Sultan Mosque

Sultan Mosque

As you ramble along the Muslim quarter, a mosque with shining domes and skyscrapers on the background suddenly appears before you, just like if you were in an Arabic fairy tale. A national architectural monument, the Sultan Mosque is the city's oldest mosque. It is also the center of the Muslim community of Singapore.

After Singapore was handed over to the British in 1819, Sultan Hussain Shah of Johore with his court and his family were granted the right to settle in Kampong Glam, large areas of which were to be given to Muslim immigrants. Between 1824 and 1826 a mosque with steep two-level pyramidal roof in Indian design was built next to sultan's palace with funds provided by East India Company.

Already in the beginning of the 20th century the Sultan Mosque became too small for the rapidly expanding Muslim community. In the year of the mosque's 100th anniversary a decision was made to construct a new building due to the dilapidated state of the old one. The famous Swan & Maclaren company undertook to lead the project. Architect Denis Santry designed the mosque in Saracenic style that implies that decorations typical of Indian Muslim architecture are applied to a European-style building. The mosque finished in 1928 allows only Muslim men. A gallery on the second level is intended for women. Mosque's board of Trustees lists 2 members of each ethnic group of Singapore's Muslim community.

The Sultan Mosque has remained practically intact till today despite the events of the Second World War. The mosque has one notable distinctive feature – take a closer look and you might notice that the main dome is circled by a ring of glass bottles – that’s a gift from the poor! These bottles were placed in rows of 5 to 6 and in a sunny day they shine as if the mosque was adorned with gems. Mosque interior is decorated with mosaics and calligraphic stanzas. Its mihrab is ornamented with golden patterns, while the magnificent carpet, a symbol of luxury, was presented by a Saudi Arabia prince (it bears his coat of arms). Behind the mosque there is a mausoleum where members of the sultan's family were buried, including the grandson of Sultan Hussain.

Address: 3 Muscat St
Opening hours: for tourists Mon-Thu, Sat-Sun 9.30 am – 12 pm, 2 pm – 4 pm; Fri 2.30 pm – 4 pm
How to reach: MRT Bugis EW12
Coordinates: 1.30222, 103.85906