The Literature, Culture and Society of Singapore


Masjid Malabar, 2001
Masjid Malabar, 2001
Masjid Kampong Siglap, 2000
Masjid Kampong Siglap, 2000

Domes and Minarets

The image of a mosque is most commonly associated with the dome and the minaret. These two elements however are not featured in all types of mosques.

The chief advantage of having domes is that large areas can be roofed without the interference of columns. This suits the mosques' need for space to accommodate the large congregation for Friday prayers.

The minaret is a tower-like structure that serves both as a landmark and as a place where the azan (call to prayer) was traditionally proclaimed. For mosques without minarets, the azan could be performed in the courtyard or on the rooftop, as had been a common practice during the Prophet's time.

In Singapore, the general practice for a more 'Islamic' style has seen the popular use of the dome and minaret in mosque architecture. Some existing mosques have also had these elements added to its structure.

Exhibition is on at the Asian Civilisations Museum till 31 December 2002. This document is part of a joint project of the Asian Civilisations Museum and the University Scholars Programme, National University of Singapore. The images and accompanying text appear here with the kind permission of the Asian Civilisations Museum.

Asian Civilisations Museum University Scholars Programme

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Last updated: February 2002