Shahjahan Masjid Ajmer
The Emperor Shah Jahan visited Ajmer five times during his reign (1627-58). The Shah Jahani mosque at the shrine is the chief monument of his devotion to Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty. He ordered the mosque to be constructed in fulfillment of a vow made during his Mewar campaign. The result is a building of striking quality, its beauty enhanced by the enclosure, which stretched before the mosque itself. According to the Siyar al-Aqtab, Shah Jahan built “such a splendid mosque that no former ruler has ever built a mosque to rival it anywhere on the face of the earth.”It measures 148 feet in length and 25 feet in width, having in front an enclosure measuring 150 feet by 53 feet. This enclosure, paved with polished marble, is surrounded on the south, north and east of an elegant balustrade having five entrances, one in the south, and one in the north and the remaining three in the east, each reached by a flight of stairs.
The mosque proper is on a plinth, which is again reached by a flight of stairs. Under the roof of the mosque there is an exterior row of eleven arched entrances running parallel to an interior row of the same number, all the twenty-two being identical to one another. The back-wall has five niches in which the fundamental creeds of Islam are inscribed in letters of gold. Over the frieze of the facade there is an inscription in Persian verse.
There is a text of the inscription over the frieze of the facade of Shahjahan’s mosque in the Ajmer Dargah Sharif. The inscription is inlaid with blasé marble occupying 66 horizontal panels; each panel contains a hemistich flanked by various attributes of Allah. The whole runs into 33 verses of high quality. The inscription is in masnawi from and the meter employed is a variation of the mutaqarib. The style of writing is Naksh of a very high order.
On the south wing of the Mahfil khana stands the Jama Masjid or Shah Jahani Mosque, which is a fine piece of Moghul architecture. All the 99 sacred names of Allah with 33 Quranic verses are beautifully inscribed in the mosque. The Jannati Darwaza of the holy Mazar is just opposite of the arch of the Masjid. Juma prayers are offered with great religious fervour.It has been a routine since the royal periods that guns are fired four times to announce Juma congregations. First, five minutes before Khutba, second at the time of Khutba, third at the time of prayers and last at the end of Juma Namaz.