The Literature, Culture and Society of Singapore


Front Gate of Masjid Al-Abrar, 2000
Front Gate of Masjid Al-Abrar, 2000
Masjid Sultan, 2001
Masjid Sultan, 2001


It is not known when Islam first reached Singapore but there were Muslim inhabitants on the island when Raffles first arrived in 1819. Singapore's rapid growth drew Muslim migrants of various ethnic origins - from the Malay archipelago, Arabia and India.

The images above shows two of the earlier mosques built in Singapore. The first picture shows Masjid Al-Abrar on Telok Ayer Street which was erected between 1850 to 1855. The latter, Masjid Sultan was built in 1924 by an Irish architect.

Mosques in Singapore hardly conform to one single style as their architecture depends on the interplay between the patron's vision of the image of a mosque and the architect's design, which may derive from traditional forms or take a completely modern approach.

As the mosque is a living space, constant changes are being made to it through renovations, and, in some cases, redevelopment to serve the needs of its community better.

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

[Main Web Page] [Singapore] [Religion] [Visual Arts] [Spirit of a Community] [Next Section]

Last updated: February 2002