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Islam Portal

Minbar of the Molla Çelebi Mosque in Istanbul.
Muslim scholar Ammar Nakshawani delivering a lecture from a mimbar in Dar es Salaam's Hussainia as part of the Ramadan ceremonies.

A minbar (Arabic: منبر‎, also spelt mimbar or mimber) is a pulpit in the mosque where the imam (leader of prayer) stands to deliver sermons (khutbah خطبة ) or in the Hussainia where the speaker sits and lectures the congregation. While minbars are usually more akin to pulpits in elevation and structures they have a function and position more similar to that of a lectern, emphasizing contact with the audience. The minbar is usually shaped like a small tower with a pointed roof and stairs leading up to it. Some believe decorating it is part of the sunnah, oppositely the prophet Muhammed only had a platform with 3 steps. The minbar is located to the right of the mihrab, the niche that indicates the direction of prayer (i.e. towards Mecca). The minbar is also a symbol of authority.

In some mosques there is a platform (müezzin mahfili in Turkish) opposite the minbar. That is the place where the assistant of the Imam, the muezzin, stands during prayer. The muezzin recites the answer to the prayer of the Imam. This feature is the Islamic equivalent of the pulpit found in Christian churches.

The imam stands on the minbar to give his khutbah as well as the one he gives on the two Eids. Being raised above the ground allows the imam to see all the worshipers. And he should stand on the top step of the minbar following the example of the Prophet Muhammad.[citation needed]


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Simple English

A minbar (also called mimbar sometimes, Arabic: منبر) is a special place in a mosque. It is used by the Imam to speak to the congregation, to deliver sermons. Usually, minbars are raised (to be higher than the crowd, much like pulpits); These sermons are usually called khutbah ( خطبه ). In a minbar, the speaker is standing while he is giving the lecture. An alternative to this is to have a Hussainia where the speaker can sit down while giving the lecture.

Very often, the minbar is shaped like a small tower. The minbar is located to the right of the mihrab, the niche that indicates the direction of prayer (i.e. towards Mecca).

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