The Abu Bakar Mosque is famous not only for its attractive architecture, but also for its location near the Tebrau Straits and for its golden age. Eventhough it is currently more than 100 years old, the mosque retains its original architectural design unlike the Istana Besar nearby, which has been renovated.
The mosque was built in 1893. The laying of its foundation stone was held on 26 July 1892 A.D.(1 Muharram 1310 Hijri) and its construction was completed in 1900. The engineer in charge of its construction was YB Dato' Yahya Awaluddin, while the draughtsman and construction supervisor was Tuan Haji Mohamad Arif bin Punak.
The mosque was built at a cost of RM400,000 and it was officially opened by His Highness Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar. It was given the name Abu Bakar Mosque in honour of his father, the late Sultan Abu Bakar, who commissioned its construction.
The Abu Bakar Mosque was used for the first time for a Friday congregation on 2 February 1900 A.D. (1 Shawal 1317 Hijri). It can accommodate over 2,500 congregational members at any one time. The mosque which still stands tall to this day and is still currently in use posseses design concept that manifests features commonly found in mosques in West Asia. The Abu Bakar Mosque. has two-storey minarets, the upper section being cylindrical and the lower section square in shape with dome structures.
The four domed minarets are decorated with lights imported from Turkey while attractive carvings decorated its pillars, particularly those of the pulpit, a raised platform from which the sermon is read . Meanwhile the marble that adorns the mosque was imported from Italy while the receptacle for burning coal was from China. The engravings in the mosque is said to be similar to those found in the Sultan Hassan Mosque and Imam Shafie Mosque in Egypt.
In addition, a balcony is in place to serve as a walkway for visitors to get a view around the mosque as well as a resting place. The place for taking ablution is located on the lower level to ensure that the cleanliness of the mosque is maintained. Next to the ablution area is provided a long stool for visitors or travellers to take a rest. Another special feature of the mosque is its cool and cosy atmosphere, even when the weather is particularly hot, due to its location atop the hill.
The almost 100-year-old mosque continues to this day to serve the people of Johor Bahru and the call of azan from its minarets at each prayer time relentlessly reminds the Muslims to come for prayers.