Malabar Mosque



Opened on 24 January 1963 by Yang Di-Pertuan Negara, Yusof bin Ishak,1 Malabar Mosque, or Masjid Malabar in Malay, is located at the junction of Victoria Street and Jalan Sultan.The mosque, built in the traditional Islamic mosque architectural style, is managed by the local Malabar Muslim community.3

History
The Malabar Mosque is the only mosque in Singapore that is managed by the Malabar Muslim community. The Malabar Muslims, originally from the southern state of Kerala in India,4 settled down in Singapore from the early 19th century onwards. Primarily traders dealing in textiles and jewellery, these immigrants formed an association in 1927 known as the Malabar Muslim Jama’ath to look into the affairs of their small community.5 The association’s first office was located in a humble shophouse on ChangiRoad. It later shifted to Bussorah Street and finally settled on Victoria Street. The Malabar Muslims realised the need for a mosque of their own, and thus the association took on the task of constructing one.6


The site at the corner of Victoria Street and Jalan Sultan was selected. It was next to an old Malabar Muslim cemetery, dating back to 1819.7 After finalising the construction plans, the foundation stone for the mosque was laid on 10 April 1956 in a ceremony officiated by the mufti of Johor, Tuan Syed Alwi Adnan, who represented Sultan Ibrahim bin Abu Bakar of Johor.8 A fund-raising project held to finance the construction, saw generous donations coming in from the public, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. On 24 January 1963, Malabar Mosque was declared open by Yang di-Pertuan Negara (Head of State) Yusof bin Ishak.9

Description
The mosque was designed by A. H. Siddique, an immigrant from northern India, who also designed the Sri Guru Nanak Sat Sangh Sabha on Wilkinson Road.10 The mosque has a traditional architectural style. It is adorned with a big, central golden onion dome with a crescent and a star; its minaret is an octagonal tower capped with a smaller dome with a crescent and a star on the right of the big dome. On the left of the big dome there is another smaller dome with a crescent and a star. A series of external staircases connect the various levels of the mosque.11 The ground floor houses the Koran study area, the imam’s room and a visitors’ lounge. Offices and the ablution area are situated in a separate double-storey annex. The main prayer hall is situated on the first floor surrounded by spacious verandas on its three sides and faces the direction of Mecca. The staircase that leads to the first level is also oriented towards Mecca.12 The external façade of the mosque is covered in distinct blue and white tiles. Originally, the external walls were simply painted. But as the surrounding Jalan Sultan area underwent redevelopment work in the early 1990s, the mosque was retiled in 1995 to suit the modern settings of its improved surroundings.13

Variant names
Golden Dome Mosque, Malabar Muslim Jama’ath Mosque.14



Author
Naidu Ratnala Thulaja



References
1.
Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS]); Malabar Muslim Jama’ath Mosque. (n.d). About us. Retrieved on 2016, October 13 from Malabar Muslim Jama’ath Mosque website: http://mmj.org.sg/about-us/
2. Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
3. Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
4.
Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
5.
Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
6.
Malabar Muslim Jama’ath Mosque. (n.d). About us. Retrieved on 2016, October 13 from Malabar Muslim Jama’ath Mosque website: http://mmj.org.sg/about-us/
7.
Byrne, B. G. (2002). Singapore: A walking tour. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 74. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BYR-[HIS]); Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
8.
Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS]); Sultan will lay stone of mosque. (1956, April 10). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Malabar Muslim Jama’ath Mosque. (n.d). About us. Retrieved on 2016, October 13 from Malabar Muslim Jama’ath Mosque website: http://mmj.org.sg/about-us/
9.
Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
10.
Byrne, B. G. (2002). Singapore: A walking tour. Singapore: Times Editions, p. 74. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 BYR-[HIS]); Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places. Singapore: Times Books International, p. 265. (Call no.: RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA])
11.
Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places. Singapore: Times Books International, p. 265. (Call no.: RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA]); Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
12.
Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])|
13.
Uma, D. G., et al. (2002). Singapore’s 100 historic places. Singapore: Archipelago Press, p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])
14.
Malabar Muslim Jama’ath Mosque. (n.d). About us. Retrieved on 2016, October 13 from Malabar Muslim Jama’ath Mosque website: http://mmj.org.sg/about-us/



Further resource
Breaking fast together at the mosque. (1995, February 7). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

 

Subject
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Religious Buildings
Religious buildings
Singapore--History--1945-1963
Architecture, Islamic--Singapore
Mosques--Singapore
Arts>>Architecture>>Religious buildings