Jama Masjid Delhi
Jama Masjid Delhi
The Introduction of the Jama Masjid United Forum
“The stupendous minarets of the mosque rise high into the sky and penetrate the heavens to proclaim the truth of divine words which promise heaven for those who practice virtues and perform meritorious deeds.”
The Masjid Jahan Numa ( the mosque which is conspicuously viewable to the world ), commonly known as the Jama Masjid, needs no introduction. The mosque inspires the spirit with worship and is a sanctified and a hallowed location. Breezes of holiness waft through it and incenses of divinity perfumes it to make it like the gardens of paradise. Such is its charisma.
Therefore, the inspired Jama Masjid United Forum ( JMUF ), a non – government organization, originated from the prestigious Jama Masjid, is situated in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The Forum, which aims at providing medical facilities, establishment of educational institutions, rehabilitation and development of cultural heritage, is dedicated towards complete social, cultural and national welfare. Believing in peace and brotherhood, JMUF is working diligently towards reinforcement of peace to create a safe, peaceful and crime – free society.
And for this purpose, JMUF has decided to organize an International Conference against terrorism in May 2007 by inviting religious leaders, scholars and media personnel from twenty five countries to discuss and highlight the challenges which the world is facing today; prepare a White Paper on terrorism to tackle the problem by addressing basic and fundamental issues; and pronouncing an International Declaration against terrorism. The conference will be followed by various programs of JMUF.
Being an active part of the biggest secular democracy of the world, JMUF understands its responsibilities and wants to show the whole world the role our Great Nation is playing not only against terrorism but also in determining its solution.
History of Jama Masjid Delhi and its Imams
The internationally acclaimed, magnificent, Jama Masjid Delhi originally named Masjid Jahan Numa, was built by Shahjahan ( Mercy be upon him ), the Fifth Mughal Emperor of India. Shahjahan himself laid its foundation stone on the strong basements of a hillock on Friday the 6th of October 1650 AD corresponding to 10th of Shawwal 1060 AH.
Top experts in the field of construction, best chiselers, sculptors, engineers, best calligraphers and eminent artisans of the world assisted by six thousand labourers took part in the construction of the magnificent Jama Masjid. They dedicatedly worked for six continuous years. The Jama Masjid got ready in the year 1656 AD ( 1066 AH ).
In those days when the daily wages of a mason and a labourer were 2 paisa and 1 paisa respectively, its cost of construction was one million rupees. Many nobles and nawabs of that era gifted stones and other construction material to the emperor for the mosque’s construction, which therefore are not included in its cost.
While the Jama Masjid was under construction emperor Shahjahan received complaint of its slow progress. The emperor therefore summoned Saadullah Khan, his minister in charge of the constructions, and sought explanation. Saadullah Khan informed that the recital of a Holy Quran preceded the installation of every stone to consecrate it. This pleased the emperor so much that he ordered the construction to continue that way.
During construction, special care was taken to maintain the level of the pulpit of the mosque above that of the royal throne ( chaired by the emperor ) in the Red Fort. The simplicity in the structure was the chief aim in the construction of the mosque. In fact, its beauty lies in its simplicity. The simplicity, which thousands of colourful and gorgeous significance cannot withstand.
Coronation of the Mughal Emperors :
Right from the beginning, the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid enjoyed the honour to perform the coronation ceremony of the Mughal Emperors. All Mughal Emperors had the coronation ceremony performed by the then Shahi Imam. The coronation of Emperor Aurangzeb took place from the hands of Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari, the first Shahi Imam. This tradition remained until the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar whose coronation ceremony was performed by the then and the eighth, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Mir Ahmed Ali Shah Bukhari on Sunday, 30th September, 1837 AD corresponding to the 9th of Jamadi – us – Thani 1253 AH.
Jama Masjid, was commissioned to be constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It holds the distinction of being one of the biggest and the most well known mosque of Old Delhi. Due to its setting at a very prominent center in Old Delhi, a lot of visitors visit it right through the year.
The name Jama Masjid indicates a reference to the weekly congregation of worshippers who observe prayers every Friday at the mosque. The floor of the mosque has been covered with white and black marble works to give it the look of the prayer mat typical to the Mohammedan culture.
The mosque is open from 7 AM to sunset, but tourists are not allowed to visit the premises between 12:15 and 1:45 PM. Photography is strictly banned during prayer hours.