The Hajjah Fatimah Mosque is in the historic area of Kampong Glam. It was completed in 1846 and is one of the few mosques to be named after a woman.
Hajjah Fatimah was an aristocrat who lived on Java Road. In the late 1830’s her home was burgled twice. During the second break in, it was set on fire. Hajjah Fatimah was away at the time and was so pleased not to have been injured or burnt that she donated her land for the beautiful mosque which she also paid for.
Hajjah Fatimah Mosque Singapore – History & Opening Hours
Hajjah Fatimah was well ahead of her time. She was lucky to be born into a rich family and married a prince. He ran a trading post in Singapore but he died while Hajjah was still young. She carried on his business which was unheard of for a woman to do at that time. She bought many ships and became extremely wealthy from her own efforts.
Hajjah is buried alongside her daughter and son in law in a private part of the mosque. The mosque was designed by a British architect and because the minaret is very like the spire of St. Andrews Cathedral, he is thought to be John Turnbull Thompson.
The mosque was constructed by French contractors and Malay labourers. In the 1920’s, Hajjah’s great grandson was involved in reconstruction work. The prayer hall was rebuilt in the 1930s and the mosque was declared a National Monument in 1973.
The compound is surrounded by a high walls; the minaret was built on sandy ground and tilts towards the dome by about six degrees, which has given it the name of the leaning tower of Singapore.
The mosque is the perfect blend of classic elements of European style and Malaccan style. So, when you visit the Hajjah Fatimah Mosque, be sure to see the main entrance gate, the leaning minaret tower, the washing area, the mausoleum and the lovely gardens. Today, the mosque is owned by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.
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