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mosque

mosque (mŏsk), building for worship used by members of the Islamic faith. Muhammad's house in Medina (AD 622), with its surrounding courtyard and hall with columns, became the prototype for the mosque where the faithful gathered for prayer.

Structure

The basic elements of a mosque are a place large enough for the congregation to assemble, especially on Friday, the Muslim sabbath, and orientation so that the faithful may pray facing in the direction of the holy city of Mecca. The wall facing Mecca is called the qibla wall and is marked by a mihrab, which usually takes the form of a decorated niche. In later ages mihrabs became quite elaborate; they are decorated with wooden fretwork in Morocco, with carved and pierced marble in Syria and Iraq, and with lusterware tiles bearing quotations from the Qur'an in Iran.

A mosque usually includes a number of distinctive elements: a mimbar (or minbar), a pulpit that is entered by a flight of steps and stands next to the mihrab; a maqsura, an enclosed space around the mihrab, generally set apart by trellis screens, in which the caliph, sultan, or governor prays; a minaret, a tower, usually built at one or more corners of the mosque, from which the call to prayer is sounded; a sahn, a courtyard, surrounded by riwaqs, colonnaded or arcaded porticoes with wells or fountains for the necessary ablutions before prayer; and space for a madrasa, a school that often includes libraries and living quarters for teachers and pupils.

All the great mosques are resplendent with elaborate decorations, but the prohibition against imitating God's works by creating living forms is always obeyed. Decorations are abstract, and geometric plant forms are so distant from their originals as to be unrecognizable.

Representative Mosques

An early mosque, the Dome of the Rock (691–692) in Jerusalem, is a unique architectural monument. It follows an octagonal Byzantine plan, with a dome entirely of wood. Domed mosques, however, were not commonly built until some six centuries later. The mosque of 879 near Fustat was built by Ibn Tulun of stucco and brick and ornamented with floral reliefs in stucco.

In the 14th cent. a Persian innovation appeared, in which four iwans—monumental facades with pointed vaults—were arranged around a central courtyard. The arm toward Mecca, wider and deeper than the others, contains the mihrab. A fine example of the form is the Great Mosque (1356) of Sultan Hasan at Cairo. The structure at Córdoba, Spain, represents a departure from the four-iwan style. This hypostyle mosque was begun in 780 and enlarged in the 10th cent. until its prayer hall, with 16 rows of columns and arches, occupied an area greater than that of any Christian church. The Cathedral of Córdoba was built in 1238 right in the middle of the mosque area.

Mosques of Persia inherited the Sassanian vaulting tradition and surface decoration with resplendent ceramics. They thus possess a distinctive character in their pointed onion-shaped domes, lofty pointed portals, and magnificent polychrome tiles. In the 15th and 16th cent. the colonnaded prayer halls were replaced by large, square, domed interiors, sometimes surrounded by lower vaulted side aisles, as in the Blue Mosque at Tabriz (1437–68). This structure, of essentially Byzantine plan, is sheathed with incomparable blue ceramics. The imperial mosque at Isfahan (1585–1612) had four impressive porticoes on the court, and its main prayer hall, crowned by an onion-shaped dome and with a porch having an enormous pointed arch flanked by slender minarets, represents the climax of Persian mosque design.

When the Turks took Constantinople (1453) they used the great Byzantine church Hagia Sophia as a mosque, and later employed it as a model for Islamic religious structures. To the great open plan of Hagia Sophia with its dominant dome they added smaller domes, half domes, buttresses, and minarets and used Persian tiles and rather garish painted decoration for interiors. Thus they achieved at Constantinople such superb monuments as the mosque (1550–57) of Sulayman I, the Magnificent, by the architect Sinan, and the huge Ahmediyeh mosque (1608–14) of Ahmed I.

Indian mosques betray their Persian origin in the prevalence of onion-shaped domes, round minarets, and great portals with pointed arches, although the traditional Persian tile sheathing is largely restricted to interiors. The use of stone and marble for exteriors, however, lends them a solid monumentality rarely seen in other Muslim styles, while colored stones inlaid against the white marble add touches of vivid beauty. During the Mughal dynasty, particularly under the brilliant reign of Shah Jahan (1627–58), mosques of surprising grandeur were erected. Among the finest Mughal examples are the huge mosque with its superb domes and entrance at Fatehpur Sikri (1556–1605); the three-domed Pearl Mosque at Agra (1646–53), famous for its simple plan and delicate inlays; and the Jama Masjid [great mosque] at Delhi, the largest in India.

For a further discussion of the architectural development of the mosque, see Islamic art and architecture; Mughal art and architecture; Moorish art and architecture; Persian art and architecture.

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"mosque." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"mosque." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mosque

"mosque." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mosque

Mosque

MOSQUE

islamic place of worship.

Mosque is an anglicized French cognate for the Arabic word masjid, which literally means "place of prostration." In the most abstract sense, any private or public space properly prepared for the purposes of performing the five obligatory prayers of Islam (salat) constitutes a mosque. The term mosque, however, is most commonly used to refer to a space which has been permanently or semipermanently demarcated as a place of public Muslim worship.

While many mosques share such common features as a prayer niche (mihrab), pulpit (minbar), and area for performing ritual ablutions, the size, layout, and architecture of any given mosque is usually particular to its own specific historical, social, and cultural context. In many well-established Muslim communities, the largest and most centrally located mosque will often function as the masjid al-jami, or central mosque, where a large number of wor-shippers gather for the Friday noon congregational prayer (salat al-jumʿa) and sermon (khutba). Not unlike their counterparts in other religious traditions, mosques and larger mosque complexes often serve as a primary locus for a variety of communal gatherings and activities, ranging from social-service programs and political rallies to Qurʾan study groups and scholarly lectures.

see also islam; qurʾan.


Bibliography


Creswell, K. A. C. Early Muslim Architecture, revised edition. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1969; New York: reprint, Hacker Art Books, 1979.

Hoag, John D. Islamic Architecture. New York: Abrams, 1977; reprint, New York: Rizzoli, 1987.

scott alexander

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"Mosque." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Mosque." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. . Retrieved July 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mosque

Mosque

Mosque or Masjid (Arab., masjid, from sajada, ‘he bowed down’, Egypt. dial., masgid > Fr., mosquée). The Muslim place of assembly (jumʿa) for ṣalāt. While a special place is not necessary for ṣalāt (Muḥammad built the first masjid in Madīna, not in Mecca), it is certainly desirable, and should be attended where possible. Masjids (masājid) are ‘houses which God has allowed to be built, that his name may be spoken in them’ (Qurʾān 24. 36). Masjids in general have a minaret from which the call to prayer (ādhān) can be made by the muezzin (muʾadhadhīn), a large hall or halls for the assembly, in which a niche (miḥrāb) is placed in a wall indicating the direction of Mecca (the qibla), and in which there is a pulpit (minbar). There may also be a platform (dakka) from which further calls to ṣalāt are made, and a stand (kursī) for the Qurʾān.

The masjid soon became associated with education (see MADRASA), and it also became the centre for administration and justice.

The Mosque of the Prophet (Masjīd al-Nabī) is a mosque in Madīna, the second most venerated in Islam (after Masjīd al-Ḥarām in Mecca). It contains the tomb of Muḥammad, as also of Abū Bakr and ʿUmar. The Mosque of the Two Qiblas (Masjīd al-Qiblatayn) is also in Madīna: it is the mosque where Muḥammad turned for the first time from facing Jerusalem for prayer, and faced Mecca instead.

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"Mosque." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mosque

mosque. Muslim house of prayer orientated towards Mecca. There are two distinct types: the masjid for daily prayers, and the Great or Friday mosque (masjid al-jámi') for communal worship and addresses given by the imam from a mimbar. Very large congregational mosques may be of the hypostyle type (i.e. with many columns, such as the C8 Great Mosque, Damascus); the four-iwan type, with one vaulted hall as the entrance leading to a large court in the centre of each side of which is an iwan (e.g. Friday Mosque, Isfahan, Iran (C11–C15); and domed mosques, culminating in the centrally-planned mosques with domes or half-domes covering large uncluttered spaces (e.g. the Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul, by Sinan (1550–7) ). From C8 mosques acquired at least one minaret, and most modern mosques usually have minarets and domes.

Bibliography

B&B (1994);
Frishman & and Khan (1994);
Hillenbrand (1994)

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"mosque." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mosque

mosque a Muslim place of worship. Mosques consist of an area reserved for communal prayers, frequently in a domed building with a minaret, and with a niche (mihrab) or other structure indicating the direction of Mecca. There may also be a platform for preaching (minbar), and an adjacent courtyard in which water is provided for the obligatory ablutions before prayer. Since representations of the human form are forbidden, decoration is geometric or based on Arabic calligraphy.
Great Mosque at Mecca, the mosque established by Muhammad as a place of worship and later extended; it was given its final form in the years 1572–7 in the reign of Sultan Selim II.

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"mosque." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"mosque." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved July 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mosque

mosque

mosque Islamic place of worship. Mosques are usually decorated with abstract and geometric designs, because Islam prohibits the imitation of God's creation. The building's parts include a dome; a mihrab (prayer niche), which shows the direction of Mecca; a minaret, from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer; and a sahn (courtyard) often with a central fountain for ritual ablution. The complex often includes a madressa (school). See also Islamic art and architecture

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mosque

mosque XIV (moseak, musketh), XVI (muskay, mosquee). The earliest forms are of obscure orig.; the present form is a shortening (XVII) of mosquee — F. mosquée — It. moschea — Arab. masgid, Egyptian var. of masjid, † sajada worship.

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mosque

mosque / mäsk/ • n. a Muslim place of worship.

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"mosque." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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mosque

mosqueBasque, Monégasque •ask, bask, cask, flask, Krasnoyarsk, mask, masque, task •facemask •arabesque, burlesque, Dantesque, desk, grotesque, humoresque, Junoesque, Kafkaesque, Moresque, picaresque, picturesque, plateresque, Pythonesque, Romanesque, sculpturesque, statuesque •bisque, brisk, disc, disk, fisc, frisk, risk, whisk •laserdisc • obelisk • basilisk •odalisque • tamarisk • asterisk •mosque, Tosk •kiosk • Nynorsk • brusque •busk, dusk, husk, musk, rusk, tusk •subfusc • Novosibirsk •mollusc (US mollusk) • damask •Vitebsk •Aleksandrovsk, Sverdlovsk •Khabarovsk • Komsomolsk •Omsk, Tomsk •Gdansk, Murmansk, Saransk •Smolensk •Chelyabinsk, MinskDonetsk, Novokuznetsk •Irkutsk, Yakutsk

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