Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Masjid al-Abrar

Masjid al-Abrar
Originally uploaded by LilMudPie
Masjid al-Abrar is one of the oldest mosques in Singapore, built in 1820s.
Not known to most people, when this mosque was built, it was facing the sea. Years later, the shore in front of it was reclaimed, so the mosque "moved" inland. When it was first built, it was a landmark for ships coming into Singapore harbour as one of the few relatively large buildings.
The mosque was built by Tamil settlers, who called it kuchu pillay, or small temple. It was actually very much smaller than what it is now. If you visit this mosque today you will enter walk up a few steps through a large door, which was actually the gate. Inside this gate are a few more steps and then there is a chamber. If you look carefully, you will realise that this chamber, which would easily be mistaken for the prayer hall, was at one time a separate building by itself - it was actually the hut that was the original mosque.
The mosque is always overfilled on Fridays for jumaat, with worshippers on the sidewalk, and sometimes on the road space.
The khutbah is in Tamil (correction : Arabic), and is very very short. There is a kuliah before azan in Tamil, and then the khutbah Jumaat is just the short part that we always hear in arabic at the end of other khutbahs.
The mosque has a prayer hall for women on the upper level, accessible by the door on the right. Due to space constraints, there is not enough room for women during Jumaat prayers.
There is a very popular Malay restaurant opposite this mosque called Nusantara.


Anonymous said...

The khutbah is in Arabic.

MudPie said...

Thanks. I meant the kuliah is in Tamil, and the khutbah in Arabic. Corrected accordingly. Thanks again, and thank you for visiting. I always thought I was writing to myself all this while.