Our restlessness in your love has passed beyond bounds,
Our hope is that you will pity our weeping
(Sheikh Fazlullah Jamali)
The Jamali Kamali Mosque is situated in the Mehrauli village district outside the Qutub Complex in southern Delhi and was built between 1528 and 1536. One of the most beautiful mosques from the early Mughal period, it is built of red sandstone with white details and is definitely one of the most serene mosques I have ever visited.
The large congregational mosques, a feature of the earlier Delhi sultans, gave way to three-or-five bay single aisle mosques under the Lodis. This style was later copied by the Mughals in India. The Jamali Kamali Mosque is built in the style of a small singleaisled type.
This mosque, believed to have been built on the platform of the dwelling of the saint Khwaja Qutbuddin, and was attached to the tomb of Shaikh Fazlullah, or Jalal Khan, a renowned Sufi saint and a celebrated poet. He wrote under the nom de plume of Jamali, and died in 1535 AD.
The village (known as Daud Sarai) is as old as the Rai Pithaura, though now it lies within the Mehrauli Archaeological Park and the village must have been relocated.
As was very common in those days, the dwellingplaces of saints later became their tombs. Shaikh Fazlullah is said to have died in Gujarat and his body was brought here to be buried. It is very plain on the exterior but there’s a burst of colour inside. It is built with incised plaster ornamentation and immediately under the ceiling runs a long Persian inscription in verse executed in Naskh characters cut in plaster. These are sixteen verses by Maulana Jamali himself and they mention his nom de plume
The ceiling and walls are unique as they are ornamented with coloured tiles and incised and painted plaster with verses by Sheikh Fazlullah Jamali inscribed on the edges of the ceiling. It wouldn’t be very far off the mark to say that one has stepped into a ‘jewel box’.
For more on identity of so called Kamali read
In Search of the Divine: Living Histories of Sufism in India