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October 19, 2021 at 12:00:00 AM
Wazir Khan Mosque, Mughal Jewel in Lahore

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Wazir Khan Mosque, Mughal Jewel in Lahore

The Wazir Khan Mosque is one of the monumental works of the Shah Jahan era. BY HASANUL RIZQA Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the Mughal Dynasty ruled the Indian Subcontinent. The Islamic empire bequeathed many monumental buildings. The most famous, perhaps, is the Taj Mahal in Agra. After all, the symbol of Mughal glory is not only scattered in the Republic of India, but also the surrounding countries. In Pakistan, for example, there is the Wazir Khan Mosque. The complex of places of worship is also a silent witness to the glory of the sultanate. The mosque stands majestically in Lahore City. Its appearance is dominated by brick red, including the walls surrounding the main building. Such a display gives an exotic impression to the eye of the beholder. According to historical records, the mosque with Persian architectural style was built during the reign of Shah Jahan. He was the ruler of the Mughals who also built the Taj Mahal. The Wazir Khan Mosque takes up to seven years to stand upright. Its construction took place between the years 1634-1641 AD. The designer was Sheikh Ilm-Ud-din Ansari, a construction expert from Chiniot. By the Mughal king, he was appointed governor of Lahore. Since then, the architect has the title of Wazir Khan. For this reason, the Islamic building which is located adjacent to the Delhi Gate is known as the Wazir Khan Mosque. In the era of Shah Jahan, the mosque was used by members of the Mughal court for Friday prayers. Every moment before Friday, the royal family entourage that goes there is accompanied by a large convoy. It is said that on every Friday, a procession of members of the royal family can be seen passing through the streets of Lahore City. They moved to the mosque which is not far from Kashmiri Bazar, a traditional market. The architecture of the mosque that puts forward the hypostyle pattern is heavily influenced by Persian architecture, especially the Safavid era. Even though it has a hypostyle pattern , the layout of the mosque building is unique, unlike other mosques with similar patterns in general. Hypostyle or Arabic-plan are the early forms of mosques that are often used and pioneered by the Umayyads. This mosque is square or rectangular in shape built on a plain with a closed courtyard and a place of worship inside. The courtyard in the mosque is often used to accommodate worshipers on Fridays. Some mosques are hypostyle or large mosques, usually have a flat roof on top, and are used to support the pillars. An example of a mosque that uses a hypostyle shape is the Mosque of Cordoba, Spain, which was built with 850 pillars. Rich ornaments The Persian taste dominates the architectural style of the Wazir Khan Mosque. The décor is very rich with intricate ornate details. The material used in the construction is made of small, colorful ceramic tiles. The walls are plastered with limestone with the same smooth texture and color matching the Indian red marble. Floral or floral designs extend vines. Traditional patterns are inlaid with a special technique, faience, which is commonly used to decorate pottery. At some angles, the decoration resembles the traditional Pakistani pattern called kashi. The materials used in the construction of the Wazir Khan Mosque are small tile bricks. During the Mughal era, many public facilities were built with such basic materials. The texture and color give a unique impression to the appearance of the mosque which is now included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage version. The Wazir Khan Mosque is divided into five large buildings, each of which is shaded by a dome and faces directly onto a large courtyard. One of the five largest buildings is used as the main prayer room. Yulianto Sumalyo, in the book Architecture of Mosques and Monuments of Muslim History, writes that the inner courtyard or often also referred to as the 39 x 51 square meter sahn is hardened with the floor. The Sahn is the main courtyard of the Wazir Khan Mosque. In the north and south of the sahn there are 11 rooms each, which were probably originally reserved for the library and a place for mosque worshipers to study Islam. Four octagonal towers as high as 100 meters appear to adorn every corner of the sahn. The four towers are so thick with typical Mughal designs. To the north and south of the mosque there are also octagonal courtyards with rows of booths, and in the center there are several twin rooms at each corner. It is possible that these rooms were reserved for mosque guards. In the inner courtyard of the mosque is the tomb of Sheikh Muhammad Ishaq known as Miran Badshah, an Iranian cleric who settled in Lahore during the Tughluq Dynasty. An ablution pool is also found in this part of the sahn. The location of this ablution pool is in a transverse line with the gate, but slightly to the east.

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