Taj-ul-masjid Bhopal was the final destination for the day. The literal meaning of the name of the mosque is “The Crown of Mosques”. The then Nawab of Bhopal, Shah Jahan Begum had initiated the
building of the mosque during the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar’s reign. The lack of money to build the mosque led to the stalling of the construction process. Many years later in 1971,
the construction was restarted by Allama Mohammad Imran Khan Nadwi Azhari and Maulana Syed Hashmat Ali Sahab of Bhopal. In 1985 the mosque was completed. The earlier constructed parts were
The tall minarets with domes made of marble were made on top of the pink façade. The attractive pillars along with the marble flooring resembled the Mughal architecture of Jama Masjid of Delhi and Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. The place was well maintained and people offered their namaz in peace. There was one large tank in the courtyard of the mosque. The gateway was double-storied having archways and multiple openings into the prayer hall.
A visit to this mosque was personally very enriching as it taught me a lot of things about another religion. The various ways of praying to the same Almighty is so fascinating. The faith of the people in God doesn’t change from religion to religion. I met a Maulavi in the mosque and he chatted with me a great deal about the Muslim religion. He was very gentle and knowledgeable. He seemed pretty disturbed by the unrest in the Arab world of late. The fact that a handful of people misinterpreted the holy book, Quran has led to such anti-social activities by militants. The solution according to him was proper awareness among the less-educated people regarding the teachings of the Prophet. The socio-economic conditions were responsible to a great extent as well.
It is important of people of all religions to be accommodating to each other so that a feeling of bonhomie persists. The trip to Taj-ul-masjid Bhopal answered a lot of questions in my mind and filled me with a lot of optimism as far as secularism is concerned in India.