This mosque was built in 1634-35 A.D. during the reign of Mughal Emperor SHAH JEHAN by Hakim Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari, commonly known as Nawab Wazir Khan, who was Governor of Lahore till 1639 A.D. The mosque was completed in about 7 years. The mosque is inside the Inner City and is easiest accessed from Delhi Gate.
The entire mosque is built with small bricks laid in “Kanker lime” with a sprinkling of red sand-stone. Even the grills are in terracotta. The outstanding architectural features are its octagonal four corner minarets 107 feet high decorated with MOSAIC TILES. A bazar consisting of 22 shops forms an integral part of plan of the mosque which is the first ever provided in a mosque. The shops are in two parallel rows with a brick-paved passage in between.
The mosque covers an area 279.5 feet x 159 feet out of which the prayer hall occupies an area of 131 feet 3 inch x 42 feet and is divided into five compartments by means of four arches on massive piers measuring 19 feet 3 inch x 11 feet 3 inch. The prayer hall bears five squat turnip shaped domes. The central dome has a diameter of 23 feet and is 31 feet 3 inch high and the rest have diameter of 19 feet 3 inch and are 21 feet in height. Courtyard which is two lavels measures 173 feet x 131 feet. The lower part has a 35 feet 3 inch x 35 feet 9 inch ablution tank. The courtyard is flanked on its three sides by small cells (hujras) numbering 32 in all.
Fresco, kashi kari, brick-imitation (tazakari) vivid colours, large number of inscriptions, geometrical patterns, floral designs, arabesque and calligraphy have been used for its embellishment.
The entire floor is built in cut and dressed small brick work laid in some 13 patterns. The open area on the east of the mosque complex measuring 150 feet x 102 feet is known as CHOWK WAZIR KHAN. Its original floor still exists about 5 feet below the present ground level. The drainage in the Mughal period was by means of GHARKIES (welis). The chowk had four big gates of which two still exist.
Within the inner courtyard of the mosque lies the subterranean tomb of Syed Muhammad Ishaq, known as Miran Badshah, a divine from Iran who settled in Lahore during the time of the Tughlaq dynasty. The tomb, therefore, predates the mosque.