Singapore has a new mosque which was named Yusof Ishak Mosque – after Singapore’s first President Yusof Ishak.
Located in Woodlands, the Yusof Ishak Mosque was officially opened by Ms Noor Aishah, the late Mr Ishak widow on 14 April, witnessed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister-in-Charge for Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.
The plans for the mosque were first unveiled in 2014 by Mr Lee in his National Day Rally speech and at that time Dr Yaacob urged the mosque to hold as many programmes as possible to bring non-Muslims closer, instead of just serving the socio-religious needs of the Muslim community.
To reach this purpose, one of the unique feature of the mosque is that non-Muslims will be able to use some of the mosque’s new facilities, like the multi-purpose hall and the conference room. This is also meant to encourage multiculturalism, a value the former head of state stood firm on.
But there are also inclusive features, such as a dedicated praying area for women, more spaces for families to pray, and lifts and ramps for older worshippers.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) said on its Facebook that the name Yusof Ishak was chosen as a tribute to Yusof Ishak’s contribution and legacy.
Mufti of Singapore, Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram consecrated the prayer space of the new mosque. Mufti also led the first Friday prayers at the mosque, some 4,500 congregants attended the first Juma’ah, including family members of the late president.
Along with Mr Yusof Ishak’s family members and friends from Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Members, members of Parliament Ong Ye Kung, Khaw Boon Wan, and Masagos Zulkifli were also at the opening ceremony.
Also present were several members of the Inter-racial and Religious Confidence Circles (IRCCs) and representatives from nearby schools.
Posting of his attendance in the opening ceremony on his Facebook, PM Lee mentioned that the mosque has a unique Nusantara (Indonesian archipelago) design.
Housing a spacious prayer hall, a multi-purpose hall, an auditorium, the design breaks away from the usual grand domes characteristic and has the feel of a Malay house instead. It drew inspiration from Mr Yusof’s official and private residences.
The facilities are also elder-friendly and barrier-free and the mosque also has a small orchid garden.