A 130-year-old mosque in Little India, one of Singapore's oldest, can now accommodate 2,500 worshippers - up from 1,500 previously - following renovations over two years.
A lift with access to all levels, a dedicated level for female worshippers, classrooms and a multi-purpose hall are among the new features at the Angullia Mosque after a $6.3 million revamp under the mosque upgrading programme of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).
The mosque now also has an air-conditioned main prayer hall, as well as a fresh coat of red paint and a modern lattice dome. It was officially reopened by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli yesterday afternoon.
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 Ayoob Angullia. It was rebuilt in the 1970s.
Yesterday, Mr Masagos, who is also Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, 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 Angullia are being rebuilt and renovated as they represent the work of Singapore's pioneer generation. He also 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.
Before the upgrade, a consultation exercise to gather feedback from the community was conducted by Muis and mosque officials to help decide on the look and features they wanted for the mosque. "From the consultation, many suggestions were considered and ideas which allowed for increased accessibility and comfort for congregants were implemented," said Muis in a factsheet.
The Angullia Mosque is frequented by foreign workers, particularly on weekends and on special occasions like Hari Raya Haji and Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Located close to Farrer Park MRT station and Mustafa Centre, it 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, Mr Ayoob said worshippers can look forward to new programmes to learn about Islam and 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 businesses. 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 of the new landscape of Serangoon Road."