The Center of Mosque Studies - Masjid Al-Islah – Singapore’s 69th mosque – serves the rapidly expanding community of Punggol in north-eastern Singapore. Open less than a year, it has quickly become the popular epicentre of Punggol’s growing and tightly-knit Malay Muslim community.
The mosque, measuring 3,700 square metres, was designed for 4,500 worshippers – and is at times bursting at the seams. While regular Friday prayer attendance hovers below 3,000, on public holidays staff expect up to 7,000 worshippers for the main prayer session. Likewise, the mosque’s 10 classrooms operate at maximum capacity, putting 1,120 Muslim students, aged from five to 20, through a rigorous 14-year programme. ‘This mosque is like a home,’ said Wahidah, a neighbourhood mother whose two children enjoy attending the three-hour Saturday classes. She is favourably disposed to having them continue through to age 20.