The first museum of its kind in the region, this cultural gem houses
important artifacts that chronicle the development of Islamic culture
within Sarawak and throughout the Malay-Indonesian archipelago.
The museum is the proud custodian of the oldest extant Islamic
artifact in Malaysia, an inscription stone found in Terengganu dating
back to AD1302. And within its collections are curios from as far
a field as China, India and Persia.
The museum's main gallery houses artifacts and manuscripts which
recount the arrival of Islam to the Malay-Indonesian archipelago.
The secondary gallery boasts an impressive collection of Islamic
architecture and decorative arts found in mosques, palaces and forts
dating from the early 7th to 8th centuries. Of particular interest
are "Jubin" or ceramic tiles dating from the Safavid period
of Persia in the 17th century. Also on display are wonderfully intricate
tiles from Syria and Turkey. The museum's collection of ceramics
extends to Persian earthenware bowls, and ' jars, mugs, bowls, plates,
pitchers and vases with the earliest dating back to the 10th century.
A section is also devoted to Muslim scholars who made great advances
in various fields of learning. Another section is devoted to Muslim
astronomers and medics. Items displayed include astro-navigational
instruments such as astrolabes, which were early astro-navigation
Rare, ancient science and literary religious manuscripts as well
as outstanding Islamic calligraphy dating back to the 15th century
are also on display.
Other exhibits of interest include Islamic weaponry dating back
to the 17th century, such as keris (kris), daggers, swords and firearms
from the Ottoman period, and body armour from the Persian Qajar
period (1840-1850). There are also coins of various periods and
items of trade on display.