Alor Setar, the capital of Kedah, was called as Saiburi in Thai. After the Siamese rule, Alor Setar was under the British colonization and Masjid Zahir was constructed during this period.
Stylistically, Masjid Zahir is the combination between several Islamic schools of architecture. The main dome is of Indian Mughal affiliation being noticeable from the flower on the top of the dome. However, the multi-foils arches and the thin columns are the characters of Moorish influence. The combination of the Mughal and the Moorish influence is the characteristic of Islamic architecture in British colonization period of Malaysian art.