New Delhi: A stunning shot of birds aflutter at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, and another of Bengaluru’s Masjid-e-Khadria illuminated at night. A devotee kneeling in prayer in the exquisite interiors of Khanqah-e-Molla or Shah-e-Hamdan in Srinagar. The imposing facade of the Jama Masjid against mountains in Nainital.
Twitter was inundated with images of India’s mosques as a trend meant to highlight the country’s Islamic heritage, #MosquesofIndia, went viral. As of Saturday morning, the hashtag was trending at #1 in India.
The trend came a week after the Supreme Court paved the way for a Ram temple at the disputed Ayodhya site where the Babri masjid, built in the 16th century, stood.
The mosque was demolished by Hindu fundamentalists in 1992 as the site is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram.
The land was set aside for a temple even as the court ruled the demolition a violation of law.
The court also ordered the Uttar Pradesh and central governments to earmark a five-acre plot in Ayodhya where Muslims can set up a mosque in lieu of the one demolished in 1992. But the Muslim community has been less than enthusiastic about the offer.
The #MosquesofIndia trend was started Friday by entrepreneur and former journalist Irena Akbar, who said “one can never wish away the Indo-Islamic heritage that is spread across India…”
Several people soon took to the trend and posted images of mosques from around India. They included noted historian Rana Safvi, who posted a photo of herself at the Katara masjid in Murshidabad.
“As a heritage lover and Muslim believer, I was only contributing to the hashtag as these mosques genuinely show the cutlural diversity and architectural perfection in our country,” she told ThePrint.
Several users posted photos with accompanying descriptions about a given mosque’s historical significance.
As Lucknow-based journalist Yusra Husain tweeted, “Over 180 year old Juma or Jama Masjid of Lucknow…Construction of mosque was started in 1837 during reign of Awadh’s third King, Muhammad Ali Shah, but completed after his death by wife, Nawab Malika Jahan. It’s a fusion of Indo-Islamic architecture.”
Over 180 year old Juma or Jama Masjid of Lucknow.
Construction of mosque was started in 1837 during reign of Awadh's third King,Muhammad Ali Shah,but completed after his death by wife, Nawab Malika Jahan. It's a fusion of Indo-Islamic architecture pic.twitter.com/giLiabKSpr
— Yusra Husain (@yusrahusainTOI) November 15, 2019
For Yusra, the hashtag was a photographic tribute to Babri. “I was going through my feed when I came across the hashtag. It was interesting to see a post about so many beautiful mosques we have in the country, some with great Hindu-Muslim harmonious backstories,” she said. “But, then, I also felt it was a reinforcement of what Babri masjid meant to us.”
So why are we trending #MosquesofIndia ?
Because Babri Masjid may have been demolished, but you can never wish away Indo-Islamic heritage that is spread across India, in its beautiful, serene mosques. We love our architecture, our heritage and we celebrate it. Alhamdulillah!
— Irena Akbar (@irenaakbar) November 15, 2019
— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) November 16, 2019
A Friday view of the historic 18th Century mosque at Pilibhit. For details read the write up. 📷 by @mrehanasad79 https://t.co/zbUMczACJt #MosquesofIndia #Pilibhit #UttarPradesh pic.twitter.com/dkXrcAj84Y
— Pilibhit Stories (@pilibhitstories) November 15, 2019
— Cmbyn (@theantinationaI) November 15, 2019
— Anam Khan (@AnamKha81231385) November 15, 2019
One of the oldest Indian mosque which was built during the rule of Feroz Shah Tughlaq in 14th century. It is located in Feroz Shah Tughlaq Fort, New Delhi.
— Fidato (@tequieremos) November 15, 2019
— Amlan Dutta (@orphean_warbler) November 15, 2019
Once upon a time, there was Babri Masjid.
— J A NASIB 🌍 🇮🇳 (@alarafatengr) November 15, 2019
Its good to see people sharing pics of mosques. Except Babri case, if people are still talking temple over mosques, then demolish your Rashtrapati Bhavan and other coloniol buildings too! Thats sign of being a subject…more embarrassing #MosquesofIndia #Ayodhya #FridayFeeling pic.twitter.com/d4Ht48cr6h
— ZennySingh(Scotland based ) (@DDataguy) November 15, 2019
Muslims are proud of #MosquesofIndia
Hindus are proud of their temples
we can keep this going for another 60 years or so and see if there are people who still believe in the imaginary clown like most people believe now
proud of something which cannot be proved, I cannot fathom
— Harshit Sharma (@Harshit44630510) November 16, 2019
There was controversy, however, as the hashtag disappeared from Twitter’s top 20 trends list soon after topping it.
“How is it that #MosquesofIndia which was trending at no.1 a few hours ago has completely vanished from the list of top 20 trends?” Akbar noted. “I understand it would go down the list, but disappear completely from top 20? Just after it had reached the top? Strange.”