The Mosque From Lentil
The origin of the Masjid Moth or the mosque from Lentil can be traced to an interesting incident that happened to Sikander Lodi, the erstwhile ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, and his minister. This small monument not only reflects the architectural skills of the Lodi dynasty, but also the bond of integrity that binds a servant to his master. Built during the reign of Sikandar Lodi this mosque is now an abandoned, isolated place in a rural setting within the rapidly spreading suburbs of south Delhi, 2-km from Hauz Khas off the Delhi-Mehrauli Road.
Legend Of Masjid Moth
The legend goes back some five hundred years, when the area surrounding the mosque was forest land and the reins of the Delhi Sultanate were in the hands of Sikander Lodhi. Legend has it that Sikandar Lodi picked a grain of moth (a type of lentil) which was then sown by his minister Miyan Bhuwa; the bumper crop multiplied again and again and so financed the construction of the mosque. Some houses in the village of the same name still have mangers.
An Indo Islamic Architectural Landmark
The Masjid Moth conforms to the Indo-Islamic style of architecture, which developed in the Indian subcontinent after the arrival of the Muslim rulers in India during the medieval period. The Indo-Islamic style of architecture was a unique blend of the local Hindu style and the Islamic style. The Islamic style that reached India was in itself a mixture of various architectural styles such as Persian, Central Asian, etc.
The manifestations of this style varies from place to place depending on the local conditions and the contributions made by different Muslim rulers of India, who further refined and improved this style.
The Masjid Moth is a small structure that lacks many of the architectural elements of traditional mosques. It is deprived of minarets, profuse calligraphic decorations and embellishments. There is a little similarity between the outward appearances of this mosque and the, Alai Darwaza, but the gateway of the Qutub complex is much more ornate and grand.
Revival Of Traditional Architecture
Delhi witnessed a small revival of architectural activity during the time of the Lodi dynasty and the Masjid Moth was one of the monuments built during this time. The Masjid Moth is a small mosque, which was built by one of the ministers of Sikander Lodi. The architecture of this mosque is simple and lacks elaborate ornamentation. It is a square structure surmounted by a small semicircular dome.
The mosque is made up of red sandstone with very little use of marble. The windows on the sides of this mosque have latticework screens still not as intricate as the other Islamic monuments of India. This mosque probably served as a private place of worship of Sultan Sikandar Lodi's minister.