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Masjid Hajjah Fatimah

Masjid Hajjah Fatimah, Singapore Overview

The Hajjah Fatimah Mosque, located in the Kampong Glam area of Singapore, is one of the only three mosques in Singapore to be named after a benefactress. Fatimah was a Malaccan woman who accumulated huge amounts after taking over her deceased husband's business. The most prominent feature of Masjid Hajjah Fatimah is its minaret, often referred to as "Singapore's Leaning Tower", which is a four-level minaret tilting at a six-degree angle due to moisture seepage. Besides this, this mosque is said to resemble the St.Andrew's Cathedral at the City Hall.

The pristine Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is a testimonial to the flourishing Muslim communities who made generous contributions for building it. Designed by an unknown English man and built by French contractors with the help of Malay labourers, the Mosque bears similarities with the classical elements of an Arab styled dome, Doric columns, Chinese detailing and many such European elements. Its eclectic style of architecture amasses the Middle Eastern, Indo-Islamic and European styles and makes it stand out from other mosques. Masjid Hajjah Fatimah is visited by many residential Muslims of Singapore and on Fridays' prayers, the number doubles up. Islamic Religious Council of Singapore manages this Masjid currently. It was gazetted as a national monument in 1973 and was earlier known as Java Road Mosque because of its location.

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Story of Hajjah Fatimah

Hajjah Fatimah was a native of Malacca in Malaysia and was wedded to a Bugis prince from the Sulawesi. Unfortunately, it so happened that her husband passed away and she was left with his business. Successfully trading and handling her husband's business, brought her wealth and richness. However, this huge possession of wealth resulted in her house being burgled and set on fire.

Even after this disaster, Fatimah was left unharmed and safely rescued. This led to her contemplation on the meaning and purpose of life and to manifest her gratitude of being alive, she donated all that she had in the path of Allah Almighty and built the mosque on the exact location where her house stood. After Fatimah passed away, she was buried in a special and confidential area behind the mosque. After years, her daughter and Son-in-Law were also buried in the same enclosure. The ownership of Hajjah Fatimah Mosque was passed on the Alsagoff Family and eventually to the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.

Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
Burial plots inside the mosque compound (Source)

Architecture of Hajjah Fatimah Mosque

The architecture of this masjid is unlike any other Singaporean mosque as it incorporates elements from across the world. Its octagonal minaret ascends from a square base and later during construction, began to incline and tilt six degrees slightly. The older segments like the steeple minaret are said to be constructed by the Governor, Surveyor John T Thomson. The main prayer hall is canopied by a massive golden dome. Around the dome are twelve openings covered with yellow and green glass panels.

The roof of the mosque is covered with merlon cresting, and the main hall is directed towards the Qibla, which is an orientation towards the Mecca, where Muslims face during their Salah (prayer). A section of Masjid Hajjah Fatimah was refurbished by architects from a local firm and Malay artisans and craftsmen. The mosque has some lancet-shaped windows that are of typical Neo-Gothic architecture. Enclosed verandas surround the prayer hall on all three sides.

Masjid Hajjah Fatimah
The massive golden dome of Masjid Hajjah Fatimah (Source)

How To Reach Hajjah Fatimah Mosque

Bus: To reach the Hajjah Fatimah Mosque, alight at the B01411 bus stop which is right next to the mosque. Buses 961#, 961, 980 and 100 reach here.

MRT: To reach via MRT, alight at the Nicoll Highway MRT Station, Exit A and walk for a distance of 4 minutes.

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