Masjid Hajjah Fatimah is one of the oldest mosques in Singapore, a rare example of one named after a woman. Its unique eclectic architecture stands out from other mosques in Singapore, especially with its distinctively European-style minaret, which tilts slightly. The mosque bears testimony to the once thriving Muslim communities living in the vicinity who made significant contributions particularly to colonial Singapore’s economy.
Masjid Hajjah Fatimah is the only structure left of the former settlement here. The mosque was built between 1845 and 1846 with the funds and land donated by Hajjah Fatimah out of gratitude when she escaped twice unharmed from thieves. Its present location used to be the residence of its founder. The grave of Hajjah Fatimah lies in a locked mausoleum in the compound of the mosque.
Gazetted as a national monument in 1973, the architecture of the mosque portrays a blend of Eastern and Western styles. Its wooden balcony above the entrance gates reflects a Moorish design, while the pilasters with Doric capitals on the first three tiers of the minaret suggest European influences. By the early 1970s, the building was in need of heavy repairs, with its minaret tilting slightly due to the sandy soil. Thus, the nickname “Leaning Tower of Singapore” was coined.