It’s quite a glorious sight to see Sultan Mosque appearing amidst a row of old shophouses as you drive through Arab Street. The Sultan Mosque is located on 3 Muscat street in the Malay Heritage District known as Kampong Glam. It’s wonderful that Singapore is so ethnically diverse and just rich in culture.
And what I love most about blogging here is that although I know Singapore intimately I don’t know everything and there is always room to learn and grow. That’s the exciting bit for me.
I can delve into and learn more about our Singapore culture and history. Sometimes I feel I know more about the places I visit in the world than my own country due to the research I do before I travel. I am sure visitors to our little island have a more intimate knowledge of our history and architecture.
I have to confess that this is the first time I am learning more about the mosque also known as Masjid Sultan, although B already knew much more than I did.
It was named after a real Sultan – Sultan Hussein Shah. The current mosque was completed in 1928 and replaced the older one built way back in 1826. For the muslim community in Singapore this is known as their national mosque and was officially designated a national monument in 1975.
I was most impressed by the golden onion shaped dome. It’s topped by the crescent moon and a star which is the symbol of the Islamic faith. The founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, had a dream in which the crescent moon stretched from one end of the earth to the other. Taking this as a good omen, he chose to make it the symbol of his dynasty.
The most meaningful feature are the glass bottle ends that adorn the base of each dome. The sultan had collected as donations from poor Muslims. I think it was wonderful that the Sultan thought of the poor Muslims and wanted to incorporate contributions from them as well in the architecture of the mosque.
Awe inspiring beauty of the golden domes encompassing the roof above the prayer hall and the tall slender minarets.
The Mughals in India popularized the onion shaped structure.