You probably have seen different mosques around Hong Kong, which are indicative of Hong Kong’s diverse population. In addition to the stunning architecture and religious significance, there’s a lot to learn and love about Hong Kong’s mosques.
History, culture, and religion shape much of what Hong Kong is today. Whether you’re travelling through time at museums and heritage buildings, or embarking on a spiritual journey at Buddhist temples, there’s always something new to learn. Religious sites are often found right in the middle of the city – take the Kowloon Mosque, for example – but most passerby may not know the rich history and significance they hold to Muslims and those who practise Islam in the city. So, let’s take a closer look at mosques in Hong Kong.
Five major mosques in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has over 300,000 Muslims and during the month of Ramadan is when mosques are the busiest, offering more prayers and meals to break fasts. If you’ve been an outsider looking in, you need not hesitate going inside a mosque for a closer look (everyone is welcome!). Next time you’re out and about, bring a friend or two, or just yourself and immerse in the peaceful unity mosques bring. Just be mindful about modesty, as it is a religious site.
1. Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui
Located adjacent to Kowloon Park, Kowloon Masjid is Hong Kong’s largest mosque and the second oldest. It was built in 1896 by the Hong Kong Regiment to serve the Indian Muslim troops of the British Army. Initially, the mosque did not have a dome this large nor the four minarets. The original mosque needed to be reconstructed after the construction of the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station in 1984.
In present day, the mosque predominantly serves Muslims from South Asia and Indonesia in Hong Kong. It’s also a hard one to miss as it’s right by Nathan Road and just next to Exit A of Tsim Sha Tsui station. The mosque – designed by architect I.M. Kadri – has three prayer halls, a community hall (where an Islamic wedding ceremony, Nikkah, is held), a library, and a medical clinic. Regular classes are held at the mosque to teach how to read and understand what’s written in the holy book, the Quran.
Kowloon Masjid & Islamic Centre, 105 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, p. 2724 0095
2. Masjid Ammar & Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre, Wan Chai
The original building was built sometime in late 19th century, next to the first Muslim cemetery in Hong Kong (now moved to Happy Valley) to offer funeral prayers. Masjid Ammar was reconstructed after World War II as the original plot was used for the construction of the Aberdeen Tunnel. As the Muslim population had grown larger by then, the new construction took place on a bigger plot to accommodate more Muslims for daily prayers. The mosque now also has a halal canteen (with very delish dim sum), seminar rooms, classrooms, and a library.
Masjid Ammar & Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre, 40 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, p. 2575 2218
3. Jamia Mosque, Central
Also known as Shelly Mosque, Jamia Mosque is Hong Kong’s oldest mosque constructed all the way back in 1849. Businessmen from the Indian subcontinent requested the building of a mosque for a regular space for prayers. As the Muslim population grew larger, an extension of the mosque was constructed in 1915. Despite its age, the mosque is still in good condition and houses up to 400 people inside the prayer hall. Jamia Mosque is not located on a main road, hence it’s more quiet and as it is mostly surrounded by trees, it holds a peaceful presence in the heart of Central.
Jamia Mosque, 30 Shelley Street, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong, p. 2523 7743
4. Stanley Mosque, Stanley
Some 400 Muslims from the Indian sub-continent were working in the Hong Kong Prisons Department, which initially was stationed at Arbuthnot Road. But with the relocation of Victoria Prison to Stanley, a demand for a prayer space increased. Hence, the building of Stanley Mosque inside Stanley prison.
Stanley Mosque was built in 1937 with financial contributions and manpower assistance from Muslims who helped with construction during off-work hours. It is a beautiful little Mosque with a fairly large prayer hall, a veranda, and a courtyard. The mosque is open to all members of the Muslim community during Friday prayers and Eid but on other days, prior permission needs to be attained if you want to enter the premise. The veranda and courtyard are reminiscent of Mughal-style architecture and as humble as this mosque may be, it’s undoubtedly stunning.
Stanley Mosque, 53 Tung Tau Wan Road, Tung Tau Wan, Hong Kong, p. 6748 8750
5. Chai Wan Mosque, Chai Wan
Aside from Happy Valley, the other burial site for Muslims lies at Cape Collison, Chai Wan. As funeral prayers must be offered after a burial, the British Hong Kong government provided land for a small mosque in 1963. With more Muslim settlers residing in Chai Wan, the mosque started offering regular daily prayers and Islamic classes.
The mosque is surrounded by rich greenery and enjoys a quiet and peaceful environment. Outside the prayer hall is an open space suitable for small religious gatherings. The turquoise painted dome can be spotted from afar but the path to getting to Chai Wan mosque requires a wee bit of a hike from Chai Wan MTR station.
Chai Wan Mosque, Cape Collison Road, Tai Tam Gap, Hong Kong, p. 2556 5507