On the road from Chawri bazar Metro Station to Jama Masjid there is one of the prettiest mosques in Delhi. This is the Ruknuddaula Mosque on the first floor on your left as you walk towards Jama Masjid. It is very easy to miss the mosque unless you know about it and look up. Normally there is such a crowd in the Chawri bazar lanes that one keeps their eyes peeled straight ahead to avoid banging into someone.This mosque was built by nawab Ruknuddaula who was the Prime Minister of Mughal Emperor Akbar Shah II. Not much is known about him except that he was from Hyderabad and his family didnot stay on in Delhi. Imam Nuruddin told me that the Mosque was entrusted into the care of a Lalaji ( he didn’t know the name) and till recently he was the one who took care of it. Now the Delhi Waqf Board has taken over. The beauty of this mosque are its stone carvings. They have all been carved in the main stone itself and not added from on top. Its simply breathtaking and one has to go there and see it for oneself to believe that such exquisite work was done in India. These flowers were carved out from the slab of stone itself and one can imagine the painstaking work involved.
This mehrab has again been carved out of the main block and as Imam Nuruddin said might have taken a couple of months.Imam Nuruddin who has been leading the prayers in this mosque has been here for 40+ years. He lives nearby and is by profession a darner. he showed me his work and as you can see there are no traces of the darn from on top.
A functioning mosque it was time for the evening prayers so I left.
Location : between Chawri bazar Metro Station Gate no. 3 towards Jama Masjid, on your left.
A message by Jamaluddin Ahmed
“Ruknuddaula was my great grand father. He and his son Ziauddaula were the prime ministers of the Moghuls. During the mutiny Ziauddaula lost his sons because they were in the forefront of the mutiny. They were hung at the qooni darwaza. His youngest son as a child was taken in disguise by his maid to Hyderabad. There in Hyderabad nawab Bashiruddin Ahmed Khan grew up and went back to Delhi to claim his property that was confiscated by the Britishers.
Ruknuddaula built this mosque in the middle of then red light district to encourage people to go to the masjid and pray as opposed to get involved in immoral activities such as prostitution as johns.