Masjid Abdul Gaffoor (Abdul Gaffoor Mosque) stands on Dunlop Street in Little India, a striking mosque with a vivid yellow façade topped by green onion-shaped domes. I frequently stop in my tracks to admire this architectural marvel, much like many other visitors and locals who pass through here.
Shaik Abdul Gaffoor, a Tamil Muslim who was employed as a senior lawyer at a law firm in Singapore, is the mosque’s namesake. The Muslim community in the Kampong Kapor region was mainly South Indian Hindu, and Masjid Abdul Gaffoor served as a mosque.
Although the new coat of green and yellow paint was only applied during renovation efforts in 2003, the actual structure of Masjid Abdul Gaffoor’s present complex was finished in 1927. The ornate, multicoloured building is a psychedelic combination of South Indian and Moorish architectural styles, with the Arabic script and coloured glass as well as pillars in the style of Saracenic and Roman architecture being the most evident examples.
The front façade is balanced and symmetrical, while the main prayer hall is encircled by verandahs on all sides. The entrance to the chamber is through a pair of double-decker minarets with crescent moon and star decorations that encircle the dome rising above the main hall.
3 reasons why Masjid Abdul Gaffoor is a hit
- The building’s colour scheme is green and yellow, which is a lovely combination. The mosque stands out against the hustle and bustle of Dunlop Street, which is home to a variety of restaurants, travel agencies, backpacker bars, and convenience stores.
- The adhan (call to prayer) is recited by the muezzin (mosque official who leads the call to prayer) after each time the adhan is recited, the area speeds up immediately and has a calming effect. For two years, I’ve lived in this neighbourhood, and Fajr prayer at dawn was such a
- The village spirit persists. A mosque compound in Little India serves as a friendly meeting spot for the local Muslim community. As a non-Muslim, I have always felt comfortable. There were a few instances when I was invited to the iftar food package (evening meal during Ramadan) simply because I was a curious bystander!
Not many mosques in Singapore can match Masjid Abdul Gaffoor’s character and aesthetic style, although there are several. In recognition of the mosque’s significant architectural and historical significance, it was designated as a National Monument in Singapore in 1979.
more pictures below