SINGAPORE - The newly upgraded Angullia Mosque in Serangoon was officially opened by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli on Friday afternoon (Feb 14).
Following renovations over the past two years, the historic 130-year-old mosque in Little India, one of Singapore's oldest, will be able to accommodate 2,500 worshippers - up from the 1,500 previously.
A lift accessible to all levels, a dedicated level for female worshippers, classrooms and a multi-purpose hall are among the new features after the $6.3 million upgrading works.
Completed under the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis') mosque upgrading programme, the Angullia Mosque now also has an air-conditioned main prayer hall, as well as a fresh coat of red paint and a modern lattice dome.
The mosque was first built by the late merchant and philanthropist Mohammad Salleh Eusoff Angullia in 1890, a Gujarati Sunni Muslim from Rander, north of Mumbai and the great-great granduncle of the mosque's current chairman, Mr Ayoob Angullia. It was rebuilt in the 1970s.
On Friday, Mr Masagos toured the mosque together with Muis chief executive Esa Masood and Deputy Mufti of Singapore Nazirudin Mohd Nasir.
Speaking to reporters, the minister said he was pleased to note that old mosques like Anguilla are being rebuilt and renovated as they represent the work of Singapore's pioneer generation and held up the local Muslim community for contributing donations to make its renovation possible.
"This is the spirit of Muslims in Singapore, where we always come together and put our resources together," he said.
In a fact sheet on Friday, Muis said that prior to the upgrading, a consultation exercise to gather feedback from the community was conducted by the council and by mosque officials to help decide on the look and features of the upgraded mosque.
"From the consultation, many suggestions were considered and ideas which allowed for increased accessibility and comfort for congregants were implemented," said Muis.
"Examples include a dedicated prayer space on the third storey for females and classrooms on the third storey; a new auditorium and dual-use outdoor roof area on the fourth storey will enhance the mosque-going experience for all groups," it added.
The Angullia Mosque is frequented by foreign workers, particularly on weekends and on special occasions like Hari Raya Haji and Hari Raya Puasa.
The mosque, which is located close to Farrer Park MRT station and Mustafa Centre, has been a centre for religious and social activity for both locals and foreign workers for decades.
In a speech to congregants who had gathered for Friday prayers at the mosque, Mr Ayoob said that worshippers can look forward to new programmes to learn about Islam and to new services which the mosque will provide.
"We have seen many developments taking place around us, such as new shopping and medical centres, hotels, restaurants and business enterprises. More and more tourists visit Little India and locals continue to throng Serangoon Road," he said.
"Therefore, my team is looking towards new programmes and services for the Angullia Mosque, keeping abreast with the new landscape of Serangoon Road."