Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque)
A small mosque claimed to have spirits and ghouls inside it is the Moti Masjid. People visiting it have a strong belief that if Nawafil (Muslim Prayers) are offered at Moti Masjid, the wishes do come true. Having the same belief thousands of visitors from all over the world visit this place every week. During the Asr prayers you will hardly find a place to step inside the mosque.
Moti Masjid was built in 1645 by the Mughal Shah Jahan. As per historic accounts it is stated that the mosque might have been built along with Dolat Khana Khaas-o-Aam of Shah Jahan.
It is one of those two mosques built in chaste marble by Shah Jahan. The second one was built at Agra Fort in 1654 AD. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb also constructed a mosque of the same type at Red Fort Delhi in 1662 AD. They are all titled as Pearl Mosque because of their outlook imbued with white marble.
This is a small mosque which can accommodate only a hundred people at one time. The glowing facade of Moti Masjid is divided into five chambers with the central one slightly extended into the courtyard. The five-chamber or bay facade was Mughals’ specialty and can be seen in many mosques of the era including the Mariam Zamani Mosque. The interior is simple and plain with the exception of ceilings that are decorated and designed in arches and horizontal beams. The mosque has three domes with a huge one in the center. These domes are in fact double domes, devised for loud acoustics. This feature of the domes enables the sound being heard clearly as in an auditorium. These domes can be seen as you enter the Lahore Fort through the British era postern gate. During the day as well as night these domes are glowing like a real pearl.
The facade of the graceful arches is finished with delicate pietra dura work. The same décor you will find in the Diwan-e-Khaas inside Shah Jahan’s Quadrangle, Sheesh Mahal, Naulakha Pavilion and some other buildings of the Mughal Era. The specialty of this mosque is that male and females can offer prayers there. On one side of the mosque are the prayer rooms dedicated for the females. The Hujras are also made on another side for the visitors for resting and offering prayers. At one end of the mosque is a very narrow and steep staircase leading to the roof top of the mosque. It is usually closed and visitors are not allowed to go upstairs.
This mosque is exclusively built of Sang-e-Marmar which is white marble. It was brought from Makrana, Rajasthan, India at the time of its construction. Makrana has always been prominent for the white marble taken from the mines around it. Marble from Makrana was also used in the construction of the Taj Mahal. Till today, you will see this marble glowing like a pearl and that’s the specialty of it.
The Mosque has been conserved by WCLA in 2021.