Masjid Haji Muhammad Salleh sits on piece of waqaf land within the bustling Central Business District. The mosque is flanked to the left by the elevated East Coast Parkway and on its right by Mount Palmer on which sit two important shrines of Habib Noh and Habib Abdul Rahman.
The mosque was built by Haji Muhammad Salleh a merchant from Batavia, now known as Jakarta, who lived in Singapore in the mid 19th to the early 20th century. Haji Muhammad Salleh was a friend of Habib Noh, whom he highly revered. Habib Noh frequented Mount Palmer to pray in seclusion and Haji Muhammad Salleh intended to build a surau there for his beloved friend to pray in ease however Habib Noh passed away before his wish was fulfilled.
Haji Muhammad Salleh donated a piece of land at the foot of Mount Palmer and began construction of a mosque to serve the visitors of the shrine. The mosque was completed in 1903.
This map shows that during the lifetime of Habib Noh, there was a mosque near the Parsee Lodge which was close to Mount Palmer. It is likely that Masjid Haji Muhammad Salleh had replaced this earlier mosque.
In the early years before land reclamation, the mosque was close to the sea.
In 1987, MUIS upgraded the mosque at cost of $1 million. The upgrading was undertaken following a decision by the authorities not to demolish the mosque to give way to the contruction of the expressway, but to curve the expressway around it.
The upgrading project was undertaken by MUIS in 1987 at a cost of $1 million. The new mosque was designed with a prayer space to accommodate 500 worshippers.
The message by Dr Ahmad Mattar, in the official opening of the mosque following its renovation in 1987.
The logo was created by Mr Anuar B. Osman, a member of the Mosque Management Board in 1987.
It symbolizes the spirit of harmony in upholding the three important tenets of the Islamic faith - Islam, Iman and Ihsan.
Harmony is represented by the Arabic letters forming the name of the founder of this mosque, Haji Muhammad Salleh, coming together fluidly in this calligraphy.
The three pillars represent Ihsan, which stands strong and steadfast to support the heart's strong desire to serve and the circle represents cooperation and unity of purpose among members of the Mosque Management Board.
Alhamdulillah. All praises for Allah SWT. All blessings and salutations upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW and his family and companions.
It is through the bounties of Allah that this mosque was preserved in the wake of the rapid development that swept across the central business district and was given a new lease of life with the upgrading that was undertaken by MUIS in 1987. Our warmest greetings and gratitude to all who had contributed so generously to help us upgrade this mosque. Without the grace of Allah and your support we would not be where we are today. We hope that your good deed will be rewarded by Allah, the Bestower of all.
Two decades on, the mosque which was designed to accommodate 500 worshippers, now attract more than 1200 worshippers for the Friday and Eid prayers that tents have been erected as makeshift roof. For the Haul of Habib Noh, the Mosque and the adjoining Maqam Habib Noh now receive more than 8000 visitors.
As such, another auspicious time has come upon us to embark on another phase of upgrading. We are now appealing to all Muslims to contribute to the building of the house of Allah. Let us build this mosque for the Muslims of today and benefit the generations of tomorrow.
And may Almighty Allah make this mosque a source of goodness and blessing, a haven, an oasis, an open invitation to all who engages in proactive activities towards the progress of Islam in our city. Insha Allah.