SINGAPORE - The Al-Falah Mosque, Singapore's only mosque on Orchard Road, opened its doors to congregants on Friday (April 22) with a bigger prayer space.
Works to the mosque took one year to complete. The mosque can now hold up to 2,000 congregants, up from 1,500 previously, through extensions on both of its two floors. The mosque serves young people, workers and tourists in the vicinity.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs, officiated the completion ceremony by unveiling a plaque and attending Friday prayers.
"We have to continue to do mosque upgrading as the needs, lifestyle and demographic of the congregation are changing." he said.
The upgrading was done as part of Phase II of the Mosque Upgrading Programme. This Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) scheme aims to enhance the socio-religious well being of the Singapore Muslim community by strengthening key institutions such as mosques.
Six mosques have been upgraded under Phase I and 11 mosques have been upgraded under Phase II of this programme.
The cost of the upgrading works at Al-Falah Mosque was $2.64 million, of which $750,000 came from the Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund. The rest was raised by the mosque and contributed by donors.
As part of the upgrading, amenities such as ramps and a platform lift for the disabled were incorporated. Mosques built in the 1970s and 1980s have been equipped with such amenities during upgrading in consideration for the increasing age of their congregations.
Other additions to Al-Falah Mosque include four classrooms that can be reconfigured, one youth room and a nursing room. The entire prayer hall is now fully air-conditioned.
Mr Ibrahim Samat, 34, head of Islamic learning at Al-Falah Mosque, said: "Our purpose is to entice youth and show that the mosque is not just a religious space, but also a place to mingle. We want to make youth feel welcome and reduce the stigma that mosques are spaces for older people."