Faiths of India – Islam


Jama Masjid, Old Delhi (Photo credit: Mark Boyd)

Islam is the second biggest faith in India with 172 millions followers, making India home to more Muslims than any other state in the world apart from Indonesia. 

Muslims believe there is only one God (Allah, being the word for God).   Islam (the faith) was founded in Mecca over 1,400 years ago.   Teachings and laws can be found in the holy book, the Qu’ran.

At the last census there were 172,245,158 followers of Islam, representing 14.2% of the population.  Muslims make up the majority of the population in Jammu & Kashmir and Lakshadweep, with substantial numbers also living in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh.

Places of worship

Jama Masjid in Old Delhi is the largest mosque in India.  It’s capable of holding 25,000 devotees and was built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan.  For more information on opening hours take a look at Delhi Tourism website

Fatehpuri Mosque in Old Delhi was built in 1650 for one of Shahjahan’s wives.  Located at the end of Chandni Chowk, near to the spice market, it’s famed for its architecture.  For more information on this mosque take a look at this link.

Nizamuddin Durgah in Nizamuddin West is the tomb of Nizamuddin, Sufi saint from the Chishti sect.  Nizamuddin taught his followers that a person’s ego was the main block between them and god.

The poet, Amīr Khusro, was a devoted follower of Nizamuddin.  He is buried next to him in the Durgah.  It’s said that devotees visiting the tomb should pay their respects to Khusro first.  Qwallis, devotional songs, are sung on Thursdays at sunset.  Find out more at this link

Durgah of Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki in Mehrauli is the oldest durgah in Delhi.  A sufi mystic born in 111 AD, Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki came to Delhi when Mehrauli was the capital of the city.  A descendent of the prophet Mohammed, some people say that the nearby Qtab Minar is dedicated to him.    On Thursday and Friday qwallis take place.  Click on this link for more information.

What to know more?

To learn more about Islam click on this excellent overview provided by the BBC.


Photo: Jama Masjid.  Photo credit Mark Boyd.  With thanks.


2 thoughts on “Faiths of India – Islam

  1. Pingback: Religion & places of worship | Namaste New Delhi

  2. Pingback: A dozen must attend Delhi festivals and celebrations | Namaste New Delhi

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