Alkaff Mosque Alkaff Mosque

24 Jun 2016

[#JalanJalan] Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque


Heritage not only plays an important role in understanding the Singapore story, but also in guiding the way forward. It is present in both physical and intangible forms, from buildings to the stories that we share and pass on. Besides retaining monuments for their architectural quality, how are they an inspiration to our current and future generations?

By Gaby Jeyaseelan

Built by a prominent Arab family in Singapore more than 80 years ago, the mosque’s site on Pheng Geck Avenue in Serangoon has an eclectic design that combines various architectural styles. Unlike the minarets of many other mosques in Singapore, towers of which are topped by ogee-shaped domes, Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque’s minaret is pencil-like, a feature popular in Ottoman Islamic architecture. It was gazetted as the 68th national monument and serves around 2,500 worshipers.

“Previously, there we many shophouses in the area. We would cook here in the mosque and share the meals with our neighbours. The kampong spirit is very much present and it is something that we hope will continue,” said Haji Jaffa Patni, 71, the imam and administrative assistant of the mosque who has served devotees for over 30 years.

Mr Salehan Ahmad, 53, chairman of the mosque, sees the role of the mosque as a focal point for inclusion: “Brotherhood is a value that we look to maintain. We are open, wholeheartedly, to others and want to invite Singaporeans of all faiths and races into our space.”

Alkaff Mosque

Interior of Alkaff Mosque

Interior of Alkaff Mosque

Interior of Alkaff Mosque

Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque organises various events, such are iftar during the month of Ramadan, that are open to the members of the public. The mosque also collaborates with other nearby religious institutions such as churches and temples to foster understanding between different communities.

The mosque underwent its latest restoration and renovation in 2014 to better accommodate the needs of congregates and was a recipient of the URA Architectural Heritage Award in 2015.

Looking forward, Mr Salehan hopes that people of all backgrounds can relate to the principles which the mosque stands for: “When heritage sites are preserved, people can come to experience the history and legacy of these places. Here, we want to share universal values of brotherhood and inclusion so that future generations can grow to be upright and civilised to bring our country forward.”

“Brotherhood is a value that we look to maintain. We are open, wholeheartedly, to others and want to invite Singaporeans of all faiths and races into our space.”

- Mr Salehan Ahmad, 53, the chairman of Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque

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