Qanati Masjid


This mosque is situated at the entrance of Eastern Gate (gate no 3) of Karbala. The structure is made of lime & stone coated with white plaster. Much like an 'Eidgah', this structure has only a western wall  indicating the direction of 'Qibla' (khana-e-Kaba) in Mecca. It has five 'mehrabs' in the western wall and an arched opening in each northern and southern wall. The prayer chamber measures 42' 9'' by 8' 4'.5''.  and the courtyard of the mosque is 42'9'' by 33'. The ground of the mosque was raised almost to the level of terrace. The chambers which were beneath it are closed with earth. Since it was built on a terrace that is why the other three side walls were only few feet high, not as high as the front (western) wall. It had no roof and was covered by a 'Shamiana', which is why it was called Qanati Masjid.

This mosque was in dilapidated conditions and was illegally encroached. In the last decade many times momineen (devotees) tried to perform prayer in this mosque, but did not succeed. In December 2010 A.D., devotees including ladies and small children sat on a sit in protest in the courtyard of this mosque, which was completely ruined.  They all were taken into detention by the Delhi Police. Delhi Police even did not spare the kids.  After the demonstrations against the police action, detention of momineen including ladies & children and many more sacrifices, Anjuman-E-Haideri (regd.) has managed to restore this mosque. Regular prayers in Jama’at (congregation) are being held here since then.

Temporarily a new water proof 'Shamiana' (tent) has been installed in 2014, after fighting a legal battle in the Honorable High Court of Delhi. Further efforts have been made by the Anjuman-E-Haideri (regd.) to built a masonry structure. A case for water and electricity connections is still pending before the High Court of Delhi.





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Archaeological survey of  India (ASI) reports.

National Archives of India, New Delhi

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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]