Thursday, February 4, 2016

Masjid Abdul Gaffoor

I stumbled onto this mosque while riding along Dunlop Road the other day. The architecture of the mosque is amazing!
Masjid Abdul Gaffor

Background

Built sometime around 1907, the purpose of Masjid Abdul Gaffoor was to replace Masjid Al-Abrar, a simple wooden structure with a tiled roof.

In 1881, Shaik Abdul Gafoor bin Shaik Hyder, the chief clerk in the law firm Khory & Brydges, became one of the two trustees of the Dunlop Street Mosque wakaf (endowment). Following a deed of assignment dated 14 November that same year, a plot on Dunlop Street was conveyed in trust for the building of a new mosque.

Prior to his death in 1919, Shaik Abdul Gafoor ensured that provisions were made for the completion of the mosque. The mosque was later renamed Abdul Gafoor Mosque in his memory

The Mosque Today

Today, the mosque stuck out like a sore thumb among the shophouses of Dunlop Street. Another thing to add, Dunlop Street is named after Colonel Samuel Dunlop, the Inspector-General of Police in the Straits Settlements Police in 1875.
The sign outside the mosque reads in Tamil, Arabic and Malay Rumi
The row of shophouses right in front of the mosque
Another amazing feature within the mosque grounds are a row of shophouses lined up right infront of the mosque. Upon research, these shophouses serve to generate profits received from renting these spaces to fund the building of the mosque.
Mosque interior
The mosque's dome
The mihrab and minbar
Standard features of the mosque include a dome on the roof, mihrab that faces the direction of the qiblah and Muslim calligraphy decorated on the interior walls. However to add on, Saracenic and Neoclassical architecture is observed in the design of the interior. Among the Saracenic features are the exquisite arches with heavy mouldings around the domes and pillars of the prayer hall.

The top of the mosque with he sundial.
Mosque exterior
Standard mosque features such as minarets can also be observed on the exterior. Made outstanding however are elaborately decorated sundial flanked by two fluted pilasters and topped by an ogee-shaped pediment. It bears an intricate sunburst design, adorned with the names of the 25 most prominent Islamic prophets, from Adam to Muhammad, in calligraphy.
Mosque exterior.
A plaque installed by the NHB.
The mosque is managed by MUIS, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore and mostly serves the Indian Muslim community in the area given its location in Little India.

A fading plaque outside the mosque installed by the National Heritage Board in 1979 proclaims that the building is to be preserved. I do however wish they would do this on most of the other historic sites.

National Heritage Board - Abdul Gafoor Mosque

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