MASJID WAZEER KHAN
BUT THIS ONE IS IN MULTAN
1650 PROBABLE DATE SUGGESTS MUGHAL LINKS
The name Wazeer Khan occurs many times in history. But the famous Wazeer Khan is the Governor of Punjab under Emperor Shah Jahan. And this man constructed a lot of buildings in Lahore. There are at least three to four mosques associated with him in Lahore alone, including the famous Wazeer Khan Mosque Inside Delhi Gate, Lahore. However in Multan, near a Mohalla known as Kotla Tolay Khan (actually a ferry crossing of the river) there exists another mosque after the name of Wazeer Khan, reputed to be constructed in 1650. But the famous Nawab Wazeer Khan died in Agra, in 1641, after falling from his horse, due to ill health. Putting two and two together can only be a matter of conjecture.
No inscriptions on the mosque and the same constructed again and again, so that except for the grand dome in the centre, nothing of the old remains. There is even an older tomb of a saint next to the mosque and could provide clues to same. But even there the clue is missing. No names, no written things. Nothing at all. However this tomb is below the construction level of the mosque and is even older.
There is hardly any tradition in Pakistan of research or search for clues for such things. a detailed survey can be made and things dug for conclusions. But all over Pakistan, there is apathy. Some diligent people will continue work on such issues on their own.
Wazeer Khan was Governor of Punjab and could very well have made this mosque in Multan during his tenure. The present record is that:
“Nothing is known about Wazir Khan after whom this mosque has been named. The entire Mohalla is populated by Gandapur Pathans who hail from Dera Ismail Khan. Mr. Malik Kamran Gandapur is the present mutwalli of the mosque and he bears all expenses on its maintenance. According to him, his family has been holding charge of this mosque for last 125 years. But the mosque is certainly older than 125 years. Tradition ascribes it to have been constructed about the year 1650. “
The period 125 years is of interest. Simply for this is the same period when the chaos of Mutawalliship of the Masjid Wazeer Khan Lahore was gong into dispute.
As far as Tolay Khan is concerned, it may interest people to know that the only Tolay Khan (1192-1232) we hear and is famous is the son of Changez Khan and father of both Kublai Khan as well as Halaku Khan. Is there any reason to believe that this Kotla is named for some reasons after Tolay Khan father of Halaku Khan. One can research further in this field. But there is connection with amir Timur here which cannot be denied by anyone and the Chaghatai are linked to this site too. In fact tradition ascribes the Sawai masjid in Multan to the Tughlaqs period and even that is subject to conjecture. In fact the site of all this may be as old as Halaku Khan. Check!
In the thirteenth century Multan was invaded by the Mongols many times. The Mongols massacred a large portion of the population of the city. The extent to which the Punjab suffered as a result of Mongol attacks from 13th century onward can be reckoned from the following events:
1. In 1221 AD some of Changez Khan’s forces crossed the Indus in pursuit of Jalaluddin Khwarizm Shah, ravaged vast tracts of the Punjab and sacked Multan and Lahore. (At this time Naseeruddin Qabacha was the independent ruler of Multan).
2. In 1241 AD during the reign of Iltutmish’s daughter, Razia Sultana, Mongols attacked the Punjab, sacked and burnt Lahore.
3. In 1246 AD Mongols attacked the Punjab and invested Multan.
In 1222 the Mongols attacked Nasiruddin Qabacha and beseeched Multan for 40 days. Outside the walls of Multan Fort. perhaps they were encamped at Kotla Tolay Khan.This repeated attacks on Multan signify their interest in the place. Perhaps Multan remembered this portion as the
legacy of the Mongols. Research is not merely shifting facts but bold analysis.