Cover Photo: Masjid Sultan Singapore/Facebook

Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of some of these architectural masterpieces this Ramadan

This story was first published on May 11, 2021, and updated on March 31, 2022. 


Ramadan will begin on April 3 this year and it also signifies the beginning of a full month of holy fasting for the Muslim community.

During Ramadan, able-bodied Muslims will fast from dawn to dusk daily. This is a requirement in the Islam religion as it is an act of devotion and dedication to God. 

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During the holy month, Muslims will also typically spend an increased amount of time praying at mosques. They will continue to recite the five daily prayers that they typically do but will also have a special prayer (called the Tarawih prayer) which they will recite at night. 

On the 27th day of Ramadan, Muslims will observe a special night called Layat al-Qadr which is also referred to as the Night of Power. It is believed that on this night, Muhammad first received the Holy Quran.

With the country loosening Covid-19 restrictions on March 29, more people will now be able to physically visit mosques, something that was heavily restricted for the last two years. As we do, we can certainly take time to admire some of Singapore’s grandest and most beautiful mosques. Below, we list some of our country’s most breathtaking mosques.

1. Masjid Hajjah Fatimah

The Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is a mosque located along Beach Road in the Kampong Glam district. The building of the mosque was started by Hajjah Fatima who was originally from a wealthy Malaccan family.

The mosque itself contains a prayer hall, a mausoleum, the quarters for an Imam, an ablution area, several annexes and a garden. The building is unique because of its European design that directly contrasts the Islamic dome above the prayer hall.

However, what makes the mosque truly special is that it leans about six degrees off centre due to moisture seepage, the shifting of bricks used in the construction of the tower and the sandy soil on which it sits. It lends character and charm to the building that is not seen in any other mosque in Singapore. 

2. Masjid Darul Ghufran

Masjid Darul Ghufran is a gorgeous and towering religious building that opened in 1990 and that underwent reconstruction and major upgrading works in 2016. 

The mosque reopened in 2019 with three additional floors added to the existing structures as well as two new annexes dedicated to office spaces and classrooms for Islamic studies. It also has a dedicated centre for religious outreach on its premises and a youth hub.

The mosque can accommodate up to 5,500 worshippers which makes it the biggest mosque in Singapore.

3. Masjid Al-Ansar

Masjid Al-Ansar was one of the first mosques in Singapore to be built under phase one of the Mosque Building Fund Programme. It was completed in 1981 and could originally accommodate up to 3,500 people at any one time.

In 2012, the mosque underwent a major renovation that took about three years. When the mosque reopened in 2015, it could accommodate 4,500 people and had a total of seven floors, barrier-free access, ramps, and a family prayer area.

The only part of the original mosque that remained was the minaret, which was turned into an elevator shaft.

 

4. Masjid Sultan

Masjid Sultan is one of the grandest mosques in Singapore and is a prominent landmark at Kampong Glam. The mosque, which is often visited by tourists who are hoping to learn more about the religion and culture, dates back to 1824 when the proposal was made to build it. The mosque was built and ready for use two years later. 

In 1975, the mosque was declared a preserved historical building under the preservation of monuments board act. Over the years, the building has gone through numerous Government-approved upgrades that include the installation of solar panels in 2017 to reduce its carbon footprint. 

Today, the mosque still stands proud, welcoming Muslims and tourists from all walks of life.

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5. Masjid Al-Islah

If you are looking for a mosque with modern architecture, Masjid Al-Islah is a must-visit. Masjid Al-Islah was built in the years when kampungs were still common in Singapore. It used to serve the Malay fishing community until it was brought down in 1995 so that the land could be developed. Over the years, money was raised to build the mosque again and in June 2015, this dream was realised with the finished construction of the mosque which is located in Punggol.

The mosque has arched doorways and latticed screens which allows a lot of light to enter and illuminate the prayer space. 

6. Masjid Abdul Gafoor

Masjid Abdul Gafoor, which was named after Shaik Abdul Gaffoor bin Shaik Hyder, is a gorgeous mosque located in a quiet corner of Little India. The building was first constructed in 1859 as a simple wooden structure. In 1910, however, the mosque was upgraded to its present form. It then went through a SGD$7 million restoration in 2003.

This mosque is special mostly because of its unique architecture which features influences from Arabia, India and the Renaissance period. Painted in bright hues of green and yellow, the mosque also boasts large Corinthian columns and intricate leaf designs.

Masjid Abdul Gafoor was declared a national monument in 1979 and continues to operate to this day. 

7. Masjid Maarof

Masjid Maarof is a mosque that is relatively new and is located in Jurong West. Though it is new, its name does carry an incredible amount of history. In fact, Masjid Maarof was one of Singapore's oldest mosques and was 116-years old.

In 2014, the new building was given the name Masjid Maarof which was part of Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis) efforts to keep alive the memory of mosques in Singapore that no longer exist. 

Masjid Maarof boasts beautiful and sprawling modern designs with Islamic patterns along the exterior of the building. What's really stunning about this mosque is that it has a beautiful transparent roof that welcomes in sunlight, giving the space a very open and airy feel.

8. Masjid Assyafaah

Masjid Assyafaah is a new mosque that was built under Phase III of Muis' mosque building fund programme. This programme aimed at serving the needs of the Muslim community in the Northern areas of Singapore and was built as a replacement for two older mosques that closed down in the area. 

The mosque was opened in 2004 and can accommodate about 4,000 people at any one time. 

What makes it special are its gorgeous modern touches and towering ceilings that began as an attempt to create a distinctively modern mosque that was different from older and more traditional ones. 

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