Jamae Chulia Mosque

Jamae Chulia MosqueLocated in the heart of Chinatown, Jamae Chulia Mosque was built in 1826 by the Chulias (Tamil Muslims from the famous Chola Kingdom of Tamil Nadu along the Coromandel Coast of Southern India, were among Singapore's earliest immigrants and were responsible for building some of Chinatown's other historic monuments). They came to Singapore mostly as traders and money changers and set up three Islamic heritage buildings in Chinatown within a short time: Jamae Chulia Mosque was the first. The other two are Al-Abrar Mosque and Nagore Durgha which was originally called Shahul Hamid Durgha in memory of the holy man whose visit to Singapore the building is said to commemorate (both on Telok Ayer Street).

The Mosque's architectural style is eclectic. While the entrance gate is distinctively South Indian, the two prayer halls and the shrine are in the Neo-Classical style typical of George Drumgoole Coleman. This unique appearance has made the mosque a well-photographed landmark, seen in postcards from the 19th century to the present day. It was gazetted a national monument on 29 November 1974.

Hari Raya Haji (Eidul Adha / Festival of Sacrifice)

On this 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah the last month of Islamic Lunar Calendar, Muslims celebrate the successful completion of their annual pilgrimage to Makkah. This pilgrimage, or Hajj, is considered the most important journey of their lives. During Hajj, Muslims of all races and tongues from all over the world congregate for one of life's most moving spiritual experiences. On this festive day Muslims perform two main religious duties. First, they take part in congregational prayers at mosques and secondly, they sacrifice animals such as goat, sheep, camels and cows. This sacrifice is in remembrance of the Prophet Abraham showing his readiness to offer his son to God as sacrifice. The meat of the ritually slaughtered animals is shared with poor, relatives and friends and family members.

Along with Muslims around the world, Jamae Chulia Mosque embarks on this interesting ritual, which visitors are welcome to watch. Guides are also on hand to explain the Islamic way of slaughtering, the purpose of the ritual, and other fascinating details.

For 2004, the ritual will take place on 1st February, from 11am to 12:30pm.

Location: 218 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058767

Getting there: Take MRT to City Hall Station (EW13 / NS25), then take SBS bus 103, 166 or 197 or SMRT Bus 61 from North Bridge Road. Alternatively take the NEL MRT to Chinatown Station - Exit - South Bridge Road / Pagoda Street side, then walk to Jamae Chulia Mosque via Pagoda street.