Weather :

Time Required : 1-2 hours

Timings : Saturday - Thursday: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Friday: 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
The mosque remains closed for prayers at 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM & 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM, and fully, on Sundays & Public Holidays.

Masjid Sultan, Singapore Overview

Majestically standing in the historic district of Kampong Glam, the Sultan Mosque (Masjid Sultan) is Singapore's largest mosque and focal point of the Muslim community in the Lion City. Seemingly pulled out of the Arabian Nights, the enchanting mosque is constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style, the highlight being the huge prayer hall topped by a shimmering golden dome. Both regarding its glorious appearance, and the sheer size, the Sultan Mosque is a must-visit if one is in the Kampong Glam district.

Bringing with it the rich taste of culture and ethnic diversity of the Muslims of Singapore, Masjid Sultan was gazetted as a National Monument in the year 1975. It was built in 1824 for Sultan Hussein Shah, the first sultan of Singapore, with the help of a grant from Sir Raffles, the founder of Singapore. Today, it stands as a reminder of Malay royalty than once housed in the region. Non-Muslims are refrained from entering the main prayer hall at all times, while one is expected to dress modestly when visiting the Sultan Mosque. If visiting during the Ramadan month, make sure to check out the dazzling night markets in the area.

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Architecture of Sultan Mosque

The Sultan Mosque of Singapore is built in the Indo-Saracenic Revival style of architecture, combining the aesthetic of European design, while also incorporating traditional Indian and Islamic elements. The highlight of the magical mosque is the golden onion-shaped domes topping off the eastern and western ends of the prayer hall, one which caps the main entrance, while the other crowns the mausoleum where Sultan Alauddin Alam Shah (the grandson of Sultan Hussein Shah) and other members of the royal family are buried.

A crescent moon and a star are present on both the domes- symbols that are often associated with Islam. The base of each dome is lined with a belt of glass bottles, which were once donated by the poor as their contributions to the mosque's construction. Rectangular in plan, the main prayer hall, which is also in the same orientation with that in Mecca, can hold up to 5,000 worshippers. The mihrab, which is a niche on a wall inside the prayer hall indicates the direction of Mecca and is framed by a lancet-shaped arch and decorated with scroll motifs, leaves, flowers, curling tendrils, and classical vines. The numerous onion-shaped windows on both levels allow the interior to be well ventilated.

History

Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor signed an alliance with the East India Company in 1824 to establish a British trading port on the island. They agreed to pay a yearly allowance to the Sultan and his kin and to recognise Kampong Glam as the royal family's asset. To this, Sir Stamford Raffles gave 3000 Spanish Dollars for the construction of the Sultan Mosque. Back then, the mosque bore an appearance similar to that of traditional Southeast Asian mosques- it was single storeyed brick-structure with a two-tiered pitched roof.

Around a hundred years later, in 1924, the mosque was in a dire state and desperately needed a renovation. At this point, an Irish architect by the name of Denis Santry from the local architectural firm of Swan & Maclaren was commissioned for the project. A fundraising had also been initiated during which the poor Muslims donated glass bottles, which now make the bottom of the domes of Sultan Mosque. It is also said that in the past, Sultan Mosque was used as a stoppage for Muslim pilgrims on the way to Mecca, for their sacred Haj journey.

Tips

  • Organisations, companies, or schools, are required to make arrangements to the mosque 1 week before the visit date. Arranged visits take place from Monday to Thursday: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Visitors are not allowed entry into the prayer hall, unless in the company of one of the mosque officials.
  • Visitors can only enter via the Main Entrance only (facing Bussorah Street).
  • The recommended dress code is Sleeved Tops & Long Pants, for men, Long-sleeved Tops, Bottoms Down to Ankle for women, and Sleeved Tops & Track Pants for students. Please make sure the clothes are not see-through.
  • Robes are available at the entrance based on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Footwear must be removed before entering the mosque.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for the mosque's informative guided tours. The guides can speak English, Malay, Chinese, and even Japanese.
  • Photography is allowed but without flash. Permission for videography is required.

How To Reach Sultan Mosque Singapore

Bus: The nearest bus stop to Masjid Sultan is North Bridge Rd, Victoria Street and Beach Road, at a walkable distance.

MRT: The nearest MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) Stations are Bugis MRT Station and Jalan Besar MRT Station, from where the mosque is a ten-minute walk.

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