Taj Mahal Mosque

Augmenting the grandeur of the Taj Mahal is a mosque located on the western side of it. The mosque is made of red sandstone and it offers two functions. First, according to the Islamic law, it was mandatory for each mausoleum to have a mosque in close proximity. Second, the mosque and the guest house together offer a wonderful symmetrical balance to the Taj Mahal’s architectural design.

Exterior

Used as a place of worship, the mosque faces the holy city of Mecca and was built by Isa Mohammad. The exterior enjoys one of the mosque’s overriding features, doorway well-known as the Iwan. On both sides of it are two small arches. Three domes and four small domed booths with marble coating complete the impressive visuals of the mosque.

Interior


Arches inside the Taj Mahal Mosque
Photo by: Mike Bostock, Creative Commons

The mosque interior has a sophisticatedly designed floor that is constructed with material that resembles velvet red shade. The floor is designed in the shape of a prayer mat, specifically 569 mats in total. The interior walls of the mosque are adorned with striking calligraphy citing the name Allah and numerous citations from the Quran.

The core aspect of the mosque that distinguishes it from the guest house is the existence of Mihrab and Minrab. The Minrab is an enclosure that shows the direction of Mecca and the direction which the Muslims face during prayers. Mihrab is place the where the sheikh delivers a sermon, and is always situated on the right-hand side of the Mihrab.

Furthermore, there is a small stone enclosure situated along the western boundary wall, measuring 19ft by 6.5 ft. This enclosure marks the provisional grave where the remnants of Mumtaz Mahal were deposited for some time when they were first brought to Agra, until they were finally placed inside the stunning mausoleum built in her memory. The pool in front of the mosque is used as a washing area before the prayer.

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