Iranian President to address Friday congregation at Makkah Masjid, first in 325 years
Iranian President to address Friday congregation at Makkah Masjid, first in 325 years

The President of Iran, Dr Hassan Rouhani is all set to visit the grand Makkah Masjid in Hyderabad to address the weekly congregation, the first in 325 years. It is the first time that a head of state will address the Friday congregation (Jumu’ah) at the historic mosque.

The Iranian President will be arriving directly in Hyderabad instead of New Delhi from Tehran on February 15.

Following the congregational prayers, Rouhani will be accompanied by a large Iranian delegation in Delhi where he is likely to sign memoranda of understanding with the government of India.

Previously in mid-1950s and 1970s, the Shah of Iran visited Hyderabad twice but did not address the Friday congregation at Makkah Masjid. 

Dr Rouhani is the second Iranian President to visit Hyderabad but is the first Iranian head of state to be accorded the rare distinction of addressing the Jumu’ah congregation.

Makkah Masjid construction was completed in 1694 CE by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, 78 years after the foundation stone was laid by Qutub Shahi ruler Sultan Mohammad in 1616 CE.

During the period of Qutub Shahi rulers Sultan Mohammad Qutub Shah VI, and his son Abdullah Qutub Shah VII, the Friday sermons in all mosques in Hyderabad and in the Qutub Shahi kingdom specifically mentioned the name of the ruler (Shah) of Iran.

The President of Iran’s visit gains significance also with the fact that Hyderabad was planned on the model of Isfahan over 400 years ago with the Hyderabad and Charminar’s master architect was of Iranian origin.