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Multan City Mosques
Multan also boasts of having some of the oldest mosques which were once considered as the jewels of the city. These mosques now remind us the glorious past of Multan as it was governed by Muslims for more than a thousand years.The first mosque ever built in Multan was the Jamia Mosque which was constructed on the orders of Mohammad-bin- Qasim the famous general who conquered Multan in 712 AD Ruins of this mosque were visible till 1954 at Qasim Bella which have now been washed away by the repeated floods of the river Chenab.
Sawi mosque is supposed to be the oldest mosque which still exists though it has no roof now and most of its decorations have been damaged. Some portions of this mosque are still intact which indicate that glazed blue tiles were profusely used for ornamentation.
Baqarabadi Mosque built by Baqar Khan in 1720 A.D.
Mosque Ali Muhammad Khan
The second oldest mosque of Multan which is still in good shape is Mosque Ali Mohammad Khan also called as Mosque Wali Mohammad Khan. It is an excellent building, situated in the busiest Chowck Bazar of the city. It was built by Nawab Ali Mohammad Khan Khakwani, in 1757 (1171 A.H.) when he was the governor of Multan in the time of Alamgir II. The mosque is provided with a reservoir for the ablutions, baths, and a large hall for prayers. During the Sikh period, the gateway of the Mosque was used as the court house of the Nazim, while its great hall was utilized for keeping the Granth, or the holy book of the Sikhs. The mosque was restored to the Muslims by the British Government at the commencement of the British rule. Over the gateway of the Mosque the following Persian inscription appears:
'Ba Fazli ezado Nabi akhire zaman,
"By the grace of God and Prophet, the last of the Prophets. And the favour of the Saint of jilan esteemed in both worlds. On the site of the Chief Police Magistrate's Court With the object of up-rooting wickedness. For the place was a manifest source of crime and cruelty. This mosque bath, well and admirable cistern. Were built on the street by the Governor of Multan. The invisible voice ordained for the year of its foundation. The lofty mosque has been built by Ali Mohammed Khan" 171 A.H.
Moqsue Phool Hattan Wali
This mosque is located in the Main Bazar (now called Chowck Bazar) of the city. It was named so because it was located in the midst of the flower sellers bazar. The story recorded by Latif in his book "Early History of Multan" is reproduced here. "it is said that the Mughal Emperor Farrukh Sher (1713-1718 AD) on his visit to Multan, being childless, asked a Fakir to pray on his behalf, that he might be blessed with a male issue. The fakir prayed for him, and a son was born to the Empress. His Majesty, through the governor of Multan, presented the fakir with an offering of Rs. 80,000, and with this money the liberal minded fakir had this mosque built.".
Eid Gah Mosque
This grand mosque of Multan is located on the main Multan-Lahore highway in the North-East of the city. It was built in 1735 AD by Nawab Abdul Samad Khan when he was the governor of Multan. It is a very spacious mosque provided with a vast courtyard and a huge prayer chamber measuring two hundred and fifty feet long and fity-four feet broad crowned by seven domes. Its exterior was faced with glazed blue tiles and interior was ornamented with colourful faience mosaics. This grand mosque suffered extensively during the Sikh period as it was used for military purposes and Diwan Mul Raj arranged here the refuge for the two British officers Mr. Vans Agnew and Lt. Anderson who were finally killed during the 1848-49 siege.
Multan was finally annexed by the British and they fixed the following inscription in the western wall of the Mosque to commemorate the death of Agnew and Anderson: Within this dome On 19th April, 1848 AD were cruelly murdered
PATRICK VANS AGNEWP ESQUIRE - Bengal Civil Service LIEUT. WILLIAM ANDERSON - First Bombay Fusiliers.
The British also used this mosque for many years as the Deputy Commissionerís Court but in 1863 AD it was restored to Muslims. It, however, remained in disrepair till 1891 AD when a sum of Rs. 1,00,000 was raised through public subscription and an equal amount was granted by the government for its repairs. After independence it was found insufficient to accommodate the increased number of people so its court-yard was enlarged further. A new grassy plot with flower beds and a central water channel with fountains have been included in the court-yard.
Ornamentation of the mosque has been neglected and now (1988) a tomb is being constructed just out side the mosque which has completely destroyed its beauty and outlook because it looks higher than the mosque.