Kampung Hulu Mosque's 283 years of history
Features My Kampung 2011-05-28 18:12
Kampung Hulu Mosque in 1910s. Photo courtesy: University of Singapore
1 of 3
Translated by LIM YAN TING
Sin Chew Daily
MELAKA: Kampung Hulu Mosque was built in the year 1728 during the Dutch colonisation. It is one of the oldest and yet still fully functional mosque in the country, the other one being Peringgit Mosque.
Kapitan Dato Shamsuddin Along, leader of the Malay community, was the one who built this 283-year-old mosque.
It has been said that the Kapitan was originally from China and was also called Sun Shih-Lin. He met a shipwreck on his way from China to Melaka and vowed that he would embrace Islam if his life was eventually saved.
A blend of cultures
Kampung Hulu Mosque boasts a combination of architectural styles including those from the Netherlands, Sumatra, China, etc. It has an Indonesian style three-tiered square roof, with the corner of the roof slightly raised.
There are floral designs decorated with shoal rock and glass chips, as well as a solid yet curvy octagonal round tower that looks more like a lighthouse but is actually the tower of light in Islam that summonses the faithfuls to pray five times a day.
Bricks were added to the Kampung Hulu Mosque to reinforce the structure in the year 1892.
Postcard 1: Black roof tiles of 1910s
One of the postcards shows the Kampung Hulu Mosque with the black roof tiles in 1910's. In the picture we can see that the rooftop of the mosque was covered with tiles, the sliding door with brick wall. Rickshaws and attap-roofed bullock-carts could be seen on the road.
However, from the picture taken from today's angle, we can clearly see that the wall has been expanded; and changes were made to the original door. The Chinese style round roof behind the mosque has been torn down and replaced by a squarish modern building.
Postcard 2: White rooftop covered with zinc
From another postcard, the Kampung Hulu mosque with a white rooftop could be more recent than the one on the previous postcard. We can see that the roof of the mosque was covered with zinc, and there were vehicles on the road that looked much more modern than the bullock-carts.
You can also see the Melaka River not too far away from the front of the mosque. The building on the left behind has disappeared and changed, whereas some buildings on the right behind the mosque have been demolished.
From the most recent picture, it can be seen that on the left hand side of the river are a row of four-and-a-half storey buildings built about 30 years ago.
Kampung Hulu Mosque's appearance is still pretty much the same today as two centuries ago, only that the surroundings have changed drastically over the years.
The 283-year-old mosque remains an important place for Muslims to visit and offer their prayers.