The Muslim community of Bombay possesses 89 mosques, of which 8 belong to the Bohras, 2 to the Khojas, one to the Mughals and the remainder to the Sunni Muslims.
The most noteworthy are the Jama Masjid in the Sheikh Memon street, the old mosque near the tomb of Sheikh Makhtum Faikh Ali at Mahim, the Jakaria Masjid in Mandvi, Sattad Masjid near Masjid Bandar station, Ismail Habib Masjid in Memonwada, the Khoja Ashna Ashari Masjid, opened in 1903, the Mughal Masjid on Jail road, which was built by Haji Mahomed Hussein Shirazi and Bohra Masjid to the west of the Jama masjid.
The date of its completion (AD 1802)/(AH 1217) is derivable from the chronogram Jahas-i- Akhirat, “The ship of the world to come” which contains an allusion to the fact that it was constructed on the tank .
In the eighteenth century, this tank was situated in the midst of gardens and open land and belonged to a Konkani Muslim merchant trading in Goa, and Calicut, who, about 1778, agreed to the erection of a mosque on the spot, provided the tank was preserved intact.
A one-story building was therefore erected over the tank and formed the original nucleus of the present Jama Mosque.
The Jama Mosque is a quadrangular pile of brick and stone, encircled by a ring of terrace roofed and double storeyed buildings, the ground floors of which are let out as shops. The chief or eastern gate of the mosque leads directly across an open courtyard to the ancient tank, which is now furnished with masonry steps and embankments, built in 1893, and contain about ten feet of stagnant water, filled with gold and silver fish.
From the depth of the tank rise sixteen black stone arches, constructed in 1874, which support the whole fabric of the mosque, the upper story being upheld by five rows of wooden pillars, each of which contains a receptacle for sacred books. The arches in the tank were built in 1874 at a cost of Rs. 75000/- while other noteworthy additions to the premises are the large windows in the north, east, and south sides constructed in 1898, and the school building Rs. 20000 in 1902.
In accordance with a scheme framed by the high court in 1897, the management of its properties and affairs vests in a board of eleven directors, triennially elected by Konkani Muslim Jamat, while the executive functions are delegated to a Nazir, appointed by the board. The staff of the mosque includes am Imam or prayer leader, an assistant imam, a Bangi and assistant Bangi whose duty is to summon the devotees to prayer, and several subordinated.
Attached to the mosque is a school, the madressa Muhammadiah, in which free secular and religious education is imparted to Muslim youths. The Madressa has a hostel attached to it.
Source: The Gazzetter of Bombay city and island, originally printed in 1909, times press.
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