Revamped mosque opens

Mujahidin Mosque in Stirling Road reopened yesterday with bigger and better facilities after a $3.7 million upgrade.

The new building, unveiled by Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, can now accommodate 4,500 devotees - a thousand more than what it could hold before renovations started a year ago.

This will allow it to take in worshippers from nearby Kampong Holland Mosque, which sits on land that has been earmarked for redevelopment. Kampong Holland Mosque will hold its last Friday prayers at the end of this month.

But Mujahidin Mosque's executive chairman Khairul Jameel said activities organised by the mosque in Holland Village - such as overseas religious trips and aqua activities, such as swimming, for women - will continue, as its Qaryah Office has relocated to the revamped Mujahidin Mosque.

"This is a win-win situation," said Dr Yaacob. "We are able to preserve an old mosque not just in terms of its spirit but also its activities, yet at the same time... Mujahidin can benefit from that preservation by having new people coming in and joining in activities."

The $3.7 million upgrade, completed under the second phase of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore's (Muis) Mosque Upgrading Programme, included the renovation of a multi-purpose hall meant for seminars and community events. During festive occasions such as Hari Raya, the hall can also be converted into a prayer area that can accommodate up to 430 worshippers.

Twelve classrooms and a computer lab with 30 computers were added to aid in Islamic learning.

Muis said that to further cater to elderly residents of the Commonwealth, Queenstown and Holland Village housing estates, barrier-free facilities like ramps and a lift were also installed in the 37-year-old mosque.

Watch technician Kamal Amat, 50, has been worshipping at Mujahidin Mosque for the past eight years. He said: "With the facilities, the mosque can attract more seniors as some of them have knee problems and find it difficult to climb the stairs."

This article was published on April 5 in The Straits Times.

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