Gonjong Masjid Raya Sumatera Barat (Analysis of Mosque Roof Form in Islamic Studies and Local Wisdom of Sumatra Barat Culture)

Riya Wahyuni, Zakaris Sukarya Soeteja and Tri Karyono

Art Education, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Jln. Dr. Setia Budi No. 299, Bandung, Indonesia Riya@student.upi.edu 


"Gonjong" by the Minangkabau community is known for its towering roof towards the sky which is usually located in the Minangkabau traditional house, gonjong custom house itself is one of the existing privileges in Minangkabau traditional house after ornaments and spaces. At the present moment, gonjong is not only seen in Minangkabau traditional house, but can be seen in the Great Mosque of West Sumatra. The mosque became the largest and grandest mosque by cooperating with the elements of local cultural wisdom of West Sumatra. however, still maintain the Islamic values of the mosque used as a place of worship. This study aims to understand what the meaning contained from the roof of the Great Mosque of West Sumatra both in the study of Islam and local wisdom Culture of West Sumatra. The method used is descriptive method with qualitative approach using study of cultural theory of semiotics. The preliminary results of this study are to show the public that the roof shape of the mosque is not just an effort to create a unique form but to communicate the moral message both in the study of customs and Islam. 

Keyword: Gonjong, Local wisdom of West Sumatera Culture, Study of Islam 


Architecture of indigenous house of West Sumatra is known as gadang (big), called the name of the gadang house because this house has a large form and its function is also very large in Minangkabau society. The gadang house used to be used as a family residence, in addition to its function as a residential home this house is also a symbol of identity that signifies a people, Minangkabau traditional house is used as a place of consensus, a place to carry out traditional ceremonies, a place to care for a sick family and so on. Rumah gadang has an interesting design, one of which is a gonjong on the roof of a gadang house that looks unique, gonjong is the roof of a triangular shaped and towering skyward. The Minangkabau people are known as mambasuik ka bumi (back to earth) and the natural of becoming a teacher (all of which exist in the universe can be used as teacher / learning to nature) the meaning of the term among others, local wisdom in Minangkabau all have natural elements, because the Minang people believe that nature provides life lessons for them, as well as the existing architecture of Minangkabau 

Minangkabau houses where the roof of Bagonjong's roof has an imitation of nature. Although much controversy concerns the understanding of the meaning of gonjongan itself, some of which are gonjong is an imitation of the buffalo horn that adapts to the naming of Minangkabau, and those that mention gonjong is a basic siriah nan basusun that for the Minang people have the meaning of friendship among fellow human beings. The uniqueness of the roof form of the gadang house is an idea to be adopted into other buildings by modifying and re-establishing the traditional form such as the West Sumatra Grand Mosque (MRSB) which began working on the first stone laying in 2012 by the designer Rizal Muslimin. The adoption is undertaken underlying the importance of awareness of the identity of local cultural wisdom. Although the mosque uses traditional Minangkabau architectural forms, as the mosque does not leave its Islamic nuance as a place of worship that also follows the times. The Great Mosque of West Sumatra was built while maintaining its modernity, culture and its islamic into a unity. The unique form that adopts from the traditional form of local wisdom has the characteristic and philosophical values, both in cultural studies and Islamic studies. For that, the uniqueness of the design of this mosque is not merely as a decoration of buildings to attract people to come to the mosque, but has meaning and message useful for the life of the people, especially the Minangkabau community.


Mosque architecture is an important building in the development of Islamic religious arts. The mosque is a sacred and sacred place for Muslims in running worship and other religious activities by hoping keridho-an to Allah SWT, Fanin (2009, p. 244) mentioned that the mosque is a sacred object. Many of us hear the story of Islam that Rasulullah SAW made the mosque as a place to broadcast the religion of Islam in his preaching. Ansary (2012) describes the culmination of the glory of Islam which is shown in terms of architectural works after the Prophet died was during the reign of the Abbasid Caliphate during the period 737-961M. (in Rony, 2014). At this time many mosques are encountered with all its uniqueness due to enter the modern era and begin the development of Islam in a community environment to a better direction. The mosque basically has many forms and different designs in each region, and continues to grow along with the times. But like any kind of mosque has some similarities in some parts of the mosque, the main components of the mosque that always exist in every mosque, among others, the dome, tower, mihrab, pulpit, and sahan. However, for how the shape and the model itself each region adjusts to local characteristics and culture. It's just for the function of the mosque from one area to another area is still the same. The function of the mosque can be described into several points as described Rifa'I and facrurozy (2005) mentions the functions of the mosque into six basic functions include: Function of the mosque as a place of prayer, social function, political function, educational function, economic function, the function of art and culture development. (in Musodik 2016). This statement is evidenced by the many activities of mosque not only for prayer but also for activities of da'wah and education for the Muslim community. The mosque studied by researchers named Masjid Raya Sumatera Barat (MRSB) located in downtown Padang, Jl. Katib Sulaiman kecamatan Padang Utara. The mosque occupies an area of 40,343 square meters. Laying of the first stone was held on December 21, 2012 This mosque was designed by Rizal Muslimin after winning the beat against 323 other designers. This mosque consists of 3 floors and is expected to accommodate the congregation as much as 20 000 people ie 15,000 people on the 2nd floor and 5000 people on the 3rd floor. This mosque is considered to be the grandest and most expensive mosque in Sumatra Barat. Although basically the mosque in the region of West Sumatra always dominasi with the dome, does not mean the roof of this mosque does not have a dome. The Great Mosque of West Sumatra (MRSB) actually has a dome in the building, the dome is just located in the interior of the architecture and named with a kubah semu


The method used in this research is qualitative method. Qualitative research is a research that is shown to describe and analyze phenomena, events, social activities, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, thoughts of individuals and groups. (Sukmadinata, 2012. pp. 60). For that researchers will describe the meaning of the roof shape of the Great Mosque of Sumatera Barat (MRSB/Masjid Raya Sumatera Barat) based on Islamic studies and local wisdom of Minangkabau culture. Because art exists in an integrated cultural system with different concepts (Husain, 2013). This study uses cultural theories in its assessment to understand the form that is present in the building atab yankni by using the theory of semiotics. Data collection techniques used in this study are library studies, reading books, journals, internet and plunge directly into the field. In this research, the researcher seeks to find and understand the roof of the mosque by studying culturally based on local wisdom of Sumatra Barat culture and study it based on the view or study of Islam as a mosque

LITERATURE VIEW and THEORETICAL: Forms, Cultural Studies 

Masjid Raya West Sumatra is a mosque that has a design that combines elements of culture with modern elements while maintaining the nuances of Islam as a house of worship. The combination creates a beautiful and unique shape. Changes in form and content (content) are two aspects of unity that become the essence (value) the basis of a work of art. (Kiswanto, 2017). The created form will become a meaningful symbol. Sumardjo (2000: 116) also explained that: The art form is also the art form itself. How the shape, that's the content. No artist creates artwork without consciousness. He creates an art object because there is something to be conveyed to another person, whether his feelings, his mood, his thoughts, his message or his message, he is convinced, all expressed in a form appropriate to his contents. (in Kiswanto, 2017). Shape that is designed by holding the element of culture and Islamic nuance resembles a unique symbol that can be studied the depth of the meaning cultural because indirectly the building become one of architecture with cultural elements. Culture is understood here as the production of the continuous meaning of means of human activity. The symbolic level of any society is shaped by a set of existing semiautonomic cultural fields but in interaction with one another. (Jofr, 2015). So to analyze the significance of the form of symbols based on the theory of cultural studies that semiotics. Piliang (2003, pp. 270) is a combination of various signs (in Kasmahidayat, 2010 p. 34). Therefore, this study tried to analyze the shape of the mosque roof west of west sumatra based on the view of Minangkabau society because it resembles atab Gadang home which is a sign and also analyze the shape of the roof according to the Islamic View. Masjid Raya Sumatera Barat was previously studied by a graduate student of ISI Yogyakarta in his writing describes the Great Mosque of Sumatera Barat (MRSB) can be said to enter into the class of architecture flow Neo Vernacular. Neo Vernacular flow is the result of the post-modern era so as to bring up new forms of style from within the architecture. (Alimin 2016). Besides, neo-vernacular architecture in its development must pay attention to its architectural technology, the attention in development should be focused on the question of "how to build and how to build it" because it must relate to the environment, not only local characteristics but adaptation of building climate. (Wang, Li, & Gan, 2016). Based on the above explanation, the mosque was built to adjust the climate and local culture and the use of environmentally friendly materials. Especially for Padang city area that is prone to earthquake, this mosque was designed to be able to withstand earthquakes such as rumah gadang that is resistant to earthquakes. 


Mosque of West Sumatra which adopted the form of the roof of Minangkabau traditional house that is gadang house by doing the simplification of the form is one of the forms of the adjustment of the times by the designers of the building with the intention of maintaining and preserving the local cultural traditions wisdom. Jakob (2010, pp. 263) explains The roof of a gadang home is a three pattern always larger than the house body. This is the symbol of the "exposed sky" like an umbrella (umang) that protects the "spreading earth" which is the man's house with a roof overhead with the one facing upstream, the other end downstream. The shape of the roof of the house can be curved up like a boat shape or buffalo horn or young moon. People often interpret it as "boat roof because they are maritim so know the model of" boat upside down  Formerly the gonjong roof in the gadang home made from fibers, due to environmentally friendly, and gonjong itself is also called siriah basusun which symbolizes the rope of the relationship. For that the application of the roof of the mosque resembles gonjong traditional house "Gonjong" Mosque in Minangkabau Cultural Studies is expected to connect the ropes of all religious communities of Islam. Mosque "Gonjong" in Islamic Studies In the study of Islam the meaning of the roof of the Great Mosque of West Sumatra is the unifying of Islam where the roof that implies the story of the appointment of the stone of hajar aswad. As described by Sayuti (Hidayahtulloh.com) is a mosque inspired by a cloth to lift the stone of the aswad beaten by a tribe that endures the fabric. As for the story of the stone of hajj aswad in makkah it shows the factional conflict among the Muslims of the four tribes of quraish who are fighting over each other to move the stone to the place after the Ka'bah's renovation. In the end the Prophet Muhammad (SAS) decided to give the middle way by raising the stone of the aswad stone using a piece of rectangular cloth. So it can be stretched together by holding the tip of the cloth. (in Alimin 2016). Based on the history that the mosque roof design resembles a stretch of cloth that lifted the end to resemble a horn like gonjongan house gadang. 

Baca juga: Ukiran Minangkabau (Analysis of Mosque Carving in the Study Local Culture Wisdom of Sumatra Barat)


The Great Mosque of West Sumatra is a mosque that takes the cultural element in the form of architectural design, the mosque is a mosque Neo Vernacular type by combining traditional nuances with modern. However, although this mosque adopted the traditional form of the mosque still holds Islamic values in its development and design. The shape of the roof of the Great Mosque of West Sumatra which adopted the form of the roof of Minangkabau traditional house that is gadang house by doing the simplification of this step form is an adjustment of the times that made by the architectural designer with the intention to maintain and preserve indigenous cultural tradition wisdom. Gonjong interpreted as siriah basusun expected to connect the ropes of all people. The roof shape of the mosque is studied based on Islamic studies on the history of the ashrat stone rapture in the time of the Prophet, where there is a debate about who will lift the stone. The Prophet Muhammad also found a way out by using a cloth and put the stone in the center of the cloth so that each representative of the hostile people can lift it simultaneously. 


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