Juma Masjid is one of the largest and oldest mosque in Mumbai, it is located in Janjikar Street in South Mumbai. To its west is Zaveri Bazar (the main jewelry market), to its east lies Abdul Rehman Street, to its south is Crowford Market. Nearest railway stations are Marine Lines of Western railway and CST - Chartrapati Shivaji Terminus of Central railway.
The Juma Masjid is a quadrangular structure of brick and stone. The main gate at the southern side of the mosque leads directly across an open courtyard to the ancient pond, which is now furnished with masonry steps and embankments, and contain more than ten feet of water fed by springs at the bottom. This is used for ablutions (wudu), however modern facilities are also available for this purpose.
In eighteenth century, a large water reservoir (pond) was situated at this site in the midst of garden and open land and belonged to a Kokni Muslim merchant Kazi Husain Pallavkar trading in Goa and Calicut. In the year 1775, he agreed to build a mosque at this site on condition that the tank was preserved intact.
The construction started in 1775 with foundation over the pond. Objections were raised by neighbours that delayed the construction until 1778. Disputes arose due to construction activities to its west and south. Finally the erstwhile Governor of Bombay, Sir Meadows Taylor decided in favour of the masjid (mosque) authorities. Construction of one-storey masjid (mosque) built over the pond was completed in Ramadan AH 1217 (AD 1802) and the name suggested to it was Jahaz-i- Akhirat (i.e The Ship of Hereafter).
A prominent kokni merchant Mohammad Ali Mohammad Hussain Roghay renovated and extended the masjid in 1837. He spent Rs. 300,000 at that time on renovation and expansion of the Juma Masjid. He also built shops around the masjid and donated them to the Juma Masjid for its operational expenses.
“Madrasa-e-Mohammadiyah” was built in the campus of Juma Masjid in 1835. It was one of the reputed school of its time to impart free secular and religious education in Arabic, Persian and Urdu.
Mohammed Ali Mohammad Amin Roghay was another prominent member of Roghay family who carried out repair and expansion work in 1874. Sixteen black stone arches were constructed in the depth of the pond to support the structure. Five rows of wooden pillars constructed to hold the upper structure of the mosque.
Other major renovation and expansion activities carried between 1883 and 1903
- In 1883, stairs were built with black stone leading to the pond
- In 1893, beautiful large windows were constructed in the north, east and south
- In 1897, scheme for the Juma Masjid Bombay Trust (JMBT) was written with the permission of Mumbai High Court to manage Juma Masjid and waqf properties related to JMBT
- In 1903, library was construed in Juma Masjid Campus. The library has rare and precious books in Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages.
From 2007 to 2012, architectural repair and beautification was carried out to strengthen the infrastructure and enhance its beauty.
From 2012 rejuvenation of the precious and rare collection of manuscripts in library started by cleaning, fumigation, digitalization and rebinding. The library was shifted to mezzanine floor on the masjid and inaugurated on 12th April 2015. Some of the books and manuscript are also available at IGNCA (Indira Gandhi National Center of Arts – New Delhi).
In accordance with the scheme framed by the High Court in 1897, the management of its properties and affairs were vested in a Board of eleven directors, triennially elected by Kokni Muslim Jamat of Bomaby, while the executive functions are delegated to a Nazir, appointed by the Board.
The scheme was revised and sanctioned by Bombay High Court on 14th July 1947.