Masjid Sultan Hot
Built during colonial times, this old generation masjid has been gazetted as a national monument. Built in 1824, it was one of the first few masjids to be built on the island. It was later rebuilt in 1920 by Swan and Maclaren who were responsible for Singapore’s other important landmarks. The masjid is a mix of Classical, Persian, Moorish and Turkish themes that form what is known as the Islamic Saracenic style. Located in the Central, it has a capacity of 2000 people and is one of the most frequented prayer venue.
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A mosque befitting the majesty of a Sultan. Masjid Sultan means exactly that. Of all the mosques in Singapore I find Masjid Sultan to be the only mosque to look good because of its size. MUIS architects had tried to emulate that in Masjid Al-Iman but I feel that their efforts only lead to the creation of a vulgar monstrosity.
Masjid Sultan has the look of a mosque of classical definitions. Everything that comes to your mind when you hear the word "mosque" could be seen in Masjid Sultan. However the interesting thing is, I learnt that an Irish architect by the name of Denis Sentry of the firm Swan and McLaren was the person responsible for the design of the Mosque.
I also learnt that the mosque was partly funded by the East India Company as a gesture of thanks to the Sultan for giving away the sovereignty of Singapura to the British. In a way, this mosque is like a "gift" in a rather uncomplimentary sense of the word.
Of all the places in Singapore, it is only here that the prayer call from the masjid could be heard rather clearly within a 500m radius to call the faithful to prayer and that can have a profound effect to those who do live, work or play in the neighbourhood.
It is worth a visit. Even if you are not there to pray or partake in a lecture or class, photography is an excellent activity there as there are plenty of things to photograph. For non-Muslim visitors, you are welcomed to enter the mosque's compound though you may not enter the main prayer hall. And if you are not modestly dressed, you may use the free cloaks provided at the entrance. For definitions of modestly dressed, you may refer to a poster at the front entrance or just nicely enquire. You'll be advised the next course of action to be taken.