Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lost Roads and Heritage: Masjid Tentera Di-Raja

Like a sore thumb, situated atop a hill east of Clementi Road. This particular institution cannot be missed thanks to the gold-painted dome.

Background

Masjid Tentera Di-Raja
Built in 1961 by Muslim members of the British army, the mosque was renamed to "Masjid Tentera Di-Raja" (Which in English translates to "Royal Army Mosque") in recognition of their contributions. It was officially opened on 30th March 1962 by then Yang Di-Pertuan Negara, Encik Yusof Ishak. Located in the West near the National University of Singapore, its majestic position at a hill's summit and is further distinguished by its minaret topped by a gold-painted dome.

The Mosque Today

The sign outside the mosque.
The mosque is an old building with fairly simple and basic conveniences. It does feature standard modern touches as of other mosques in Singapore.
Main Prayer Hall
Main Prayer Hall
The main prayer hall doesn't feature extravagant ornaments, somewhat a testament to the 70s and 80s were all about, simplicity.
Masjid Tentera Di-Raja
Mosque's Office
Ablution area behind the mosque
Located behind the mosque is a cafe selling foodstuffs. It was closed while I was there but I assumed that it only operates during busy periods such as after Friday prayers.
A makeshift stall selling foodstuffs, a common sight in mosques after Friday Prayers.
Exterior of the mosque
Shipping containers used as classrooms.
At the eastern side of the mosque, shipping containers double up as two story classroom blocks. Something I have also seen in Masjid Darul Ghufran in Tampines too. These classrooms are used for the mosque's madrasah (Religious classes).

Conclusion

I do find the mosque unique due to its name, "Tentera Di-Raja", meaning "Royal Army" in Malay. The lush greenery surrounding the mosque sets the tone for the serene and calm setting as its backdrop. Not only that, its location on a hilltop overlooking the West Coast Bay coupled with its rich history really makes this mosque a place worth visiting.

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