Masjid Al-Abrar is one of Singapore’s oldest mosques. Also known as Masjid Chulia or Kuchu Palli, this mosque was gazetted as a national monument in 1974.
This monument is of significance because it honours the Chulia immigrants who resided in the area during the colonial time of Singapore.
Masjid Al-Abrar, Prayer & Opening Hours, Telok Ayer Street, Singapore
The mosque started as a small hut in 1827, and it was given the nickname, Kuchu Palli, which means ‘hut mosque’ in Tamil. The immigrants often came to the hut not just to pray, but to hold community gatherings and socialise.
It wasn’t until 1850 that the brick mosque was built, and it took five years to complete. From 1986 to 1989, it underwent several renovations. Eventually, it saw the addition of a new floor and a jack roof, as well as a shelter between the prayer hall and entrance gate. These changes then allowed the mosque to accommodate as many as 800 worshippers at any time.
One of the most striking features of Masjid Al-Abrar is its use of European Neoclassical design elements. Doric columns line the prayer hall, while vibrant glass panels enhance the fan lights on top of the French windows. A beautiful blue glass panel, found atop the mihrab (used to indicate the direction to Mecca), is inscribed with an important verse in Arabic. The mosque design also helps it stand out from the shophouses nearby.
Today, the mosque serves much of Singapore’s Indian Muslim community. Many other worshippers from other communities also come to say their prayers at the mosque; particularly on Fridays.
The Masjid Al-Abrar is located at 192 Telok Ayer Street in Singapore.