The Mosque of Gholaum Mahomed, Calcutta

The Mosque of Gholaum Mahomed, Calcutta. Source: Illustrated London News (1866) [Hathi Trust Digital LibraryHathi Trust Digital Library web version. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Of the population, amounting to half a million, of the metropolis of our Indian Empire, those who profess the Moslem faith, though not the majority, form a very important part; and there are in the city as many as seventy-four mosques dedicated to the Mohammedan worship. That of Gholaum Mahomed, of which we present an Illustration, displays an odd combination of the Asiatic and modern European styles of architecture, as the minarets and bulbous cupolas at the summit of this edifice, like those of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, seem to harmonise but queerly with some of its inferior adjuncts, such as the railing and the penthouse shed, which might appear more suitable to a London railway station. But this may perhaps be regarded as a type of the social and intellectual state of transition through which the natives of India, both Hindoo and Moslem, are now passing, under the influences of British rule. While there is no reason to expect their speedy conversion, in any considerable numbers, by the agency of Christian missions, they are said to be much disposed, of late years, to listen to the preaching of certain religious reformers who have arisen within their own communions — such as the late Manlavie Ismail Hadjee — who have aimed at a more enlightened and rational interpretation of their dogmas and mysteries, as well as the inculcation of a purer morality. The Mohammedans of India, however, still look back with regret to the period of their lost dominion, and are scarcely yet reconciled to the British rule. The numerous sect of the Ferazees, in the eastern districts of Bengal, hold it as a religious doctrine that they ought to be exempted from paying land-tax to an infidel Government, or acknowledging any Christian as their master. But there is no reason to doubt the loyalty of the respectable Mahommodan citizens of Calcutta.

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“The Mosque of Gholaum Mahomed, Calcutta.” Illustrated London News. 50 (24 February 1866): 185. Hathi Trust web version of a copy in The University of Michigan Library. Web. 23 December 2015. The text above was created from the Hathi Trust page images with ABBYY FineReader. — George P. Landow

Created 23 December 2015