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Cecil Lee

Masjid Hajjah Fatimah (Mosque)

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[Note: Masjid in Malay simply means a Mosque.]

Masjid Hajjah Fatimah was built between 1845 and 1846. It stands on the site of what used to be the house of its founder, Hajjah Fatimah, from whom it takes its name. Hajjah Fatimah was a wealthy Malay woman from Melaka. 

She married a Bugis prince and was
widowed at a young age upon which she took over her husband’s business with great success, conducting extensive trade and owning many
steamers and sailing vessels.

In the late 18303, her home was ransacked twice by thieves. Grateful to Allah that she was unharmed, she donated money and the land which her house stood on towards the
building of a mosque, which was designed by an unknown British architect. The mosque underwent reconstruction works in the 1930’s under the supervision of Hajjah
Fatimah’s great grandson, Syed Abdulrahman bin Taha Alsagoff (1880—1955). 

The main prayer hall was rebuilt in the saracenic style. The classical, onion-shaped dome was constructed during this phase of work. The building shows a blend of Eastern and
Western architectural styles. The wooden balcony above the entrance gate reflects a Moorish design. European influences can be found in the pilasters with Doric capitals on the
first three tiers of the minaret. The parapets of the minaret are inset with green glazed Chinese porcelain tiles. The minaret has a unique design,
consisting of an eight—sided peak tapering towards the sky atop a two-tiered octagonal tower on a square base.

In the 1960’s, the streets and buildings in this area were demolished for redevelopment works, except for Masjid Hajjah Fatimah. The mosque
was gazetted as a national monument in 1973. By then, the mosque was in need of repairs. Its minaret was tilting by six degrees as it was built on sandy soil, and was nicknamed the “Leaning Tower of Singapore”. Restoration and renovation works were carried out, which included making the roof watertight and strengthening the foundations to stop the gradual tilting of the minaret.

The grave of Hajjah Fatimah and a smaller, unidentified grave are located in a locked mausoleum in the compound of the mosque. The grave of her son-in-law, Syed Ahmed bin Abdulrahman Alsagoff, who married her daughter Raja Siti, lies in the adjacent room.













Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

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