Majlis Khana

Majlis Khana (a meeting House), also known as 'Jahaz' (ship) was situated immediately west of 'Qadam Shareef' and South of 'Nawab Qudsia ki Masjid'. It was built by Nawab Qudsia Zamani, the grandmother of last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, under the supervision of Nawab Bahadur Jawaid Khan in 1164 A.H. (1750-51A.D.). An inscription on the gateway of the enclosure of Dargah Shah-e-Mardan refers its construction by Qudsia Begum.

It was a masonry building with a flat wooden roof and arched openings. It consisted of a rectangular hall  74' 6'' by 16' 4'' and two wide huge gateways. It was called 'Jahaz' (ship) because of its gigantic hall with wooden roof, pillars and the size of its gateways. Within itself, it had a 21' 6'' by 19' 4'' wooden room towards the south. The room was intended as a repository for the processional relies such as 'Tazia' and 'Alams'. It was on a higher level than the hall. The hall was intended for Majalis held on the 2oth of every lunar month, in honor of Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib(as). The chief Majlis  is still being held in the month of Ramzan, in which Maula Ali(as) was slain. After few decades the roof and pillars had fallen down, due to the climate and non maintenance. That is why 'Majlis Khana' went into disuse and practice of holding majalis took place in Imam Bara, built by Ishrat Ali, which is still going on.

At present its two huge masonry gateways in east, and one gateway in west,  are still in very good condition and the whole area of this 'Majlis Khana' is being used as 'Sehan' (courtyard). A small gate was opened in the southern wall of Nawab Qudsiya Mosque for connection, to use this courtyard for congregation during Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-uz-Zuha. Anjuman-e-Haideri (regd.) has constructed a store room in the south-west of Majlis Khana in 2010 A.D.

In January 2012, on the day of 'Chehlum' of Imam Hussain (as), Anjuman-e-Hiaderi's (regd.) office bearers along with some other momineen were trying to open the 'Western Gate' of Dargah Shah-e-Mardan, which opens in this 'Majlis Khana', and which was closed by some unsocial elements forcefully. In response, instead of helping the rightful and arresting the culprits, Delhi Police first tried to stop the 'Anjuman-e-Haideri's (regd.) office bearers and other 'momineen' (devotees) forcefully and then opened fire on them. Many were injured including 'Maulana' (religious leaders) but by the grace of 'Allah Almighty', no casualty took place.  Delhi Police wanted to keep the gate permanently closed. By the grace of Allah Almighty this gate is now permanently open. On the occasion of  'Chehlum'  of Imam Hussain (as) and 'Masoom Ka Tazia', it is used as VIP gate for Ambassadors, Foreign Diplomats and other dignitaries and the courtyard is used as a parking space for Foreign Diplomats and Dignitaries.

A criminal proceeding against those responsible police officers is still pending before the court of Law.


Monuments of Delhi, compiled by Maulvi Zaffar Hassan, Vol.1 (2008 A.D.) Originally Published in 1916 A.D.

Fall of the Mughal Empire by Jadunath Sarkar, Vol. 1 (4th Edition, 1991) Originally Published in 1932.

Aasar-us-Sanadeed by Sir Sayyed Ahmad Khan, (2014 A.D.) Originally Published in 1847 A.D.

Waaqiyaat-e-Darul Hukumat by Bashiruudin Ahmad Dehlvi, Vol. 3, Published in 1919 A.D.

Dilli ki Dargah Shah-e-Mardan by Dr. Khaliq Anjum, Published in 1988 A.D.

Archaeological survey of  India (ASI) reports.

National Archives of India, New Delhi

British Council Library, New Delhi

Encyclopaedia Britannica


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Featured Views

Peter J. Chelkowski on Imam Husain

Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, New York University.

       "Hussein accepted and set out from Mecca with his family and an entourage of about seventy followers.  But on the plain of Kerbela they were caught in an ambush set by the … caliph, Yazid.  Though defeat was certain, Hussein refused to pay homage to him.  Surrounded by a great enemy force, Hussein and his company existed without water for ten days in the burning desert of Kerbela.  Finally Hussein, the adults and some male children of his family and his companions were cut to bits by the arrows and swords of Yazid's army; his women and remaining children were taken as captives to Yazid in Damascus.  The renowned historian Abu Reyhan al-Biruni states; "… then fire was set to their camp and the bodies were trampled by the hoofs of the horses; nobody in the history of the human kind has seen such atrocities."

[Ta'ziyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran, New York, 1979, p. 2]