quality, a great selection, and friendly staff. There is also a gorgeous restaurant on site that I never managed to get to because I took too long in the museum.