Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque

National Monuments sksks

66 Pheng Geck Avenue, Singapore 348261
Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque was constructed by the mercantile and landowning Alkaff family to serve the spiritual needs of the local Muslim community at large. It stands as a reminder of the Arabs' philanthropic deeds and their contributions to colonial Singapore.

The Alkaffs

Arab traders began arriving in Singapore shortly after the British established a trading port on the island. Despite its small size, the Arab community quickly grew in importance and prominence. One well-known Arab family was the Alkaffs, who originally came from Wadi Hadhramaut (a region in present-day Yemen). They had a lucrative business trading in spices, sugar, coffee, and textiles.

Besides being successful traders and landowners, the Alkaffs were also known to be generous philanthropists. They were involved in numerous charitable works, including the construction of the now defunct Alkaff Lake Gardens (a public park with a Japanese theme) and that of two mosques, namely one on Jalan Abdul Manan, which was later rebuilt on Bedok Reservoir Road and renamed Alkaff Kampong Melayu Mosque, and another between the former Bidadari Cemetery and Alkaff Lake Gardens – now known as Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque.

Delay in Construction

Syed Abdul Rahman bin Shaikh Alkaff, the head of the Alkaff family in Singapore, funded the mosque’s construction on his land. The mosque was opened for public worship on 24 June 1932.

Architecture and Furnishings

The main prayer hall is a hypostyle hall lined with rows of Moorish-style horseshoe arches supported by columns that resemble those of the Corinthian order. Neoclassical influence is seen in the coffered ceiling and semi-circular fanlights above the doors. The mihrab (a niche in the prayer hall that indicates the direction of Mecca, towards which all Muslims pray) has a multifoil arch and is flanked by twin fluted pilasters. Sermons are preached from an elaborately carved wooden minbar (pulpit) standing in the mihrab.

Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque Today

Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque completed its latest restoration and renovation in March 2014. In addition to expanding the prayer space, features such as ramps and a lift were added to make the mosque more elderly-friendly. A new annex building was also erected to house classrooms and offices.

Share on