There are various main features of mosques throughout the world: the sahn (courtyard), the mihrab (niche), the minaret (tower) and the qubba (dome). A mosque is a Muslim gathering place for prayer, where all men are required to gather for the Friday afternoon prayer. Mosques are also used by Muslims throughout the week for study, rest and reflection.
The sahn is usually attached to the prayer hall that provides room for the congregation and fountains for the ablutions, a ritual cleansing performed before prayer. The mihrab is a niche in the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca, where all Muslims face during prayer. The minaret is attached to the mosque. It serves as a reminder of the presence of Islam. It is also the place from where prayers are called. The qubba is the most recognizable feature of a mosque. It is a dome that symbolizes the vault of heaven. Mosques normally have one to three domes.
Most mosques have similar furnishings. There is usually large calligraphic frieze or inscribed cartouche above the mihrab with quotations from the Koran, the holy book of Islam. Most mosques also have hanging lamps. Mosques often have institutions such as soup kitchens, hospitals, schools and even mausoleums attached to them.Learn More
There are many different Muslim veils depending on the country and style of Islam, but the main ones are the hijab, abaya, niqab and burqa. Veils are typically worn by Muslim women as a matter of choice because there is no requirement in the Koran for women to do so.Full Answer >
Muslims pray in congregation in a mosque, and they do so facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca. The person leading the prayer is called an imam and is chosen as per his knowledge of the Holy Quran. The rest of the people stand behind the imam in straight rows and follow him. Behind the imam, in the first row, is a person who corrects him if he makes a mistake.Full Answer >
Muhammad's revelations revealed the text of the Qur'an to him section by section. His revelations began in 610 AD when he was alone on a mountain near Mecca.Full Answer >
Muslims universally pray in the direction of Mecca as a symbol of religious unity and because this Saudi Arabian city is home to the Masjid al-Haram mosque or, more specifically, the Ka'bah inside its walls. The Ka'bah, a large black cubical building, is believed to have been built by Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ismail (Ishmael), and is considered to be the holiest site in the Islamic world.Full Answer >