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.
Rear view of the Jamia Masjid Delhi - C 1857-1858
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.
Photo:Courtesy:Old Indian Photos