Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque

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Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque (built 1192 - 1316) Quwwat-ul-Islam was sponsored by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, founder of the Mamluk dynasty. The Quwwat-ul-Islam is best known for its tower of victory, celebrating the Muslim conquest of India. It is also known as Rai Pithora ka Mahal. Located to the north-east of Qutb minar,it was built by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak in 1198 A.D.. It is the earliest extant mosque built by the Delhi Sultans. It consists of a rectangular courtyard enclosed by cloisters, erected with the carved columns and architectural members of 27 Hindu and Jaina temples, which were demolished by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak as recorded in his inscription on the main eastern entrance. Perhaps it was the first monument of iconoclast in India. It is in contradiction to Hasan Nizami's account of Aibak as peaceful and 'Lakh Baksh' or 'giver of lakhs' in his book Taj-ul-Masir. It is said he was generous and spent huge sums in charity.But it may also be that the monument was hurriedly built with the building material from the temple as Aibak had not established himself firmly in India at that time.

Qutb was a fanatical Muslim. When his garrison occupied Delhi under the command of Muhammed Ghori in 1192, he ordered the destruction of twenty-seven Hindu and Jain temples to furnish building materials for the construction of Delhi's first mosque. Quwwat-ul-Islam, the "Glory of Islam," was hastily erected by the young amir, who conscripted an army of local craftsmen, presumably Hindus, to assemble the structure. The Hindu stonemasons repurposed columns from the destroyed temples, but adapting them to use in a mosque proved problematic given Islam's injunction against the use of images in temples. The masons were forced to plaster over the highly sculpted Hindu columns and presumably cover them with geometric designs. However, after centuries of neglect the plaster has fallen away, revealing the original Hindu carvings.

The Quwwat-ul-Islam is best known for its tower of victory, celebrating the Muslim conquest of India. It is built of red sandstone, gray quartz, and white marble, but is probably inspired by the iron "Pillar of the Law" that stands on the site. Built in the Mauryan dynasty in the 6th century, it is the only piece of the temple that stands in its original location. Qutb built around it when he constructed the mosque. Although made of iron, it has resisted rust for over 1,500 years, evidence of the Mauryan's superb metallurgical skills.

Later, a lofty arched screen was erected and the mosque was enlarged, by Shams-ud- Din Iltutmish (A.D. 1210 - 1235) and Ala-ud-Din Khalji. The Iron Pillar in the courtyard bears an inscription in Sanskrit in Brahmi script of fourth century A.D., according to which the pillar was set up as a Vishnudhvaja (standard of god Vishnu) on the hill known as Vishnupada in memory of a mighty king named Chandra. A deep socket on the top of the ornate capital indicates that probably an image of Garuda was fixed into it.[1][2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Culture And Heritage - Monuments - Qutub Minar - Know India: National Portal of India". knowindia.gov.in. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  2. orientalarchitecture.com. "Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, Delhi, India". Asian Architecture. Retrieved 2020-09-14.