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Masjid Quwwatul Islam
By Maulana Sher Muhammad

Members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal (BD) attempted to conduct a Yagya on the premises of Quwwatul Islam mosque near the Qutb Minar. Their attempt was, however, foiled by the police.

It should be noted that there are two mosques in the Qutb complex. One mosque is in front of the main gate which was built during the Mughal period and the other is in front of the Qutb Minar itself. This is Quwwatul Islam mosque built by Qutbuddin Aibak. This mosque is now in ruins. Only its main gate with excellent engravings remains and this too is in a very dilapidated condition. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has put up a board outside the main gate, which states that Qutbuddin Aibak built this mosque after demolishing 28 temples and used the stones and pillars of these temples to build it. As a matter of fact the origin of the mischief starts from here itself. Tourists and others who read this board get a very bad impression about Muslim kings and their minds get poisoned.
Farishta,the historian, simply said that Qutbuddin built the mosque here and prayers started subsequently. There is, however, a statue of Lord Ganesh in one of the walls which was probably found while digging the earth and fixed there like any other stone. But taking it as an excuse the activists of VHP and Bajrang Dal insist that a temple will be built here if prayers can be offered in this mosque. The fact, however, is that no prayers are offered here. Prayers are offered in another mosque which is at a considerable distance from Quwwatul Islam mosque and which was built 500 years later and is known as Masjid Tarikhul Islam.

About five years ago Hindu Mahasabha people used to come here every week with drums etc and declared their intention of building a temple at this place but the educated and sensible people of Delhi did not participate in their plot. This time also the same drama is repeated. But the people at large did not take part. There were hardly a hundred people though police and the ASI had taken sufficient precaution to frustrate this game. The day passed off peacefully but we could not offer prayers in the Tarikhul Islam mosque. Every day prayers are offered in this mosque three times, i.e., Zohar, Asr and Maghrib, while Fajr and Isha prayers are not allowed. Though in Ramadan, Isha and Taraweeh are allowed but it requires obtaining permission from the concerned authorities. This mosque is also in a bad shape but the people of ASI neither themselves get it repaired nor allow us to repair it, though construction work goes on almost every day in the Qutb complex. Last year we got the outer wall repaired but Hukum Chand objected to it and he made a complaint to the DG and started charging money for entry into the mosque. Whoever came to the mosque for prayers had to purchase entry tickets. After running from pillar to post this problem was solved after about a month and namazis were exempted from purchasing tickets. There is no electricity in the mosque and we have to face great difficulties in summer, but they have not taken any action in giving electricity connection. I have been serving as the imam in this mosque for the last 25 years but there is no electricity and no repair work in this mosque despite the fact that the mosque is in a very bad shape and there are cracks in its walls at several places and the small minarets can fall any time. This mosque is a thorn in the eyes of VHP and Bajrang Dal because its shape is like the Babri Masjid with three domes and minarets. These people intend to come again and there may be some problem again.

Clockwise: Qutb Minar, ruins of the Quwwatul-Islam Mosque, courtyard of the mosque with an iron-pillar, images recently planted into the walls of the mosque for future use as ‘proofs’, an image planted into the outside wall of the Quwwatul Islam mosque being protected with iron grills, Tarikhul Islam mosque which was briefly locked by unknown elements. Photos: Ahmad Rahmani

In Mehrauli area there are Jamali Kamali mosque, Razia Sultan’s mosque, Malai Masjid, ‘Picnic Horror’ and many more mosques in which people gamble, drink openly and nothing is being done to prevent them. Not only this, if someone wants to offer prayers in these mosques, he is not allowed to do so and is taken to the police station. Other historical mosques such as Khirkee Masjid, Begumpur Masjid etc, which are as large as the Delhi Jama Masjid, but all kinds of vulgar and dirty things take place there but the government is not taking any action to stop these things, though it knows everything which is going on there. For one Babri Masjid Hindus raised such a storm, although it was actually a mosque, and so far it is not proved whether there was a Ram temple here or not. And it is a pity that Muslims cannot obtain their own mosques, which are undisputed.

Are Delhi Muslims so busy making money that they have no time to pay attention to these desolate and neglected mosques? If Muslims themselves will not take care of them, who will do so? If Jamiatul Ulama, All-India Muslim Council, ‘Save Masjid’ committee, Jamaat-e-Islami etc pay attention towards these mosques, these can be prevented from further desecration and destruction, otherwise these will lose their character and shape in such a way that it will become difficult to recognize whether these are mosques at all. The Yagya programme of the VHP and Bajrang Dal has received wide publicity throughout the country in newspapers, radio and TV etc. Haroon Yusuf, Shoaib Iqbal, Syed Shahabuddin and Syed Ahmad Bukhari, if you ever happen to come to Mehrauli or Qutb Minar, you can see for yourselves whatever is going on in these mosques.

Maulana Sher Muhammad is imam of the Tarikhul Islam mosque adjacent to the Qutb Minar 

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