09 Jan Hajjah Fatimah Binte Sulaiman
Hajjah Fatimah was born in 1754 in Malacca to a trading family. She married Daing Chanda Pulih who was a Bugis merchant-prince from Celebes (South Sulawesi) with a trading post in Singapore. After the marriage, she was referred to as the Sultana of Gowa, South Sulawesi. They had a daughter who they named Raja Siti. Raja Siti was then married to Syed Ahmed Abdulrahman Alsagoff from the Alsagoff family.
Sadly her husband died not long after they married. Consequently she had to take over his business at a young age. By that time, she already had several boats of her own. She managed to expand the business significantly by making good use of her late husband’s extensive network.With the success of business expansion, she was able to build a large house in Kampong Glam for her family. However, as was common during those times, robbers ransacked her house twice. On the second time, they burned it down. She was lucky to be away at the time and was not harmed.
It was out of thankfulness to God for protecting her life that she donated the land where her house had stood. From the wealth that she accumulated over the years,she provided the funds for the construction of a mosque on the land. It was built between 1842 and 1846, together with several houses for her own family and the poor on land adjacent to the mosque.
Hajjah Fatimah passed away at the age of 98. As specified in her will, she was buried in a private enclosure behind the mosque together with her daughter and son-in-law. After her death, the business continued to bear her name though it was later passed on to the Alsagoff family. The mosque was eventually named after her, Masjid Hajjah Fatimah. It was gazetted as a national monument in 1973.Annual feasts are held at the mosque to commemorate the anniversary of her death.