The Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is a mosque that looks very different from what you might imagine a mosque to be, mostly because of its British architecture. Built in 1846, the mosque was named after a wealthy aristocratic Malay woman who made a significant contribution to its construction.
At first, Hajjah Fatimah used to live in a house on the same piece of land. There were, however, two break-ins into the house, the second in which the house was on fire. As Fatimah was away during this time, out of gratitude she donated the plot for the construction of a mosque. Hence the Hajjah Fatimah Mosque was designed by the British architect John Turnbull Thomson and completed in 1846.
Hajja Fatimah died a wealthy woman and she was buried within the boundaries of the mosque. The mosque became a designated national monument in 1973.
Observe the impressive architecture
The Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is especially worth seeing because it has a distinct British influence on its architecture. As you stand before it, you may see its almost chapel-like similitude with its beige and white walls and brown trimmings. Such a similarity is fitting as Thomson was an architect for Christian chapels as well.
- The minaret is flanked by the imam’s residence and its main entrance. It is comprised of several European Doric pilasters. Since its spire has a slight tilt to it, it is, interestingly, regarded as the Leaning Tower of Singapore. So if you ever hear the Leaning Tower referred to throughout your travel, you know what it refers to!
- Inside the mosque is a complex of several portions: a prayer hall, the imam’s quarters, Hajjah Fatimah’s mausoleum, an ablution area, as well as various gardens.
- The prayer hall itself is surrounded with verandahs on three of its sides: this hall was actually re-designed in the 1930s by Singaporean architects and constructed by French contractors.
- Beautiful green and yellow stained glass adorns the lancet windows of the large onion dome behind the building’s facade. The dome’s sphere is formed by 16 sections and also is lovely to look at it from the prayer hall.
The Hajjah Fatimah Mosque without a doubt will be one of the most unusual kind of mosques you will see in your travels. Its structure speaks of the melding of human cultures and religions and is emblematic of the diversity of Singapore’s people: it is of little wonder that it has been gazetted as one of its national monuments.
Hajjah Fatima Mosque
4001 Beach Road,