# HISTORY :
Considered to be a landmark in the Geylang area, Darul Aman Mosque was built in 1984-1986 to replace the Aminah Mosque, which had to be demolished to make way for the redevelopment of the Kampung Ubi and Geylang Serai area. The upgraded mosque now has larger prayer areas that can accommodate 4,000 persons, 8 multi-purpose classrooms with modern teaching and learning facilities, conducive environment and audio system to support mass prayers; and better audio visual and lighting systems that enhance effective delivery of mass lectures.
The upgraded mosque still retains its original concept of the traditional Malay design roofs and a main central building that has roof beams exposed within the building (without false ceiling in the way Malay houses were built in the past). The prayer halls are located in the central building while two other smaller buildings are connected to them by link ways. This concept provides good natural ventilation and creates a spacious and cool atmosphere for the prayer halls.
I decided to go to Darul Aman Mosque as I passed by it in the morning, on my way to the office, and I found its architecture lovely. It is using the old Kampong roofs in a modern way with harmonious geometrical patterns.
I like that more than the dome mosques because the dome architecture is the predominant (if not only) one in France and most Arab countries. It is deeply rooted in the culture. However, the original architecture used in the Malay world is more of this triangle rooftop. There was a discrepancy between Javaneese muslims on whether they should use Dome or triangle rooftops. The advocates of the first one claimed that this was the “true” mosque in the “true” Islam as Islam conquered the region throught the honest and friendly behaviour of Arab traders. Their opponents would rather recall that their cultural architecture is the triangle one and that it should be the one used for Mosques as well.
Of course, there is no such a thing as an Islamic architecture in the sens of one proned by the Sources. And the Mosque of the Prophet SAWS has been built very simply, without neither a dome nor a geometrical rooftop but rather the simplest straight rooftop. (1) Therefore, the expression of the different cultures throught the architecture of the most symbolic is to me a proof of God’s Greatness and a blessing for mankind:
And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge.
So I felt it is a pity when I saw those retailer of aluminium domes in the countryside of Java and Sumatra. Many retailers along the street sell ready-to-use dome that you only have to carry and put on the top of your building, as a cherry on the top of a cake or a seal on an enveloppe. It is as if the building needed this dome as a certificate of its Islamic identity.
I may be going too far now 🙂
So I went to Darul Aman for the last Iftar of Ramadhan and it didn’t start as the warmest Iftar so far… When I arrived, I joined to women next to the big plate of rice we were to share. And the one besides me didn’t speak while the one in front of me kept staring at me while siping her bandung… Quite scary and awkward.
I guess this is when somebody is so intrigued and shy to talk to you. Anyway, it then became very homely. An old woman beside me would turn back a few times telling me to finish the meal, to eat meet and so on so forth. Cute intention from this old stranger.
Thank you Darul Aman, thank you Malay Mumy for making my last Iftar of Ramadhan 🙂