Jamae Mosque or Jamae Chulia on its normal name (as Jamae means actually mosque in Arabic) is among the oldest mosques of Singapore and it is a real architectural specialty of the city, a must see for everyone being interested in the history and historical or religious buildings of Singapore.
Jamae Mosque is located within Chinatown and it’s a very popular site not only for Muslims because of its unexpected architectural style and feature. The Chulia Indian Muslim Tamil community who were living in the area at the time of its construction had built the Jamae Mosque. With its construction in 1827 Jamae Mosque counts as the oldest mosque of Singapore. Jamae Mosque has a key significance for local Muslims also because it contained the Makam or grave of one famous Muslim leader Muhammad Salih Valinvah whose memory is treasured within the mosque in form of a beautiful shrine. The Muslim Chulia merchants and other residents of Singapore also executed construction works. That’s why it’s also called Jamae Chulia or Masjid Chulia. The ground where the mosque is located had been a wakaf or donation of wealthy Muslim citizens of Singapore and its still among the most beloved holy praying sites for all the Muslims of Singapore. Naturally, the mosque as every mosque in the world is directed towards Mecca. The Jamae Mosque had been among the first mosque put under the management of the Islamic Religious Council (Majlis) of Singapore in 1968.
Quite interestingly, the Jamae Mosque had been designed to become a national monument of Singapore already by the time of the designing of its complete outlook. The architectural styles the mosque holds vary from traditional Islamic, South Indian to even Chinese, and Western in its forms. The mosque is truly a unique site, which looks unique and beautiful. As you look at the Jamae Mosque you will see a four storey high façade in typical South Indian palatial style with tiny doors, cross form windows with two octagonal shaped minarets features at both end. You will see onion shaped domes too built in rather Neo Classicist style located right above the main praying hall and the architectural conflicts don’t end here. Within the mosque you will see two rows of Tuscan style columns bordering the entrance gate decorated with distinctively Chinese style green glazed tiles located around large windows which let the light into the hall. The larger prayer hall has huge timber wooden double-winged doors and you will see Doric style columns holding the huge prayer hall. From this very simple description you can see how diverse is the outlook of Jamae Mosque both in the inside as in the outside. In the end of 1974 the special looking mosque had finally become a national monument. It’s strange yet great looking architectural designs can be thanked to a British Colonial architect called George Drumgool Coleman.
Jamae Mosque is one of the most interesting buildings of Singapore and its also among the most important Muslim praying sites of the city. Of you are looking around Singapore and wanted around the Chinatown, it’s for sure that you will see this unique style building giving great chance for taking some photographs from the outside.