Originally built in 1859, this mosque with its unique architecture has earned the distinction as one of Singapore’s national monuments. It has an unabashed mélange of styles – a mix of Southern Indian, Moghul and Europeans influences. Located in the Central part of Singapore, it has since been redeveloped (re-opened in 1998) with a capacity of 3000 and offers madrasah classes in Tamil besides its usual religious classes.
The mosque is named after the founder, Shaik Abdul Gaffoor bin Shaik Hyder, a South Indian lawyer’s clerk, who felt that there was a dire need to replace the dilapidated Al Abrar mosque – a wooden structure with tiled roof made of brick and chunam – which then stood at the site. It primarily catered to the Indian Muslim migrants who settled in this vicinity then known as Kampong Kapor (Limestone Village). The Abdul Gaffoor Mosque in its present form was built in 1907. Syed Abdul Gaffoor, who was also the trustee of the mosque at that time, successfully applied to construct shophouses near the mosque in 1887. Eight shophouses and nine sheds were constructed in 1887 followed by another set of shophouses in 1903. Some of these shophouses and terraces on Dunlop Street and Mayo Street remain today as properties of the Mosque.