About Islamic Places of Worship in Shimla
Shimla is home to numerous religious destinations and one of them is the Old Mosque. This mosque is located on the connecting stair way between Lower Bazaar and the Mall road. It is referred to as the old mosque by locals because it is older compared to its other counterparts.
An important landmark, the mosque building is a beautiful white structure that offers the sanctity of a holy place of worship.
Shimla Old Mosque - Gate at Lower Bazaar
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem.
Jaz Allahu Thaalah Anna Syedina Muhammadan ( Sal-lal-laahu Alaihi Wa Sallam ) Maa Huwa Ah-luh.
'Ala Inna Awliya Allahu La-Qaufum Alaiheem Walahum Yazanoon.
( 90 years old Dargah Shareef )
~~Famous Dargah in Shimla hills in Himachal Pradesh, Ghora Chowki
Famous Dargah Shareef in Shimla where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs all climb the steps- together to reach the ninety years old Hazrat Baba Srotri Dargah Shareef. Located at Ghora chowki, near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, it is a place where religious differences become meaningless.
Thursday's are considered to be Hazrat Baba's day. And on that day people from all faiths come here and offer prayers.
The Zayereens ( Aqeedathmands ) believe in the Dargah's power to grant wishes but more than that, it is what the Dargah Shareef symbolizes that brings them here.
One thing in this dargah shareef the mannat are fullfilled. and people from all faiths climb the steps to do ziyarat.
" Islam ki zinath is wali allah se shimla mein. mashallah.
Also 90 years old means what might be the maqam allahu akbar.
Miserable condition of Moisques in Himachal Pradesh
It is said that it is very difficult to understand the world. But now it can be said that it is easier to understand the world but it is a Herculean task to understand the complexities of Islamic Auqafs spread all over the country, specially those in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal. When the problem regarding mosques and other properties of Auqaf arises, particularly those situated in Shimla hills it becomes all the more difficult to understand whether the arguments and claims of illegal occupants of Waqf properties are correct or the acquisition of those managing Waqf properties are correct. The report under review pertains to the mosques located in Shimla and also about Auqaf which are under illegal occupation of followers of Islam themselves.
Waqf properties are spread all over the valleys of the high and picturesque mountains of Shimla. Though these are not much from the point of view of price, there are about ten mosques in Shimla some of which are very large but almost all of them are occupied by illegal inhabitants. The interesting thing is that whereas the expenses on account of water, electricity, cleanliness and salaries of Imams and Muazzins are paid by Punjab Waqf Board, the properties attached to these mosques etc are used, rather exploited, by these illegal occupants. A large number of such people are those from UP who work in orchards or own orchards which bear good and bumper crops of fruits.
Hundreds of workers and labourers from Kashmir are also settled here.
Mosques have become Accomodations in Himachal
In many mosques, only a small portion is left for offering prayers and all the remaining portions are occupied. Like waiting rooms at railway platforms beddings are spread all over, which remain there throughout the day. The sites and sizes of all beds is fixed. It is said that price of space or sites is also fixed. If some one goes, he allots that place to some one else. Some one revealed on condition of anonymity that a minimum area is transferred for 5,000 rupees. This practice has been going on right from 1947. This writer, on asking from a person lying on a bed in Shimla’s Jama Masjid, came to know that he had come to this place only six months ago. He admitted that he was living there with the permission of the man who was previously occupying that place.
Islam in Shimla
It is said that before partition, 65% Muslims were settled in Shimla, majority of whom were Qureshis. But actually, there appears to be no such indication, with the exception of 10 mosques, graveyard and Idgah from which this claim could be confirmed whether such a large number of Muslims were inhabiting this city. According to some people there were many cultural and other landmarks, pertaining to Muslims but every thing was destroyed after partition. Muslim residents of Shimla think that there is too much of anti-Muslim bias here and after Babri Masjid demolition, poison of communalism has spread excessively here.
Bad Condition of Shimla Jama Masjid
After seeing Shimla’s Jama Masjid, one could get the impression that this is not a mosque but an inn. In the front, there are rows for offering prayers. In the open court and also at other places beddings are lying at different places. There were some journalists of print and electronic media also with me. We were surprised to see that in the open courtyard of the mosque a barber was carrying on his usual business. The presence of a barber in the mosque was becoming intolerable for me.
There is a big wooden hall in the courtyard of the mosque where the illegal occupants were busy in their usual business. The Kashmir Muazzin Ghulam Ahmad who is a paid employee of Punjab Waqf Board told me that funeral prayers were held in this hall. Moreover, Tablighi Jamat’s and other functions were also held here. He said that in this hall he had heard speeches of Shaikh Abdulla and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. In reply to a question Ghulam Ahmad told me that after independence there was an agreement between Shaikh Abdullah and Himchal’s then chief minister, Dr Parmar under which labourers and workers in large number from Kashmir had come to Himachal for whom labour halls were built. These halls were, however, insufficient for such a large number. Thereafter the labourers occupied the deserted mosques where no prayers were held at all.
The occupants in Jama Masjid are Kashmiri Muslims whereas those in the Qutub Masjid are from Chilkano town, district Sahranpur. Women live in the upper portion of Qutub Masjid who do all household work such as cooking, washing clothes etc in the mosque itself. When we talked to people living in Qutub Masjid and asked about their occupying the mosque, they did not say anything in response to our questions except that their leader Liaqat Ali will reply to all our questions.
Dozen Mosques in Danger in Shimla
He said that there are about a dozen mosques in Shimla which include Jama Masjid, Kashmiri Masjid, Qutub Masjid, Moti Masjid, Customy Masjid, Najoli Masjid, Janoog Masjid, Baloo Ganj Masjid, Pruana Barrier Masjid, Kahkashashan Masjid and Mashanware Masjid. All those mosques, though under the supervision of Punjab Waqf Board, are in danger.