Masjid Hajjah Fatimah

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Coordinates: 1°18′10.4″N 103°51′46.1″E / 1.302889°N 103.862806°E / 1.302889; 103.862806

Masjid Hajjah Fatimah

Masjid Hajjah Fatimah (Malay for Hajjah Fatimah Mosque; Chinese: 哈贾•法蒂玛回教堂) is a mosque located along Beach Road in the Kampong Glam district within the Kallang Planning Area in Singapore. The mosque was completed in 1846. The mosque represented a mix of local Islamic and European architecture, having been designed by colonial architect John Turnbull Thomson. The mosque was named after a lady of the same name, who was a wealthy donor to the building.

History[edit]

The mosque's onion dome.

Named after an aristocratic Malay woman, Masjid Hajjah Fatimah was built in 1845–1846. The mosque was built on the site of Hajjah Fatimah's former house at Java Road. In the late 1830s, this house was broken into twice and, on the second occasion,it was set on fire.

Hajjah Fatimah, who was away when the arson attack occurred, was so relieved to have been spared any injury that she designated the land for a mosque. Since then, most of the buildings at Java Road apart from the mosque have been bulldozed to make way for modern high-rise flats.

Hajjah Fatimah was an intrepid businesswoman, exceptional for her time. Born into a wealthy Malaccan family, she married a Bugis prince from Celebes who ran a trading post in Singapore. The marriage did not last long, however; he died while she was a young woman. Undaunted, she singlehandedly carried on his business, acquiring numerous vessels and prows which she used to amass a large fortune.

Her only child, a daughter named Raja Siti, married Syed Ahmed Alsagoff, son of Syed Abdul Rahman Alsagoff, a successfulArab trader. It was only upon Hajjah Fatimah's death that the business passed into the hands of the Alsagoff family who continued it in its own name. Her grave, along with those of her daughter and son-in-law, lie in a private enclosure in the mosque.

Masjid Hajjah Fatimah was gazetted as a national monument on 6 July 1973.

Today the mosque is owned by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS).

Architecture[edit]

The minaret tower (centre) stands between the inam's residence (left) and the main entrance (right).

Enclosed by a high wall, Masjid Hajjah Fatimah's compound comprises a prayer hall, a mausoleum, the quarters of an Imam, an ablution area, several annexes and a garden. Perhaps its most unusual feature is a distinctive minaret designed by an unidentified European architect. The tower leans about six degrees off centre.

Skewed from the street grid to face Mecca, the prayer hall is surrounded by verandahs on three sides. The hall was re-designed in the 1930s by architects Chung & Wong and the design was executed by French contractors Bossard & Mopin. Five bays form the building façade; the largest central one, flanked by miniature minarets, is the entrance.

Rising behind the façade is a large onion dome with 12 lancet windows, each with yellow and green stained glass. Sixteen ribbed sections form the sphere of the dome and can be seen inside the prayer hall.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • National Heritage Board (2002), Singapore's 100 Historic Places, Archipelago Press, ISBN 981-4068-23-3

External links[edit]