Wakaf Heritage Trail 2021

Learn all about the legacy of wakaf and their contributors through the first ever heritage trail of wakaf properties in East Singapore
by Muslim.Sg 2021-12-16 • 18 min read
Muslim.Sg is a Muslim lifestyle platform that aims to deepen your understanding of faith, in collaboration with the Asatizah Youth Network (AYN). We are part of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).
2021-12-16 • 18 min read

Yet another day cooped up at home? Get in some exercise and learn all about the legacy of wakaf and their contributors (wakif) through the first-ever heritage trail of wakaf properties in East Singapore. Own time, own target – let’s go!

Wakaf Heritage Trail 2021 Map

What is Wakaf?

Wakaf, a form of sadaqah jariyah or perpetual charity, is an important legacy left behind by Muslims for the progress and benefit of the ummah and our future generations. 

As both the administrator and mutawalli (Wakaf trustee), Muis works with other mutawallis to fulfil the amanah of perpetuating the good deed of wakifs so that decades and generations after their passing, their charity continues to serve its objective. 

Wakaf can among others, benefit the family of the wakif; provide support for the underprivileged; finance Islamic education and rites; and contribute to the development, upgrading, and sustenance of mosques. 

In Singapore, you can create Wakaf by bequeathing property or through cash contributions via Wakaf Ilmu. Learn more about Wakaf, its history and its administration in Singapore through www.wakaf.sg 

Now, join us as we celebrate and honour the legacy of Wakaf, and learn from the wisdom of our wakifs and philanthropists in Singapore through this new Wakaf Heritage Trail. Own time, own target, start anywhere, let’s go! 


Trail Routes (list at the end of the article!):

  • Step-Up Route 

Featuring 10 sites, embark on this 10.4km route to test your endurance! Bring your friends and family along to see who is left panting in the dust… It will take approximately 2 hours 14 minutes on foot and be prepared to treat your eyes to a range of architecture as you visit various properties and Wakaf mosques that are sure to soothe your soul.

  • Fast & Breezy Route

Created to give the busy bees and those with young children a mini-tour of Wakaf properties, this much shorter 2.9km route features five sites and will take approximately 39 minutes on foot. Take the kids and family out, get some sun, breeze and exercise this holiday season! 

  • Customise your own route

Enjoy the photos of the 10 wakaf sites below and read more on their history and heritage to plan your own meaningful route!


1. Masjid Wak Tanjong

In 1873, Wak Tanjong, a trader and philanthropist, created a Wakaf by donating a piece of land at Kampong Wak Tanjong along Paya Lebar Road for the purpose of building a mosque. According to his great-great-grandson, Ustaz Mohammed Noor Taib (founder and then principal of Madrasah Wak Tanjong Al-Islamiah), Wak Tanjong had initially built a wooden mosque on the land. The current Masjid Wak Tanjong, with a blend of Anglo-Indian bungalow architecture and Malay kampong typology, was believed to be built in 1933. 

In 1972, the mosque was expanded and later underwent a series of upgrading works in the late 1970s, 1990s, and the latest in 2018, with support from the Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund (MBMF)a community Wakaf contributed by all Muslim employees in Singapore. Thanks to this community contribution, the mosque was given a breath of new life with a fresh coat of paint and is now handicap- and elderly-friendly with lift and ramp access.


2. Masjid Khadijah & Wakaf Properties (587 Geylang Road)

Masjid Khadijah

In January 1915, a generous lady, Katijah Binte Mohamed, created a Wakaf and donated her assets to build a mosque. The construction of the mosque was completed in 1920 and named after herMasjid Khadijah. 

Architecturally influenced by Masjid Nabawi in Medina, the mosque became a focal point for Muslims living in the Geylang and Kallang areas. It was also known as Masjid Bagarib at one point, namesake of the mosque’s imam then. 

Katijah Binte Mohamed was a woman with a vision. Out of $50,000 endowed for Wakaf, she allocated $30,000 to acquire the land and $20,000 to purchase properties whose net income was meant for the mosque’s maintenance and upkeep. In line with her wishes, a row of shophouses at 587 Geylang Road were erected next to the mosque. 

Today, besides serving the needs of residents and workers in the area, the mosque also houses the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG). RRG focuses on correcting misinterpretations of Islamic concepts and dispelling dangerous extremist ideologies.


3. 600-606 Geylang Road

600-606 Geylang Road

The row of shophouses at 600 to 606 Geylang Road was placed into Wakaf by Shaik Said bin Omar bin Abdullah Makarim in his will dated 22 December 1941. 

Born in 1906 in Bali, Indonesia, Shaik Said Omar was of Yemeni descent. He spent the majority of his life in Singapore as a merchant. A charitable man with foresight, Shaik Said donated his properties for Wakaf. 

Today, mosques and madrasahs in Singapore, the poor and needy relatives of the wakif, and the underprivileged continue to benefit from his charity. Find out more about how Wakaf funds benefit the Singapore community.


4. 20 Joo Chiat Road

20 Joo Chiat Road

Sometime between the late 19th and early 20th century, three gentlemen, A. M Kadir Meydin, S. M Shaik Dawood, and K. M Mohamed Eusope, came to Singapore from South India in search of a better life for themselves and their families back in India. 

We know little about the identities of the three gentlemen except for a business partnership notice in The Straits Times dated 26 January 1923 which listed their names. The partnership was between a money changer and bullion merchant, A. P Nathergany & Co, situated at 14 Market Street.

More than a year later, on 19 November 1924, the three gentlemen made a pledge that many generations later, continue to benefit the Muslim community in Singapore and India. A. M Kadir Meydin, S. M Shaik Dawood, and K. M Mohamed Eusope collectively donated a row of shophouses along Joo Chiat Road, transforming them into Wakaf properties. 

In truth, the donated properties sat at a prime location. After World War 2, the now-defunct Changi Market (across 20 Joo Chiat Road) became an important trading centre for Malays and Muslims across the region. Merchants from Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia traded in food, flowers, spices, and many others. As a result, a Malay settlement later grew near Joo Chiat Road, predominantly at Geylang Serai and Jalan Eunos. Today, as we all know, the area has grown into the commercial heartbeat of the Singapore Malay/Muslim community, with the Geylang Serai Market as its epicentre.

Net annual income from the assets of Wakaf Meydin, Dawood, and Eusope benefits three mosques in South India– Sinnapalli Mosque, Melapalli Mosque, and Periapalli Mosque. Learn more about how local mosques can benefit when you create wakaf.


5. Masjid Khalid & Wakaf Properties (136 Joo Chiat Road & 139 Onan Road)

Masjid Khalid

In the early 20th century, the land that housed Masjid Khalid was a pit stop for many Kandar peddlers who carried their wares and food for sale in baskets balanced on a kandar pole (wooden or bamboo) over their shoulder. It is on their suggestion that the landowner, philanthropist and businessman, Haji Abdul Khalid bin Haji Mohamed Tyeb, decided to donate the land to build a mosque.

Masjid Khalid was first built in 1917 and underwent several renovations, including the major upgrading that we see today. Upon completion expected by the end of 2022, the mosque will be able to accommodate up to 1,750 congregants. 

A few years ago, Masjid Khalid acquired two properties next to the mosque, 136 Joo Chiat Road, and 139 Onan Road, which were later bequeathed as Wakaf properties. These two properties are leased, and their income supports the mosque’s expenses and other funding needs.

Fun fact: Did you know? Masjid Khalid is known for … Its food?

The first Imam of the mosque, Syeikh Osman bin Syaikh Omar AlGanus (an Arab from Palembang, Indonesia) started a tradition of preparing food at the mosque. This tradition is continued by the current mosque chairman, Haji Allaudin Mohamed. He specially prepares Dum Biryani for mosque visits that encourage a better understanding of Islam among non-Muslims and foster social cohesion. 

The well-preserved tradition of Masjid Khalid has made it famous for its good food, especially during Ramadan and special events such as the annual President’s Challenge Charity Biryani fundraising efforts.


6. 63 East Coast Road

63 East Coast Road

These shophouses (six properties) along East Coast Road were donated by Sheriffa Zain Alsharoff Binte Syed Mohamed Alsagoff for Wakaf. The donated properties include the iconic Red House, initially purchased by her husband, Syed Abdul Rahman Taha Alsagoff. As the new owner, she allowed businesses to continue operating, including the famous Katong Bakery & Confectionery Co. Recently, the shophouses were redeveloped into an integrated residential-retail-heritage development, which was completed in 2016.

In the trust deed, the wakif specified that net income of the Wakaf properties be used to provide free medical care for the poor in Singapore via the establishment and maintenance of a free clinic to be named Al-Taha Dispensary.

Sheriffa Zain is the great-granddaughter of the famous philanthropist, Hajjah Fatimah who built Masjid Hajjah Fatimah, the first mosque in Singapore to be named after a woman. Sheriffa Zain’s husband, Syed Abdul Rahman Taha Alsagoff, also known as Engku Aman, has a street near Geylang SeraiEngku Aman Roadnamed after him. Sheriffa Zain was also the daughter of Syed Mohamed Ahmad Alsagoff, founder of Madrasah Alsagoff Al-Arabiah and creator of Wakaf SMA Alsagoff.

Want to learn more about the history of the Red House? Check out the heritage panel installed along the five-foot way of the shophouses along East Coast Road.


7. Masjid Kampung Siglap

Masjid Kampung Siglap

No one knows precisely when Masjid Kampung Siglap was first built, but the earliest date documented27 Ramadan 1320H / 28 December 1902was etched on a Quranic frame hung behind the mihrab in the old mosque building. However, this is not the date the mosque was first erected. Oral history from old Kampung Siglap villagers revealed that the mosque had been repaired thrice. The Quranic frame had apparently been put up either during the second or third repair work.

According to some records, the mosque was first built in 1846 as a small wooden structure and is widely believed to have been collectively built by village folks. The plot of land where the old mosque sat on was bought by Madam Hajijah, mother of Daud Bin M. Shah J.P, also known as Tok Teh Daud. Jalan Hajijah down the road is named after her. 

In the late 1980s, Masjid Kampung Siglap was renovated under the Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund (MBMF) scheme. The new mosque was officially opened in 1992, with the old mosque building preserved and a separate annexe built beside it. In 1999, the new annexe building was officially converted into the Tahfiz Al-Quran Centre of Singapore (now Darul Quran Singapore), a centre dedicated to memorising the Quran. 

In 2009, only months after the completion of major upgrading works, a fire destroyed much of the mosque’s prayer hall. It had to be closed for reconstruction and reopened in 2011. The wisdom of Wakaf is such that it provides a long-term sustainable source of income for its beneficiaries to help bolster their financial resilience in times of emergencies. Learn more on how you can contribute to the financial resilience of Islamic education institutions in Singapore through Wakaf Ilmu.


8. Masjid Kassim

Masjid Kassim

Masjid Kassim was built in the early 1900s on Wakaf land purchased by Ahna Mohamed Kassim Bin Ally Mohamed in 1921. Originally a one-storey structure that could only accommodate around 700 worshippers, the mosque committee decided to rebuild the mosque in the 1990s. With support and contributions from the community and the original Wakaf, the mosque reconstruction was completed in July 1999.

Today, the three-storey mosque can hold up to 2,000 worshippers and is connected to Wisma Indah, a commercial complex. Besides organising regular religious classes, courses, and activities for the Muslim community, the mosque is also an active and vibrant place with social and development programmes.

Learn more about managing your assets to prepare for planned giving for Wakaf. 


9. Wisma Indah

Wisma Indah

Officially opened on 23 October 1999, Wisma Indah, a commercial complex that sits on Wakaf land, is the fruit of a multi-million-dollar project to redevelop Wakaf Kassim. Its opening was a ground-breaking achievement for Wakaf development in Singapore in using Wakaf returns to reinvest in properties. Learn more about Wakaf asset redevelopment.

Wisma Indah is part of the redeveloped Wakaf Kassim complex which includes two other properties:

  1. The current Masjid Kassim; and
  2. Telok Indah, a 40-unit condominium adjacent of Wisma Indah


10. Masjid Darul Aman

Masjid Darul Aman

Masjid Darul Aman was constructed in 1986 under the Mosque Building and Mendaki Fund (MBMF) scheme. It was constructed as a replacement for Masjid Aminah in Geylang, which had to make way for urban redevelopment.

A combination of Malay architecture and Islamic art, Masjid Darul Aman is one of the few mosques in Singapore with a pitched-roof structure commonly found in the Malay Archipelago. It can accommodate 3,500 visitors and is a popular venue for madrasah classes and haj courses organised by travel agencies. The mosque has since undergone major expansion and upgrading works in 2005 and 2016. 

Traditions reinforce values, showcases role models and the principles of its founding founders. Similarly, Wakaf is a tradition and legacy enshrined within hadiths and under sadaqah jariyah (ongoing charity) in the Holy Quran. Learn more about this legacy and how you can contribute at www.wakaf.sg.


Trail Routes:

Step-Up Route

 Click here to navigate the route via Google Map.

Fast & Breezy Route

 Click here to navigate the route via Google Map.


Wakaf Ilmu  About Wakaf

All Asnaf Inspiring Muslims Dua Faith Family Ramadan Halal Malay Wakaf Travel Misconceptions
Join our mailing list