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Is there a Mosque within the Taj Mahal Complex?
A small but significant structure that stands quietly within the grandeur and wonder of the Taj Mahal complex to its west is a Mosque made from red sandstone. It served two needs; first, a mandatory worship place as indicated by the Islamic law, which is to have a place of worship, or a mosque, adjacent to every mausoleum. Second, that a mirror-image of the mosque (the Taj Guesthouse that stands on the opposite side of it) as a necessary inclusion next to the tomb. Together, they should provide an impeccable symmetrical balance to the design of the Taj Mahal Complex.
A worship place for making petitions to Allah, the Taj Mosque confronts the course of the heavenly city of Mecca and is said to have been designed by Isa Mohammad. The outside has one predominant gateway known as an 'Iwan', and on either side of it, are two smaller curves. Three marble covered vaults and four negligible domes stand with marble polish that compensate for the awe inspiring visuals of the mosque - a configuration that is to the likes of those that were constructed by Emperor ShahJahan, particularly on his Masjid-Jahan Numa, or Jama Masjid in Delhi.
The interiors of the Taj Mahal Mosque have an exquisitely planned floor made of a material that gives off an impression of being velvet red in shade and fit the visual of a floor mat for making petition to Allah –it has 569 mats in total depicting supplication to Allah. The interior sections of the mosque are recorded with fragile calligraphy referring to the name ‘Allah’ and citations from sacred texts that were taken from Sura 91, The Sun, taken from the blessed book of Quran.
In any case, the fundamental component of the mosque, which differentiates it from the inverse structure of the Guesthouse, is the nearness of the Mihrab and Minbar. The Mihrab is an indented fenced area or enclosure that demonstrates the bearing of Mecca and the course which the Muslims face to perform their Salat (petitions to Allah). The spot from where the cleric delivers his speech is known as ‘Minbar’ and is always situated to the right-hand side of the Mihrab and comprises of three steps that reaches a level platform.
Furthermore, there is a small stone encased space of 19 ft by 6.5 ft, which had served as a brief grave where the remaining parts of Mumtaz Mahal were kept for quite a while when they were first carried to Agra, until they, at last, found an everlasting site of rest inside the delightful mausoleum (The Taj Mahal) constructed in her precious memory. This fenced area is situated along the western edge wall that also houses the well of the mosque.
Likewise, the exteriors of the mosque, sepulcher and cenotaphs convey pietra dura beautification of a fantastic unexcelled style. The name of Allah and verses from the Holy Qur'an has been utilized bountifully everywhere, throughout the mosque. Furthermore, the pool before the mosque capacitates as the spot for bathing before the supplication to God. As Percy Brown, the prominent craftsmanship student of history sees the Taj, he says, "it looks like the vivacious spirited sweep as opposed to the slow painstaking cutting of a pattern."