Mosque: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A modern style mosque built on water in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. Muslims often refer to the mosque by its Arabic name, masjid, Arabic: مسجد‎ — Arabic pronunciation: [ˈmæsdʒɪd] (pl. masājid, Arabic: مساجد‎ — [mæˈsæːdʒɪd]). The word "mosque" in English refers to all types of buildings dedicated for Islamic worship, although there is a distinction in Arabic between the smaller, privately owned mosque and the larger, "collective" mosque (Arabic: مسجد جامع‎, masjid jāmi‘), which has more community and social aspects.

The mosque serves as a place where Muslims can come together for salat (prayer) (Arabic: صلاة‎, ṣalāt) as well as a center for information, education, and dispute settlement. The Imam leads the prayer.

They have developed significantly from the open-air spaces that were the Quba Mosque and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in the 7th century. Many mosques have elaborate domes, minarets, and prayer halls. Mosques originated on the Arabian Peninsula, but are now found in all inhabited continents.

Contents

History

Grand entryways and tall towers, or minarets, have long been and continue to be closely associated with mosques. However, the first three mosques were very simple open spaces on the Arabian Peninsula. Mosques evolved significantly over the next 1,000 years, acquiring their now-distinctive features and adapting to cultures around the world.

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Diffusion and evolution

Mosques were built outside the Arabian Peninsula as Muslims moved to other parts of the world. Egypt became occupied by Muslim Arabs as early as 640, and since then so many mosques have appeared throughout the country that its capital city, Cairo, has acquired the nickname of city of a thousand minarets.[1] Egyptian mosques vary in amenities, as some have Islamic schools (madrassas) while others have hospitals or tombs.[2] Mosques in Sicily and Spain do not primarily reflect the architecture of Visigothic predecessors, but instead reflect the architecture introduced by the Muslim Moors.[3] It is hypothesized, however, that there were some elements of pre-Islamic architecture which were Islamicized into Andalusi and Maghribi architecture, for example, the distinctive horseshoe arch.[4]

The Great Mosque of Kairouan built in 670, is the oldest mosque in the western Islamic world, Kairouan, Tunisia

The first Chinese mosque was established in the eighth century in Xi'an. The Great Mosque of Xi'an, whose current building dates from the eighteenth century, does not replicate many of the features often associated with traditional mosques. Instead, it follows traditional Chinese architecture. It is distinguished from other buildings by its green roof (Buddhist temples are often built with a yellow roof). Mosques in western China incorporate more traditional elements seen in mosques in other parts of the world. Western Chinese mosques were more likely to incorporate minarets and domes while eastern Chinese mosques were more likely to look like pagodas.[5]

The Javanese style Grand Mosque of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

By the fifteenth century, Islam had become the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra, Indonesia's two most populous islands. As with Hinduism and Buddhism before it, the new religion and its accompanying foreign influences were absorbed and reinterpreted, with mosques given a unique Indonesian/Javanese interpretation. At the time, Javanese mosques took many design cues from Hindu, Buddhist, and even Chinese architectural influences. They lacked, for example, the ubiquitous Islamic dome which did not appear in Indonesia until the 19th century, but had tall timber, multi-level roofs not too dissimilar to the pagodas of Balinese Hindu temples still common today. A number of significant early mosques survive, particularly along the north coast of Java. These include the Mesjid Agung back in Demak, built in 1474, and the Grand Mosque of Yogyakarta that feature multi-level roofs. Javanese styles in turn influenced the architectural styles of mosques among Indonesia's Austronesian neighbors: Malaysia, Brunei and the southern Philippines.

Mosques diffused into India during the reign of the Mughal empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Mughals brought their own form of architecture that included pointed, onion-shaped domes, as seen in Delhi's Jama Masjid. Mughal style became the dominant feature in many of the old mosques in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Mosques first arrived in the Ottoman Empire (mostly present-day Turkey) during the eleventh century, when many local Turks converted to Islam. Several of the first mosques in the Ottoman Empire, such as the Hagia Sophia in present-day Istanbul, were originally churches or cathedrals in the Byzantine Empire. The Ottomans created their own design of mosques, which included large central domes, multiple minarets, and open façades. The Ottoman style of mosques usually included elaborate columns, aisles, and high ceilings in the interior, while incorporating traditional elements, such as the mihrab.[6] Today, Turkey is still home to many mosques that display this Ottoman style of architecture.

Mosques gradually diffused to different parts of Europe, but the most rapid growth in the number of mosques has occurred within the past century as more Muslims have migrated to the continent. Major European cities, such as Rome, London, and Munich, are home to mosques that feature traditional domes and minarets. These large mosques in urban centers are supposed to serve as community and social centers for a large group of Muslims that occupy the region. However, one can still find smaller mosques in more suburban and rural regions throughout Europe where Muslims populate, an example of this is the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking, the first purpose built mosque in the UK.

There are 40,000 to 50,000 mosques in the United States. Mosques first appeared in the United States in the early twentieth century, the likely first being one in Maine built by Albanian immigrants in 1915. [1] as more immigrants continue to arrive in the country, especially from South Asia, the number of American mosques is increasing faster than ever before. Whereas only two percent of the country's mosques appeared in the United States before 1950, eighty-seven percent of American mosques were founded after 1970 and fifty percent of American mosques founded after 1980.[7]

Conversion of places of worship

The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria was a Byzantine church before the Islamic conquest of the Levant. Some ecclesiastical elements are still evident.

According to early Muslim historians, towns that surrendered without resistance and made treaties with the Muslims gave the Muslims "permission" to take their churches and synagogues, One of the earliest examples of these kinds of conversions was in Damascus, Syria, where in 705 Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I bought the church of St. John from the Christians and had it rebuilt as a mosque in exchange for building a number of new churches for the Christians in Damascus, overall, Abd al-Malik (Al-Waleed's father) is said to have transformed 10 churches in Damascus into mosques.

The process of turning churches into mosques was especially intensive in the villages where most of the inhabitants converted to Islam. The Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun turned many churches into mosques. Ottoman Turks converted nearly all churches, monasteries, and chapels in Constantinople, including the famous Hagia Sophia, immediately after capturing the city in 1453 into mosques. In some instances mosques have been established on the places of Jewish or Christian sanctuaries associated with Biblical personalities who were also recognized by Islam.[8]

Mosques have also been converted for use by other religions, notably in southern Spain, following the conquest of the Moors in 1492.[9] The most prominent of them is the Great Mosque of Cordoba. The Iberian Peninsula, Southeast Europe, and India are other regions in the world where such instances occurred once no longer under Muslim rule.

Religious functions

Prayers

There are two holidays (Eids) in the Islamic calendar, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha during which there are special prayers held at mosques in the morning. These Eid prayers are supposed to be offered in large groups, and so larger mosques will normally host them for their congregants as well as the congregants of smaller local mosques. Some mosques will even rent convention centers or other large public buildings to hold the large number of Muslims who attend. Mosques, especially those in countries where Muslims are the majority, will also host Eid prayers outside in courtyards or town squares.[10]

Ramadan events

Islam's holiest month, Ramadan, is observed through many events. As Muslims must fast during the day during Ramadan, mosques will host iftar dinners after sunset and the fourth required prayer of the day, maghrib. Food is provided, at least in part, by members of the community, thereby creating nightly potluck dinners. Because of the community contribution necessary to serve iftar dinners, mosques with smaller congregations may not be able to host the iftar dinners daily. Some mosques will also hold suhoor meals before dawn to congregants attending the first required prayer of the day, fajr. As with iftar dinners, congregants usually provide the food for suhoor, although able mosques may provide food instead. Mosques will often invite poorer members of the Muslim community to share in beginning and breaking the fasts, as providing charity during Ramadan is regarded in Islam as especially honorable.[11]

Following the last obligatory daily prayer (isha) special, optional tarawih prayers are offered in larger mosques. During each night of prayers, which can last for up to two hours each night, usually one member of the community who has memorized the entire Qur’an will recite a segment of the book.[12] Sometimes, several such people (not necessarily of the local community) take turns to do this. During the last ten days of Ramadan, larger mosques will host all-night programs to observe Laylat al-Qadr, the night Muslims believe that Muhammad first received Qur'anic revelations.[12] On that night, between sunset and sunrise, mosques employ speakers to educate congregants in attendance about Islam. Mosques or the community usually provide meals periodically throughout the night.

During the last ten days of Ramadan, larger mosques within the Muslim community will host i'tikaf, a practice in which at least one Muslim man from the community must participate. Muslims performing i'tikaf are required to stay within the mosque for ten consecutive days, often in worship or learning about Islam. As a result, the rest of the Muslim community is responsible for providing the participants with food, drinks, and whatever else they need during their stay.[12]

Charity

The third of the Five Pillars of Islam states that Muslims are required to give approximately one-fortieth of their wealth to charity as zakat. Since mosques form the center of Muslim communities, they are where Muslims go to both give zakat and, if necessary, collect it. Prior to the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, mosques also collect a special zakat that is supposed to assist in helping poor Muslims attend the prayers and celebrations associated with the holiday.

Contemporary political roles

Mosque in Cuiabá, Brazil.

The late twentieth century saw an increase in the number of mosques used for political purposes. Today, civic participation is commonly promoted in mosques in the Western world. Because of the importance in the community, mosques are used for preaching peaceful co-existence with non-believers, even in times of adversity.

Advocacy

Countries with a minority Muslim population are more likely than Muslim-majority countries of the Greater Middle East to use mosques as a way to promote civic participation.[13] American mosques host voter registration and civic participation drives that promote involving Muslims, who are often first- or second-generation immigrants, in the political process. As a result of these efforts as well as attempts at mosques to keep Muslims informed about the issues facing the Muslim community, regular mosque attendants are more likely to participate in protests, sign petitions, and otherwise be involved in politics.[13]

Nevertheless, a link between political views and mosque attendance can still be seen in other parts of the world.[14] Following the al-Askari Mosque bombing in February 2006, imams and other Islamic leaders used mosques and Friday prayers as vehicles to call for calm and peace in the midst of widespread violence.[15]

Social conflict

The 16th Century Babri Mosque in India was destroyed by Vishva Hindu Parishad in 1992.

As they are considered important to the Muslim community, mosques, like other places of worship, can be at the heart of social conflicts.

Babri Mosque was the subject of such a conflict up until the early 1990s when it was demolished. Before a mutual solution could be devised, the mosque was destroyed by approximately 200,000 Hindus on December 6, 1992 as the mosque was built by Babur allegedly on the site of a previous Hindu temple marking the birthplace of Ram.[16] The controversy surrounded the mosque was directly linked to rioting in Bombay (present-day Mumbai) as well as bombings in 1993 that killed 257 people.

A February 2006 bombing that seriously damaged Iraq's al-Askari Mosque, exacerbated tensions that had already existed. Other mosque bombings in Iraq, both before and after the February 2006 bombing, have been part of the conflict between the country's groups of Muslims. However, mosque bombings have not been exclusive to Iraq; in June 2005, a suicide bomber killed at least 19 people at an Afghan Shia mosque near Jade Maivand.[17] In April 2006, two explosions occurred at India's Jama Masjid.

Following the September 11 attacks, several American mosques were targeted in attacks ranging from simple vandalism to arson.[18] Furthermore, the Jewish Defense League was suspected of plotting to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California.[19] Similar attacks occurred throughout the United Kingdom following the 7 July 2005 London bombings. Outside the Western world, in June 2001, the Hassan Bek Mosque was the target of vandalism and attacks by hundreds of Israelis.[20][21][22]

Saudi influence

Although the Saudi involvement in mosques around the world can be traced back to the 1960s, it was not until later in the twentieth century that the government of Saudi Arabia became a large influence in foreign mosques.[23] Beginning in the 1980s, the Saudi Arabian government began to finance the construction of mosques in countries around the world. An estimated US$45 billion has been spent by the Saudi Arabian government financing mosques and Islamic schools in foreign countries. Ain al-Yaqeen, a Saudi newspaper, reported in 2002 that Saudi funds may have contributed to building as many as 1,500 mosques and 2,000 other Islamic centers[24]

Saudi citizens have also contributed significantly to mosques in the Islamic world, especially in countries where they see Muslims as poor and oppressed. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1992, mosques in war-torn Afghanistan saw many contributions from Saudi citizens.[23] The King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California and the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy in Rome represent two of Saudi Arabia's largest investments in foreign mosques as former Saudi king Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud contributed US$8 million[23] and US$50 million[25] to the two mosques, respectively.

Architecture

Styles

Mosque architecture is a continuation of pre-Islamic architecture of palaces built during the Parthian and Sassanian dynasties of Persia. The Sarvestan palace from the Sassanian era is a great example of this. For example, the idea of having an arched entrance and a central dome is clearly one borrowed from pre-Islamic, Persian architecture. After the Arab invasion of Persia, this architecture, as well as elements of Sassanian culture, was used for the new Islamic world. Many forms of mosques have evolved in different regions of the Islamic world. Notable mosque types include the early Abbasid mosques, T-type mosques, and the central-dome mosques of Anatolia. The oil-wealth of the twentieth century drove a great deal of mosque construction using designs from leading non-Muslim modern architects and promoting the careers of important contemporary Muslim architects.

Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan, by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay, was financed by approximately 1976 SAR130 million (2006 US$120 million)[26] from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Arab-plan or hypostyle mosques are the earliest type of mosques, pioneered under the Umayyad Dynasty. These mosques have square or rectangular plans with an enclosed courtyard and covered prayer hall. Historically, in the warm Mediterranean and Middle Eastern climates, the courtyard served to accommodate the large number of worshippers during Friday prayers. Most early hypostyle mosques had flat roofs on prayer halls, which required the use of numerous columns and supports.[8] One of the most notable hypostyle mosques is the Mezquita de Córdoba in Spain, the building being supported by over 850 columns.[27] Frequently, hypostyle mosques have outer arcades so that visitors can enjoy the shade. Arab-plan mosques were constructed mostly under the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties; subsequently, however, the simplicity of the Arab plan limited the opportunities for further development, the mosques consequently losing popularity.[8]

Interior of the Mezquita, a hypostyle former mosque with columns arranged in grid pattern, in Córdoba, Spain.

The Ottomans introduced central dome mosques in the fifteenth century. These mosques have a large dome centered over the prayer hall. In addition to having a large central dome, a common feature is smaller domes that exist off-center over the prayer hall or throughout the rest of the mosque, where prayer is not performed.[28] This style was heavily influenced by the Byzantine religious architecture with its use of large central domes.[8]

Iwan mosques are most notable for their domed chambers and iwans, vaulted spaces opening out at one end. In iwan mosques, one or more iwans face a central courtyard that serves as the prayer hall. The style represents a borrowing from pre-Islamic Iranian architecture and has been used almost exclusively for mosques in Iran.

Hajja Soad's mosque took a pyramid shape which is a creative style in Islamic architecture.

Minarets

The minaret of the Great Mosque of Kairouan is considered as the oldest standing minaret in the world, city of Kairouan, Tunisia

A common feature in mosques is the minaret, the tall, slender tower that usually is situated at one of the corners of the mosque structure. The top of the minaret is always the highest point in mosques that have one, and often the highest point in the immediate area. The tallest minaret in the world is located at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco.[29]

The first mosques had no minarets, and even nowadays the most conservative Islamic movements, like Wahhabis, avoid building minarets, seeing them as ostentatious and hazardous in case of collapse. The first minaret was constructed in 665 in Basra during the reign of the Umayyad caliph Muawiyah I. Muawiyah encouraged the construction of minarets, as they were supposed to bring mosques on par with Christian churches with their bell towers. Consequently, mosque architects borrowed the shape of the bell tower for their minarets, which were used for essentially the same purpose — calling the faithful to prayer.[30]

Actually the oldest standing minaret in the world is the minaret of the Great Mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia [31][32], built between the 8th and the 9th century, it is a massive square tower consisting of three superimposed tiers of gradual size and decor.[33]

Before the five required daily prayers, a muezzin calls the worshippers to prayer from the minaret. In many countries like Singapore where Muslims are not the majority, mosques are prohibited from loudly broadcasting the call to prayer (adhan), although it is supposed to be said loudly to the surrounding community. The adhan is required before every prayer. However, nearly every mosque assigns a muezzin for each prayer to say the adhan as it is a recommended practice or sunnah of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. At mosques that do not have minarets, the adhan is called instead from inside the mosque or somewhere else on the ground.[12] The iqama, which is similar to the adhan and said immediately before the start of prayer, is usually not said from the minaret even if a mosque has one.

Domes

A small Persian style mosque with a dome in Flushing, Queens, New York City.

The domes, often placed directly above the main prayer hall, may signify the vaults of heaven and the sky.[34] As time progressed, domes grew, from occupying a small part of the roof near the mihrab to encompassing the whole roof above the prayer hall. Although domes normally took on the shape of a hemisphere, the Mughals in India popularized onion-shaped domes in South Asia and Persia.[35] Some mosques have multiple, often smaller, domes in addition to the main large dome that resides at the center.

Prayer hall

Left lectern, middle mihrab, right minbar

The prayer hall, also known as the musalla, has no furniture; chairs and pews are absent from the prayer hall so as to allow as many worshipers as possible to line the room.[36] Some mosques have Arabic calligraphy and Qur'anic verses on the walls to assist worshippers in focusing on the beauty of Islam and its holiest book, the Qur'an, as well as for decoration.[12]

Usually opposite the entrance to the prayer hall is the qiblah wall, the visually emphasized area inside the prayer hall. The qiblah wall should, in a properly oriented mosque, be set perpendicular to a line leading to Mecca, the location of the Kaaba.[37] Congregants pray in rows parallel to the qiblah wall and thus arrange themselves so they face Mecca. In the qiblah wall, usually at its center, is the mihrab, a niche or depression indicating the direction of Mecca. Usually the mihrab is not occupied by furniture either. Sometimes, especially during Friday prayers, a raised minbar or pulpit is located to the side of the mihrab for a khatib or some other speaker to offer a sermon (khutbah). The mihrab serves as the location where the imam leads the five daily prayers on a regular basis.[38]

Ablution facilities

The wudu (or ablution) area, where Muslims wash their hands, forearm, face and feet before they pray.

As ritual purification precedes all prayers, mosques often have ablution fountains or other facilities for washing in their entryways or courtyards. However, worshippers at much smaller mosques often have to use restrooms to perform their ablutions. In traditional mosques, this function is often elaborated into a freestanding building in the center of a courtyard.[27] This desire for cleanliness extends to the prayer halls where shoes are disallowed to be worn anywhere other than the cloakroom. Thus, foyers with shelves to put shoes and racks to hold coats are commonplace among mosques.[36]

Contemporary features

Modern mosques have a variety of amenities available to their congregants. As mosques are supposed to appeal to the community, they may also have additional facilities, from health clinics to libraries to gymnasiums, to serve the community.

"Makeshift" mosques

A simple heritage mosque in Australian outback contrasts with the grand designs of established Islamic communities. Bourke cemetery, New South Wales

Most especially in Metro Manila, Philippines area, is common for some Muslim-denominated bazaars (tiangge) to also have a makeshift mosque. They are made primarily for Muslim tenants, most especially when a mosque is not available on the vicinity. Such mosques can be seen in the Riverbanks Mall in Marikina and on the bazaar in the parking lot between Sta Lucia Mall and Robinsons Metro East in Pasig.

Rules and etiquette

Baitul Mukarram (Dhaka), the National Mosque of Bangladesh. The structure resembles the Kaaba in Mecca.

Mosques, in accordance with Islamic practices, institute a number of rules intended to keep Muslims focused on worshipping Allah. While there are several rules, such as those regarding not allowing shoes in the prayer hall, that are universal, there are many other rules that are dealt with and enforced in a variety of ways from mosque to mosque.

Prayer leader

Appointment of a prayer leader is considered desirable, but not always obligatory.[39] The permanent prayer leader (imam) must be a free honest man and is authoritative in religious matters.[39] In mosques constructed and maintained by the government, the prayer leader is appointed by the ruler;[39] in private mosques, however, appointment is made by members of the congregation through majority voting. According to the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence, the man who built the mosque has a stronger claim to the title of imam, but this view is not shared by the other schools.[39]

Leadership at prayer falls into three categories, depending on the type of prayer: five daily prayers, Friday prayer, or optional prayers.[39] According to the Hanafi and Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence, appointment of a prayer leader for Friday service is mandatory because otherwise the prayer is invalid. The Shafi'i and Hanbali schools, however, argue that the appointment is not necessary and the prayer is valid as long as it is performed in a congregation. A slave may lead a Friday prayer, but Muslim authorities disagree over whether the job can be done by a minor.[39] An imam appointed to lead Friday prayers may also lead at the five daily prayers; Muslim scholars agree to the leader appointed for five daily services may lead the Friday service as well.[39]

All Muslim authorities hold the consensus opinion that only men may lead prayer for men.[39] Nevertheless women prayer leaders are allowed to lead prayer in front of all-female congregations.

Cleanliness

Shoes storage.

All mosques have rules regarding cleanliness, as it is an essential part of the worshipper's experience. Muslims before prayer are required to cleanse themselves in an ablution process known as wudu. However, even to those who enter the prayer hall of a mosque without the intention of praying, there are still rules that apply. Shoes must not be worn inside the carpeted prayer hall. Some mosques will also extend that rule to include other parts of the facility even if those other locations are not devoted to prayer. Congregants and visitors to mosques are supposed to be clean themselves. It is also undesirable to come to the mosque after eating something that smells, such as garlic.[40]

Among the crowds at Imām Ridhā Mosque, Iran, are many women who dress in Chador.

Dress

Islam requires that its adherents wear clothes that portray modesty. As a result, although many mosques will not enforce violations, both men and women when attending a mosque must adhere to these guidelines. Men are supposed to come to the mosque wearing loose and clean clothes that do not reveal the shape of the body. Likewise, it is recommended that women at a mosque wear loose clothing that covers to the wrists and ankles, and cover their heads with a hijab or other covering. Many Muslims, regardless of their ethnic background, wear Middle eastern clothing associated with Arabic Islam to special occasions and prayers at mosques.[12]

Concentration

As mosques are places of worship, those within the mosque are required to remain respectful to those in prayer. Loud talking within the mosque, as well as discussion of topics deemed disrespectful, is forbidden in areas where people are praying. In addition, it is disrespectful to walk in front of or otherwise disturb Muslims in prayer.[41] The walls within the mosque have few items, except for possibly Arabic calligraphy, so Muslims in prayer are not distracted. Muslims are also discouraged from wearing clothing with distracting images and symbols so as not to divert the attention of those standing behind them during prayer. In many mosques, even the carpeted prayer area has no designs, its plainness helping worshippers to focus.

Gender separation

Ladies prayer hall in the Khadija mosque.

Islamic law requires men and women to be separated in the prayer hall; ideally, the women must occupy the rows behind the men. Muhammad preferred women to pray at home rather than at a mosque, and according to the hadith Muhammad said: "The best mosques for women are the inner parts of their houses", although Muhammad told Muslims not to forbid women from entering mosques. The second caliph Umar at one time prohibited women from attending mosques especially at night because he feared they may be teased by males, so he required them to pray at home.[42] Sometimes a special part of the mosque was railed off for women; for example, the governor of Mecca in 870 had ropes tied between the columns to make a separate place for women.[8]

Male section of a mosque in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

Many mosques today will put the women behind a barrier or partition or in another room against most Islamic beliefs. Mosques in South and Southeast Asia put men and women in separate rooms, as the divisions were built into them centuries ago. In nearly two-thirds of American mosques, women pray behind partitions or in separate areas, not in the main prayer hall; some mosques do not admit women at all due to the lack of space and the fact that some prayers, such as the Friday Jummah, are mandatory for men but optional for women. Although there are sections exclusively for women and children, the Grand Mosque in Mecca is desegregated.[43]

Non-Muslims in mosques

The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is one of two mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims.

Under most interpretations of Islamic law, non-Muslims may be allowed into mosques, as long as they do not sleep or eat there. A dissenting opinion is presented by followers of the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence, who argue that non-Muslims may not be allowed into mosques under any circumstances.[39]

The Qur'an addresses the subject of non-Muslims, and particularly polytheists, in mosques in two verses in its ninth chapter, Sura At-Tawba. The seventeenth verse of the chapter prohibits those who join gods with Allah — polytheists — from entering mosques:

It is not for such as join gods with Allah, to visit or maintain the mosques of Allah while they witness against their own souls to infidelity. The works of such bear no fruit: In Fire shall they dwell. (Yusuf Ali [Qur'an 9:17])

The twenty-eighth verse of the same chapter is more specific as it only considers polytheists in the Sacred Mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca:

O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-knowing, All-wise. (Yusuf Ali [Qur'an 9:28])
Baitul Futuh Mosque participates in Open House London[44]

According to Ahmad ibn Hanbal, these verses were followed to the letter at the times of Muhammad, when Jews and Christians, considered monotheists, were still allowed to the Masjid al-Haram. However, the Umayyad caliph Umar II later forbade non-Muslims from entering mosques, and his ruling remained in practice in Saudi Arabia.[8] Today, the decision on whether non-Muslims should be allowed to enter mosques varies. With few exceptions, mosques in the Arabian peninsula as well as Morocco do not allow entry to non-Muslims. For example, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is one of only two mosques in Morocco currently open to non-Muslims.[45] However, there are also many other places in the west as well as the Islamic world where non-Muslims are welcome to enter mosques. Most mosques in the United States, for example, report receiving non-Muslim visitors every month.[7] Many Mosques throughout the United States welcome non-Muslims as a sign of openness to the rest of the community as well as to encourage conversions to Islam.[46][47]

The Badshahi Mosque (Royal Mosque) in Lahore, Pakistan, built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, is open to non-Muslim tourists.

In modern-day Saudi Arabia, the Grand Mosque and all of Mecca are open only to Muslims. Likewise, the Masjid al-Nabawi and the city of Medina that surrounds it are also off-limits to those who do not practice Islam.[48] For mosques in other areas, it has most commonly been taken that non-Muslims may only enter mosques if granted permission to do so by Muslims and if they have a legitimate reason. All entrants regardless of religious affiliation are expected to respect the rules and decorum for mosques.[12]

In modern Turkey non-Muslim tourists are allowed to enter any mosque, but there are some strict rules. Visiting a mosque is allowed only between prayers; visitors are required to wear long trousers and not to wear shoes, women must cover their heads; visitors are not allowed to interrupt praying Muslims, especially by taking photos of them; no loud talk is allowed; and no references to other religions are allowed (no crosses on necklaces, no cross gestures etc.)

At different times and places, non-Muslims living under Muslim rule were required to demonstrate deference to mosques. In most cities of Morocco, Jews were required to remove their shoes when passing by a mosque.[49] Danish traveler Carsten Niebuhr wrote that in 18th century Egypt "Jews and Christians had to dismount before several mosques in veneration of their sanctity."[50]

Dogs

Dogs are usually banned from entering mosques, but on September 24, 2008, the Muslim Law Council UK granted a blind Muslim permission to take his guide dog into the mosque via a Fatwa.[51]

Lists of mosques

By location

By size

List of the Largest Mosques in the World

Masjid-al-haram.jpg
Masjid al-Haram
Istiqlal Mosque.jpg
Istiqlal Mosque
Faisal mosque2.jpg
King Faisal Mosque
Baitul Futuh.jpg
Baitul Futuh

Rank Mosque Location Capacity Area (m²) Year Denom.

Masjid Nabawi. Medina, Saudi Arabia.jpg
Masjid al-Nabawi
RezaShrine.jpg
Shrine of Imam Ridhā
Morocco Africa Flickr Rosino December 2005 82664690.jpg
Hassan II Mosque
Masjid Aqsa.jpg
Masjid-e-Aqsa

1 Masjid al-Haram Mecca, Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia 4,000,000 * 400,800 638 Sunni
2 Masjid al-Nabawi Medina, Al Madinah Province, Saudi Arabia 1,000,000 * 400,500 622 Sunni
3 Imam Ridhā shrine Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan, Iran 700,000 598,657 818 Shia
4 Istiqlal Mosque Jakarta, Jakarta Province, Indonesia 120,000 95,000 1978 Sunni
5 Hassan II Mosque Casablanca, Gharb-Chrarda-Béni Hssen, Morocco 105,000 90,000 1993 Sunni
6 King Faisal Mosque Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan 74,000 43,295.8 1986 Sunni
7 Badshahi Mosque Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan 110,000 29,867.2 1678 Sunni
8 Jama Masjid Old Delhi, National Capital Territory of Delhi, India 85,000 1656 Sunni
9 Sheikh Zayed Mosque Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE 40,000 22,000 2007 Sunni
10 Baitul Mukarram Dhaka, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh 30,000 1960 Sunni
11 Sultan Qaboos Mosque Muscat, Muscat Governorate, Oman 20,000 2001 Sunni
12 Id Kah Mosque Kashgar, Xinjiang, China 20,000 1442 Sunni
13 Masjid Negara Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory, Malaysia 15,000 1965 Sunni
14 Masjid-e-Aqsa Rabwah, Pakistan 12,000 1972 Ahmadiyya
15 Baitul Futuh London, Greater London, United Kingdom 10,000 2003 Ahmadiyya
16 Sultan Ahmed Mosque Istanbul, Istanbul Province, Turkey 10,000 1616 Sunni
17 Al-Fateh Grand Mosque Manama, Capital Governorate, Bahrain 7,000 1987 Sunni
18 Masjid al-Aqsa Old City, Jerusalem, Israel / Palestinian territories 5,000 c.700 Sunni
* The capacity figures for the Two Holy Mosques are given as their max capacity (during the Hajj period).

References

Books and journals
  • Accad, Martin (2003). "The Gospels in the Muslim Discourse of the Ninth to the Fourteenth Centuries: An Exegetical Inventorial Table (Part I)". Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 14 (1). ISSN 0959-6410. 
  • Adil, Hajjah Amina; Shaykh Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani, Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani (2002). Muhammad: The Messenger of Islam. Islamic Supreme Council of America. ISBN 978-1930409118. 
  • Ahmed, Akbar (1999). Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World (2.00 ed.). I. B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1860642579. 
  • Brockopp, Jonathan E. (2003). Islamic Ethics of Life: abortion, war and euthanasia. University of South Carolina press. ISBN 1570034710. 
  • Cohen-Mor, Dalya (2001). A Matter of Fate: The Concept of Fate in the Arab World as Reflected in Modern Arabic Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195133986. 
  • Curtis, Patricia A. (2005). A Guide to Food Laws and Regulations. Blackwell Publishing Professional. ISBN 978-0813819464. 
  • Drury, Abdullah, Islam in New Zealand: The First Mosque (Christchurch, 2007) ISBN 978-0-473-12249-2 .
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  • Ernst, Carl (2004). Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-5577-4. 
  • Esposito, John; John Obert Voll (1996). Islam and Democracy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510816-7. 
  • Esposito, John (1998). Islam: The Straight Path (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195112344. 
  • Esposito, John; Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad (2000a). Muslims on the Americanization Path?. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513526-1. 
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  • Esposito, John (2002a). Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195168860. 
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  • Esposito, John (2003). The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512558-4. 
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  • Spencer, Robert (2005). The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1591022497. 
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  • Teece, Geoff (2003). Religion in Focus: Islam. Franklin Watts Ltd. ISBN 978-0749647964. 
  • Trimingham, John Spencer (1998). The Sufi Orders in Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195120582. 
  • Tritton, Arthur S. (1970) [1930]. The Caliphs and their Non-Muslim Subjects: A Critical Study of the Covenant of Umar. London: Frank Cass Publisher. ISBN 0-7146-1996-5. 
  • Turner, Colin (2006). Islam: the Basics. Routledge (UK). ISBN 041534106X. 
  • Turner, Bryan S. (1998). Weber and Islam. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0415174589. 
  • Waines, David (2003). An Introduction to Islam. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521539064. 
  • Warraq, Ibn (2000). The Quest for Historical Muhammad. Prometheus. ISBN 978-1573927871. 
  • Warraq, Ibn (2003). Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out. Prometheus. ISBN 1-59102-068-9. 
  • Watt, W. Montgomery (1973). The Formative Period of Islamic Thought. University Press Edinburgh. ISBN 0-85-224254-X. 
  • Watt, W. Montgomery (1974). Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman (New ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-881078-4. 
  • Weiss, Bernard G. (2002). Studies in Islamic Legal Theory. Boston: Brill Academic publishers. ISBN 9004120661. 
  • Williams, John Alden (1994). The Word of Islam. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-79076-7. 
  • Williams, Mary E. (2000). The Middle East. Greenhaven Pr. ISBN 0737701331. 
Encyclopedias
  • William H. McNeill, Jerry H. Bentley, David Christian, ed (2005). Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History. Berkshire Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0974309101. 
  • Gabriel Oussani, ed (1910). Catholic Encyclopedia. 
  • Paul Lagasse, Lora Goldman, Archie Hobson, Susan R. Norton, ed (2000). The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed.). Gale Group. ISBN 978-1593392369. 
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.. 
  • Erwin Fahlbusch, William Geoffrey Bromiley, ed (2001). Encyclopedia of Christianity (1st ed.). Eerdmans Publishing Company, and Brill. ISBN 0-8028-2414-5. 
  • John Bowden, ed (2005). Encyclopedia of Christianity (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-522393-4. 
  • George Thomas Kurian, Graham T. T. Molitor, ed (1995). Encyclopedia of the Future. MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 978-0028972053. 
  • P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs, ed. Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912. 
  • Richard C. Martin, Said Amir Arjomand, Marcia Hermansen, Abdulkader Tayob, Rochelle Davis, John Obert Voll, ed (2003). Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 978-0028656038. 
  • Jane Dammen McAuliffe, ed. Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an Online. Brill Academic Publishers. 
  • Lindsay Jones, ed (2005). Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference Books. ISBN 978-0028657332. 
  • Salamone Frank, ed (2004). Encyclopedia of Religious Rites, Rituals, and Festivals (1st ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-0415941808. 
  • Peter N. Stearns, ed (2000). The Encyclopedia of World History Online (6th ed.). Bartleby. 
  • Josef W. Meri, ed (2005). Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 041-5966906. 
  • Wendy Doniger, ed (1999). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. Merriam-Webster. ISBN 087-7790442. 
  • Glasse Cyril, ed (2003). New Encyclopedia of Islam: A Revised Edition of the Concise Encyclopedia of Islam. AltaMira Press. ISSN 978-0759101906. 
  • Edward Craig, ed (1998). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1st ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-0415073103. 

Further reading

  • Arberry, A. J. (1996). The Koran Interpreted: A Translation (1st ed.). Touchstone. ISBN 978-0684825076. 
  • Hawting, Gerald R. (2000). The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyard Caliphate AD 661–750. Routledge. ISBN 0415240727. 
  • Khan, Muhammad Muhsin; Al-Hilali Khan, Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din (1999). Noble Quran (1st ed.). Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-9960740799. 
  • Kramer (ed.), Martin (1999). The Jewish Discovery of Islam: Studies in Honor of Bernard Lewis. Syracuse University. ISBN 978-9652240408. 
  • Kuban, Dogan (1974). Muslim Religious Architecture. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 9004038132. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1993). Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East. Open Court. ISBN 978-0812692174. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1994). Islam and the West. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195090611. 
  • Lewis, Bernard (1996). Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Age of Discovery. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195102833. 
  • Mubarkpuri, Saifur-Rahman (2002). The Sealed Nectar: Biography of the Prophet. Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-1591440710. 
  • Najeebabadi, Akbar Shah (2001). History of Islam. Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-1591440345. 
  • Nigosian, S. A. (2004). Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices (New ed.). Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253216274. 
  • Rahman, Fazlur (1979). Islam (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-70281-2. 
  • Walker, Benjamin (1998). Foundations of Islam: The Making of a World Faith. Peter Owen Publishers. ISBN 978-0720610383. 

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Cairo, Egypt". The Independent. http://travel.independent.co.uk/africa/article253491.ece. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  2. ^ Budge, E.A. Wallis (2001-06-13). Budge's Egypt: A Classic 19th Century Travel Guide. Courier Dover Publications. pp. 123–128. ISBN 0-486-41721-2. 
  3. ^ "Theoretical Issues of Islamic Architecture". Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation. http://www.muslimheritage.com/topics/default.cfm?ArticleID=278. Retrieved 2006-04-07. 
  4. ^ "Architecture in Christian Spain". Stanford University. http://medspains.stanford.edu/demo/themes/art_and_architecture/arch_christian_spain/index.html. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  5. ^ Cowen, Jill S. (July/August 1985). "Muslims in China: The Mosque". Saudi Aramco World. pp. 30–35. http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/198504/muslims.in.china-the.mosques.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-08. 
  6. ^ "Mosques". Charlotte Country Day School. http://www.ccds.charlotte.nc.us/History/MidEast/04/Jpitts/Jpitts.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-07. 
  7. ^ a b (PDF) The Mosque in America: A National Portrait. Council on American-Islamic Relations. 2001. http://www.cair-net.org/mosquereport/Masjid_Study_Project_2000_Report.pdf. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Hillenbrand, R. "Masdjid. I. In the central Islamic lands". in P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912. 
  9. ^ Wagner, William (2004). How Islam Plans to Change the World. Kregel Publications. p. 99. ISBN 0-8254-3965-5. "When the Moors were driven out of Spain in 1492, most of the mosques were converted into churches" 
  10. ^ "'Id Prayers (Salatul 'Idain)". Compendium of Muslim Texts. University of Southern California. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/pillars/prayer/Eid-Prayers_1.html. Retrieved 2006-04-08. 
  11. ^ "Charity". Compendium of Muslim Texts. University of Southern California. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/pillars/fasting/tajuddin/fast_51.html. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Maqsood, Ruqaiyyah Waris (2003-04-22). Teach Yourself Islam (2nd ed.). Chicago: McGraw-Hill. pp. 57–8, 72–5, 112–120. ISBN 0-07-141963-2. 
  13. ^ a b Jamal, Amany. "The Role of Mosques in the Civic and Political Incorporation of Muslim American". Teachers' College – Columbia University. http://www.tc.edu/muslim-nyc/research/projects/role%20of%20muslims.html. Retrieved 2006-04-22. 
  14. ^ Swanbrow, Diane (2005-06-23). "Study: Islam devotion not linked to terror". The University Record Online. http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/0405/Jun13_05/03.shtml. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  15. ^ "Friday prayer plea for Iraq calm". BBC. 2006-02-24. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4747886.stm. Retrieved 2006-04-23. 
  16. ^ Romey, Kristen M. (July/August 2004). "Flashpoint Ayodhya". Archaeology. http://www.archaeology.org/0407/abstracts/ayodhya.html. 
  17. ^ Aizenman, N.C. (2006-06-02). "Suicide Bomber Kills 20 in Afghan Mosque". The Washington Post. p. A16. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/01/AR2005060100263.html. Retrieved 2006-04-23. 
  18. ^ "IPA NY Voices That Must Be Heard". Indypressny.org. http://www.indypressny.org/article.php3?ArticleID=3113. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  19. ^ "JDL Chairman, Follower Accused of Plotting to Bomb Mosque, Congressman". Associated Press via FOX News. 2001-12-13. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,40693,00.html. Retrieved 2006-04-23. 
  20. ^ "Arafat orders immediate ceasefire". BBC. 2001-06-03. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1366719.stm. Retrieved 2006-04-23. 
  21. ^ Harris, John (2006-04-22). "Paranoia, poverty and wild rumours - a journey through BNP country". The Guardian. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/farright/story/0,,1758974,00.html. Retrieved 2006-05-28. 
  22. ^ Carlile, Jennifer (2006-05-25). "Italians fear mosque plans". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12927212/. Retrieved 2006-05-28. 
  23. ^ a b c Ottoway, David B. (2004-08-19). "U.S. Eyes Money Trails of Saudi-Backed Charities". The Washington Post. p. A1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A13266-2004Aug18. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  24. ^ Kaplan, David E. (2003-12-15). "The Saudi Connection". U.S. News and World Report. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/031215/15terror.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  25. ^ "Islamic Center in Rome, Italy". King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz. http://www.kingfahdbinabdulaziz.com/main/m4506.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  26. ^ "King Faisal Mosque in Islamabad". King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz. http://www.kingfahdbinabdulaziz.com/main/m4201.htm. Retrieved 2006-06-25. 
  27. ^ a b "Religious Architecture and Islamic Cultures". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://web.mit.edu/4.614/www/handout02.html. Retrieved 2006-04-09. 
  28. ^ "Vocabulary of Islamic Architecture". Massachusetts Institute of Technology. http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Architecture/4-614Religious-Architecture-and-Islamic-CulturesFall2002/LectureNotes/detail/vocab-islam.htm#islam6. Retrieved 2006-04-09. 
  29. ^ Walters, Brian (2004-05-17). "The Prophet's People". Call to Prayer: My Travels in Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Virtualbookworm Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 1-58939-592-1. "Its 210-meter minaret is the tallest in the world" 
  30. ^ Hillenbrand, R. "Manara, Manar". in P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia of Islam Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912. 
  31. ^ Titus Burckhardt, Art of Islam, Language and Meaning: Commemorative Edition. World Wisdom. 2009. p. 128
  32. ^ Linda Kay Davidson and David Martin Gitlitz, Pilgrimage: from the Ganges to Graceland : an encyclopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. 2002. p. 302
  33. ^ Great Mosque of Kairouan (Muslim Heritage.com)
  34. ^ Mainzer, Klaus (1996-06-01). "Art and Architecture". Symmetries of Nature: A Handbook for Philosophy of Nature and Science. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. p. 124. ISBN 3-11-012990-6. "the dome arching over the believers like the spherical dome of the sky" 
  35. ^ Asher, Catherine B. (1992-09-24). "Aurangzeb and the Islamization of the Mughal style". Architecture of Mughal India. Cambridge University Press. p. 256. ISBN 0-521-26728-5. 
  36. ^ a b "Mosque FAQ". The University of Tulsa. http://www.utulsa.edu/iss/Mosque/MosqueFAQ.html. Retrieved 2006-04-09. 
  37. ^ Bierman, Irene A. (1998-12-16). Writing Signs: Fatimid Public Text. University of California Press. p. 150. ISBN 0-520-20802-1. 
  38. ^ "Terms 1: Mosque". University of Tokyo Institute of Oriental Culture. http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~islamarc/WebPage1/htm_eng/index/keyword1_e.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-09. 
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i Abu al-Hasankok Ibn Muhammad Ibn Habib, Al-Mawardi (2000). The Ordinances of Government (Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyya w’al-Wilayat al-Diniyya). Lebanon: Garnet Publishing. pp. 184. ISBN 1-85964-140-7. 
  40. ^ "Chapter 16. The Description of the Prayer". SunniPath Library. SunniPath. http://www.sunnipath.com/Resources/PrintMedia/Hadith/H0002P0016.aspx. Retrieved 2006-07-12. 
  41. ^ Connecting Cultures, Inc. (Doc). Building Cultural Competency: Understanding Islam, Muslims, and Arab Culture. Connecting Cultures, Inc.. p. 15. http://www.maec.org/2004conferencepapers/ismail.doc. Retrieved 2006-07-12. 
  42. ^ Doi, Abdur Rahman I.. "Women in Society". Compendium of Muslim Texts. University of Southern California. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/humanrelations/womeninislam/womeninsociety.html#mosque. Retrieved 2006-04-15. 
  43. ^ Rezk, Rawya (2006-01-26). "Muslim Women Seek More Equitable Role in Mosques". The Columbia Journalist. http://www.columbiajournalist.org/rw1_dinges/2005/article.asp?subj=national&course=rw1_dinges&id=624. Retrieved 2006-04-09. 
  44. ^ http://www.merton.gov.uk/leisure/history-heritage/architecture/mordenmosque.htm
  45. ^ "Morocco travel". CNN. http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TRAVEL/DESTINATIONS/02/25/morocco.travel.ap/index.html. Retrieved 2006-09-22. 
  46. ^ Takim, Liyakatali (July 2004). "From Conversion to Conversation: Interfaith Dialogue in Post 9–11 America" (PDF). The Muslim World 94: 343–355. doi:10.1111/j.1478-1913.2004.00058.x. http://macdonald.hartsem.edu/articles/mw943f.pdf. Retrieved 2006-06-16.  Liyakatali Takim is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Denver
  47. ^ "Laptop link-up: A day at the mosque". BBC. 2005-12-05. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4511780.stm. Retrieved 2006-06-16. 
  48. ^ Goring, Rosemary (1997-05-01). Dictionary of Beliefs & Religions. Wordsworth Editions. ISBN 1-85326-354-0. 
  49. ^ Stillman, Norman (1979). The Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America. pp. 83. ISBN 0827601166. 
  50. ^ Bat Ye'or (2002). Islam and Dhimmitude. Where Civilizations Collide. Madison/Teaneck, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press/Associated University Presses. pp. 98. ISBN 0-8386-3943-7. 
  51. ^ "BBC NEWS | England | Leicestershire | Ruling allows guide dog in mosque". News.bbc.co.uk. 24 September 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/7633623.stm. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Quotes about mosque:

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Look up Mosque in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MOSQUE (through Fr. mosquee; Span. mezquita, from Arab. masjid, sajada, to adore), the house of prayer in the FIG. 1. - Plan of Mosque of `Amr, Old Cairo.

1, Kibleh. 5, Fountain for ablution.

2, Minbar. 6, 6, Rooms built later.

3, Tomb of `Amr. 7, Minaret.

4, Dikka. 8, Latrines.

Mahommedan religion, consisting generally of a large open court (sahn) surrounded by arcades (liwan), with a fountain (mida-a) in the centre of the court, for the ablutions necessary before prayer. The principal feature in the mosque is the niche (mihrab), which is sunk in a wall built at right angles to a line drawn from Mecca, and indicates the direction towards which the Moslem should turn when engaged in prayer. The arcades in front of the Mecca niche were sometimes of considerable depth, and constituted the prayer chamber (maksura), portions of which were occasionally enclosed with lattice work. By the side of the niche was the pulpit (minbar), and sometimes in front of the latter a platform (dikka) raised on columns, from which chapters from the Koran were read to the people.

Most mosques have endowed property, which is administered by a warden (nazir), who also appoints the imams and other officials. The larger mosques have two imams: one is called (in Arabia and Egypt) the khatib, and he preaches the sermon on Fridays (the Moslem Sabbath); the other, the ratib, reads the Koran, and recites the five daily prayers, standing close to the mihrab, and leading the congregation, who repeat the prayers with him, and closely follow his postures. The imams do not form a priestly sect; they generally have other occupations, such as teaching in a school or keeping a shop, and may at any time be dismissed by the warden, in which case they lose the title of imam. Moslem women, as a rule, are expected to say their prayers at home, but in some few mosques they are admitted to one part specially screened off for them.

The earliest mosque erected was that at Mecca, which consisted of a great court, in the centre of which was the Ka`ba or Holy Stone. The court was surrounded with arcades, all of which constituted the prayer chamber, so that its plan is necessarily different to the normal type; the existing buildings date only from the first half of the 17th century, as the whole mosque was destroyed by a torrent in 1626.

The normal type referred to is best represented in the mosque of `Amr (see `AMR-IBN-EL -Ass) at Fostat, Cairo; built in A.D. 643 it still retains its original arrangement, though partly rebuilt and increased in its dimensions. The mosque (see fig. I), now in a somewhat ruined condition, covers an area of about 130,000 sq. ft. with an open court, 240 ft. sq., and a sanctuary or prayer chamber, 106 ft. deep, there being a central avenue and ten aisles on either side. The columns and capitals were all taken from ancient buildings, Egyptian, Roman and Byzantine, and they carry arches of different forms, semicircular, pointed and horseshoe.

The columns and other materials of the mosque of el-Aksa at Jerusalem were taken by Abdalmalik (A.D. 690) from the ruins of Justinian's church of St Mary on Mount Sion, and the central avenue or nave built with them presents the appearance of a Christian church; it however runs north and south, the Mecca niche being at the south end; originally there were seven aisles on each side, now reduced to three. The Kubbet-esSakhra, or Dome of the Rock, at Jerusalem, is only a shrine erected over the sacred rock, so that the title often ascribed to it as "the mosque of Omar" is misleading.

The mosque of the Omayyads in Damascus was built by the Caliph Walid in A.D. 705 on the foundations of the basilican church of St John: its plan differs therefore from the normal type in that its arcades run east and west, and the transept in the centre becomes the prayer chamber. The Mecca niche is sunk in the doorway of a Roman temple which formerly occupied the same site, and the substructure of the minaret at the south-west angle is of still more ancient date. The great court on the,north side has a lofty cloister round it, so that in many respects it follows the normal type.

The mosque of Ahmad Ibn Tulun, in Cairo (A.D. 879), is the first mosque erected in which the materials were not taken from ancient buildings; it has therefore a special interest as being the earliest genuine example of the Mahommedan style (see Architecture: Mahommedan). The walls, piers and arches, are all built in brick, covered with stucco, a great portion of which is preserved down to the present day. The plan is of the normal type, with a great court in the centre, a prayer chamber four aisles deep on the Mecca side (south-east), and a double aisle on the other three sides. All the arches are pointed and slightly horseshoe, preceding therefore by about two and a half centuries the introduction of the pointed arch into Europe. The piers carrying the arches have shafts at their angles, the earliest examples known, and the decoration of the walls consists of friezes, borders, and impost-bands, all enriched with conventional patterns interwoven with cufic characters and modelled in stucco. The windows in the outer walls are filled with pierced stone screens of geometrical design. The architect is said to have been a Coptic Christian who deprecated the destruction of ancient buildings to obtain columns and blocks of stone, and who undertook to design a mosque which should be built entirely in brick, which when coated with stucco and appropriate decorative designs would rival its predecessors.

The next important mosque is that of Kairawan in Tunisia, which was founded by Sidi Okba in A.D. 675, but was partly rebuilt and added to in the following two centuries. Its court covers an area of 38,000 sq. ft., and its prayer chamber is 150 ft. deep, having a central avenue and eight aisles on each side.

The chief interest of the mosque at Kairawan lies in its being the prototype of the great mosque at Cordova, which was built by Abdarrahman in A.D. 780; the earliest portion of the mosque is the prayer chamber (135 ft. wide by 220 ft. deep), which is in front of the entrance gateway to the great court, and consists of a central avenue with five aisles on each side. In A.D. 961 this portion was extended 150 ft. in the rear by Hakim II., the mihrab and Mecca wall being rebuilt; about 20 years later a further enlargement was made, and eight more aisles were added along the whole eastern side, so that the prayer chamber covered an area of over 148,000 sq. ft. In the r3th century a portion of Hakim's addition was pulled down to make way for the first cathedral, which was dedicated to the Virgin. The most beautiful portion of the mosque, however, still exists in the prayer chamber of Hakim, where are to be found the earliest examples of the cusped arch and the origin of many of the geometrical patterns in stucco at the Alhambra.

The mosque of el Azhar, "the splendid," was begun about A.D. 970 by Jauhar, the general of the Fatimite Caliph Moizz, who captured Fostat and founded el Kahira, the present town of Cairo. It was based, therefore, on the great mosque at Kairawan, and although more or less rebuilt, it still preserves its original plan. It has a special interest in being the chief university of the Moslem world, containing some thousands of students (mujawirin), for whom certain parts of the mosque (riwaq) are screened off, according to the country from which they come. Thus special parts are reserved for natives of the various provinces of Egypt, of Morocco,Syria, Arabia, India, Turkey, &c. Each student can, FIG. 2. - Plan of Mosque of Sultan if he is too poor to hire Hasan, Cairo. lodgings, live, eat and I, 2, Main entrance. sleep in the mosque.

3, Court open to sky. Each has a large chest 4, 5, Fountains. in which to keep his 6, 6, North and south vaulted transepts p (the dotted lines show the curve clothes and books; these of the vault). are piled against the 8, 9, Dikka. walls to a height of 10, Sanctuary. seven or eight feet. The II, Minbar.

12, Kibleh. students pay no fees, but 13, Door to tomb. the richer ones give 14, Domed tomb-chamber. presents to the lecturers, 15, Tomb within screen. who sit on the matting 16, Kibleh.

1 7, Minarets. in various parts of the 18, 19, 20, Various entrances to mosque. sanctuary or cloister, 21, Small rooms connected with service while the students sit of the mosque. round each lecturer in 22, Sultans private entrance.

a circle. The usual course of study lasts for three years, though some students remain for much longer. The chief of the lecturers, called the Sheik el-Azhar, receives about £zoo a year, the others little or nothing, as regular pay. The Koran, sacred and secular law, logic, poetry, arithmetic, with some medicine and geography, are the chief subjects of study.

Of other mosques in Cairo, the finest is that of Sultan Hasan (fig. 2), completed in A.D. 1360. It differs from the normal type in many respects, as it includes residences for various sects, so that portions of it, with the several storeys externally, resemble an immense mansion or warehouse, and this would seem to have led to an important change inside, as instead of a cloister of two or more aisles there are four immense halls all covered with pointed barrel vaults. Beyond the Mecca wall is the tomb of the founder, covered with an immense dome.

The entrance doorway on the north-east side is over 80 ft. in height, its summit being decorated with stalactite vaults, one of the grandest features in Mahommedan architecture, only equalled by the magnificent portals of the mosques in India. The central square court, of moderate dimensions, with halls and great recesses, is followed in other examples in Cairo, among which the Tomb Mosque of Kait-Bey (c. A.D. 1470) is the most graceful (fig. 3). In this case the central court is roofed over, and has an octagon lantern in the centre; the recesses are covered with horizontal ceilings carried on great beams, the whole being elaborately carved, coloured and gilded; the tomb is covered with the later type of dome, built in stone, and elaborately carved outside with delicate conventional patterns in relief.

Although the conquest of Persia by the Arabs took place in A.D. 641 there are no remains of mosques there earlier than the 13th century, and the oldest example at Tabriz is evidently, as far as its plan is concerned, a copy of a Byzantine church, departing entirely therefore from the normal plans.' The great mosque at Isfahan, built by Shah Abbas the Great (1585-1629), has one great court (225 ft. by 170 ft.) and two smaller ones, all with fountains in them. The prayer chamber is a lofty structure, quite unlike those of Egypt and Kairawan, with a dome 75 ft. in diameter and halls on each side divided into two aisles, each compartment being covered with a dome, in this respect also not following the early normal type, in which domes were only found over tombs.

The mosques of Constantinople are all copies more or less of S. Sophia: they have courts in front with a range of arcades round, and the centre portion forms the prayer chamber, the side aisles serving as passages. The central dome has but a slight elevation outside, but with the numerous cupolas round, and the minarets, it forms a picturesque group which is wanting in the mosques of Kairawan, Cordova, and other examples in North Africa.

In India as in other countries the Mahommedans took possession of the ancient buildings and adapted them to their religious requirements. The materials of the native styles of India, however, did not lend themselves to their utilization as in Syria, Egypt and North Africa, where the columns and capitals formed the substructure of the arcades which surrounded their courts. In the earliest mosque at old Delhi, they adopted the piers and bracketed capitals of the Jaina builders, whom they probably employed to build their mosque. They, however, had no confidence in the arch, which, as the Hindu says, "never sleeps but is always tending to its own destruction," so that the pointed arch, which had almost become the emblem of the Mahommedan religion, had to be dispensed with for the covered aisles which surrounded the great court, and in the triple entrance gateway the form of an arch only was retained, as it was constructed with horizontal courses of masonry for the haunches, and with long slabs of stone resting one against the other at the top. A similar construction was employed in the great mosque at Ajmere, built A.D.1200-1211at the same time as the Delhi mosque. The objection to the arch is more clearly shown 1 It is very generally held that this "Blue Mosque" dates only from the 15th century (see Tabriz).

FIG. 3. - Mosque-tomb of Sultan Kait-Bey, Cairo. I, Main entrance.

2, Lobby and cisterns ablution.

3, Great minaret.

4, Kibleh.

5, Minbar.

6, Sultan's tomb-chamber.

7, The tomb within a screen.

8, Dikka.

(For views of interior and exterior, see Architecture.) for in the entrance gateway of the Lal Darwaza or Red Gate mosque at Jaunpur, where an arch (of two rings of ogee shape) is carried by a solid wall, built under it, which is pierced with three doorways with bracket-capitals and architraves, returning therefore to trabeated construction. The covered aisles of the court of the Jumma Musjid at Jaunpur are in three storeys with piers, bracket-capitals and architraves, bearing therefore no resemblance to the arcades of Kairawan and Cordova, and constituting a different style. There is however one feature which throughout the Mahommedan mosques in India is always found, viz. the dome. But this also in India is built in horizontal courses, so that the form only and not the construction of the Cairene domes is followed. The chief peculiarity of the mosques at Ahmedabad is that, as the style progressed, it became more Indian; in the Jumma Musjid (A.D. 1420) and the Queen's mosque at Mirzapur, the pointed arch exists only in the façades of the prayer chambers; in the mosques built 30 to 40 years later the whole is constructed without a single arch, all the pillars have bracket-capitals, and the domes, which are of very slight elevation, are all built in the trabeated style. As a contrast to the Ahmedabad mosques, the Kadam Rasul mosque at Gaur in Bengal possesses some characteristics which resemble those of the mosque of Tulun in Cairo, possibly due to the fact that it is entirely built in brick, with massive piers carrying pointed arches.

The climax of Mahommedan work in India is reached in that of the Mogul emperors at Agra, Delhi and Fatehpur-Sikri, in which there is a very close resemblance in design to the mosques of Syria, Egypt, and Persia; the four-centred arch, which is in the Mogul style, finds general acceptance, and was probably derived from Persian sources. The mosque at Fatehpur-Sikri possesses in its great southern gateway, built by Akbar in the second half of the 16th century, the masterpiece of IndoSaracenci architecture. As a rule, the mosques of India followed the normal plan, with a great central court and aisles round and a prayer chamber in front of the Mecca wall, which in India is always at the west end. (R. P. S.)


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Contents

English

Etymology

From French mosquée, from Italian moschea, ultimately from Arabic مسجد (masjid), literally ‘place of prostration’.

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
mosque

Plural
mosques

mosque (plural mosques)

  1. (Islam) A place of worship for Muslims, corresponding to a church or synagogue in other religions, and having at least one minaret; a masjid.

Usage notes

People of Islamic faith prefer the Arabic-derived term masjid over the English term mosque.

Translations


Simple English

[[File:|thumb|right|200px|A mosque in Afghanistan]]

[[File:|thumb|right|200px|Abuja National Mosque, Nigeria]]

A mosque is a place where Muslims worship. The word mosque comes from the Arabic word masjid.[1] A mosque may be small, and privately owned. A larger, 'collective', mosque is called a masjid jāmi.[2] Larger mosques offer more services to their community.

For many Muslim people, a mosque is more than a place of worship. Muslims worship, study and discuss Islam, and do many other things in a mosque and its compounds. In the United Kingdom, many mosques are used as community centres. They are also used to teach about Islam. Religious festivals and gatherings are held in mosques. Weddings are one example. Mosques have rules to control what people do inside. One of these rules is that it is considered rude to disturb another person who is worshipping.

Many mosques are known for their Islamic architecture. The earliest mosques, opened in 7th century were open-air spaces. They are the Quba Mosque and Masjid al-Nabawi. Later mosques were buildings that were specially designed. Nowadays, mosques can be found on every continent, except Antarctica.

Contents

Architecture

[[File:|thumb|right|200px|The Jami Ul Alfar mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka, has striking Moorish and Colonial architecture with a candy-striped facade.]] Many mosques are famous works of architecture. They are often built in a style that has stayed the same for many centuries. Many mosques have prayer halls, domes, and minarets. They may also have a courtyard.

Mosques were first built on the Arabian Peninsula. The Muslims who built them used old architectural styles. They also combined these styles in new ways. A major influence was the palaces built during the Parthian and Sassanid dynasties of Persia. The Sarvestan palace from the Sassanid era is a good example of this. It has an arched entrance and a central dome. These features already existed in Persia before Islam.

After the Arab invasion of Persia, the new style, with its Sassanid influence, was used for the new Islamic world. Many forms of mosques have developed in different regions of the Islamic world. Important mosque types include the early Abbasid mosques, T-type mosques, and the central-dome mosques of Anatolia. In the 20th century, many countries that grew rich from oil paid for the building of many new mosques. The rulers of these countries often hired leading architects to design these mosques. They included non-Muslims.

Arab plan

File:Cairo al-Azhar
Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo, Egypt has a hypostyle hall

Many early mosques have a square or rectangular plan. They also have a prayer hall and an enclosed courtyard. This is known as Arab-plan. The first mosques of this type were built during the Umayyad Dynasty.

The flat roof of the prayer hall was supported by columns. Many rows of columns were needed to support such roofs;[3] this is called "hypostyle architecture". One of the most famous hypostyle mosques is the Mezquita de Córdoba in Spain. It is supported by over 850 columns.[4]

In the warm Mediterranean and Middle Eastern climates, the courtyard served to hold the large number of worshippers during Friday prayers. Often, hypostyle mosques have outer arcades. They allow the visitors to enjoy the shade. Arab-plan mosques were built mostly during the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties. The Arab plan was very simple, which did not allow for much further development. This caused that style of mosque to fall out of favour.[3]

Central dome

The Ottomans began building central dome mosques in the fifteenth century. These mosques have a large dome centered over the prayer hall. There may also be smaller domes, which are off-center over the prayer hall or the rest of the mosque.[5] This style was heavily influenced by the Byzantine religious architecture with its use of large central domes.[3]

Iwan

Iwan mosques are famous for their domed rooms and iwans. Iwans are spaces with an arched roof. They have an opening at one end. One or more iwans face a central courtyard that serves as the prayer hall. The style borrows from pre-Islamic Iranian architecture. Most mosques with this style are in Iran.

Parts of Mosques

Minarets

[[File:|thumb|right|200px|The Islamic Solidarity Mosque in Mogadishu with a tall minaret]] [[File:|thumb|right|200px|The Great Mosque in Aleppo, Syria. The tower-like structure is the minaret.]] Most mosques have minarets. Minarets are tall towers. Usually they are at one of the corners of the mosque. The top of the minaret is the highest point in the mosque, and usually the highest point in the area around the mosque. The tallest minaret in the world is in the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco.[6]

The first mosques had no minarets. The most conservative Islamic groups, like Wahhabis, still avoid building minarets. They see them as simply a fancy decoration and unnecessary. The first minaret was built in 665 in Basra during the reign of the Umayyad caliph Muawiyah I. Muawiyah encouraged the building of minarets, as they were supposed to be the same as bell towers on Christian churches. Because of this, mosque architects used the shape of the bell tower for their minarets. Both the minaret and the bell tower serve the same purpose — to call the faithful to prayer.[7]

Before the five required daily prayers, a muezzin calls the worshippers to prayer from the minaret. In many countries like Singapore where Muslims are not the majority, mosques are stopped from loudly playing the call to prayer. The main problem is the use of electronic amplification of the call, which is now widely used by mosques.

Domes

File:Khatem Al Anbiyaa Mosque
The domes of the Khatem Al Anbiyaa Mosque in Beirut, Lebanon

The domes were often placed directly above the main prayer hall. They represent the vaults of heaven and the sky.[8] At first, these domes were small. They only took up a small part of the roof near the mihrab. Later, they took the whole roof above the prayer hall. Domes normally have the shape of a hemisphere. The Mughals in India popularized onion-shaped domes in South Asia and Persia.[9] Some mosques have several domes, as well as the main large dome. The other domes are often smaller.

Domes would help the imam be heard, as the sound waves would bounce in and then out of the dome making the voice louder.

Prayer hall

All mosques have a prayer hall, which is also called musalla. Normally, there is no furniture in it except for prayer mats or rugs. These are necessary, as Islamic prayer is usually done kneeling.

Some mosques have Arabic calligraphy and Qur'anic verses on the walls to help worshipers focus on the beauty of Islam and its holiest book, the Qur'an, as well as for decoration.[10]

The qiblah wall is usually at the other side of the entrance to the prayer hall. This wall is specially decorated. In a properly sited mosque, it will be set perpendicular to a line leading to Mecca.[11] People pray in rows parallel to the qiblah wall. They arrange themselves so they face Mecca. In the qiblah wall, usually at its center, is the mihrab, a niche or depression showing the direction of Mecca. The mihrab serves as the place where the imam leads the five daily prayers.[12]

File:Mosque in bourke cemetery nsw
A simple mosque in the Australian outback is different from the grand designs of older Islamic communities. Bourke cemetery, New South Wales.

Washing

All people must wash themselves before they pray. Mosques often have fountains or other facilities for washing in their entrances or courtyards, so that people can perform the washing ritual before prayer. At very small mosques, worshipers may use restrooms for their ritual washing. In traditional mosques, there is often a building specially for washing. This is often in the center of the courtyard.[4] In the prayer halls, people must not wear shoes for much the same reason.[13][14]

Modern features

Modern mosques should appeal to the community they serve. For this reason, other facilities may also be available at the mosque, like health clinics, libraries and gymnasia.

The inside of mosques

There may be decorative tiles, plaster or coloured mosaics on the walls.

Religious functions

Prayers

[[File:|thumb|right|200px|Muslims performing salat at the Umayyad Mosque]]

Adult Muslims are expected to pray five times a day. Most mosques have formal prayers for each of these times. If performing the prayer is difficult, for example for ill people, then exceptions are made.

Mosques also hold a special prayer service, called jumuah. This is done once a week. It is a form of Sabbath and replaces the Friday prayers at the mosque. Daily prayers can be done anywhere. However, Muslims are expected to do their Friday prayer at the mosque.[1]

When a Muslim dies, a funeral prayer is normally held. It is held outdoors in a courtyard or square close to the mosque. The prayers have all the worshippers present, including the imam, taking part.[2] During eclipses, mosques will host special prayers called eclipse prayers.[3]

There are two large holidays (Eids) in the Islamic calendar. During these days, there are special prayers at mosques in the morning. Larger mosques will normally hold them for their own communities as well as the people from smaller local mosques. Mosques, especially those in countries where Muslims are the majority, will also host Eid prayers outside in courtyards or town squares.[4]

Ramadan events

See also: Ramadan

There are many events in Ramadan, Islam's holiest month. During Ramadan, Mulims must fast during the day. Mosques organise iftar dinners after sunset. These are done after the fourth required prayer of the day. Part of the food is given by members of the community, which creates nightly potluck dinners. The community contribution to these dinners is required. For this reason, mosques with smaller communities may not be able to hold the iftar dinners daily.

Some mosques will also hold meals in the morning before dawn. Mosques will often invite poorer members of the community to these meals. Islam sees giving charity during Ramadan as good acts.[5]

Larger mosques sometimes offer special, optional prayers. They are done after the last required prayer of the day. During each night of prayers, one member of the community who has memorized the entire Qur’an will recite a part of the book. It can last for up to two hours.[1] Sometimes, several such people (not necessarily of the local community) take turns to do this. During the last ten days of Ramadan, larger mosques will host all-night programs to observe Laylat al-Qadr. It is the night Muslims believe that the Islamic prophet Muhammad first received Qur'anic revelations.[1] On that night, between sunset and sunrise, mosques employ speakers to teach the worshipers about Islam. Mosques or the community usually provide meals at times through the night. [[File:|thumb|right|right|200px|The Al-‘Abbās Mosque in Karbala, Iraq is visited by millions of Shia pilgrims each year.]]

Political functions

During the late twentieth century, more and more mosques have been used for political purposes. Modern-day mosques in the Western world want to educate good citizens. The details differ greatly from mosque to mosque and from country to country.

Advocacy

Countries with small Muslim populations use mosques as a way to support civic participation. They are more likely to do this than Muslim-majority countries of the Greater Middle East.[6] American mosques host voter registration and civic participation drives. In the United States, Muslims are often immigrants, or the children of immigrants. Mosques want to interest these people for politics. They also want to keep them informed about issues that concern the Muslim community. People who attend the services at the mosque regularly are more likely to take part in protests, to sign petitions, and to involve themselves in political matters. [6]

A link between political views and mosque attendance can still be seen in other parts of the world.[7] After the al-Askari Mosque bombing in February 2006, imams and other Islamic leaders used mosques and Friday prayers to call for calm and peace during the widespread violence.[8]

Beginning in the late twentieth century and continuing into the early twenty-first century, a small number of mosques have also become a base for extremist imams to support terrorism and extreme Islamic ideals. Finsbury Park Mosque in London is a mosque that has been used in this manner.

Social conflict

File:Babri
The 16th Century Babri Mosque in India was destroyed by right-wing Hindu extremists in 1992.
See also: Babri Masjid, Islamophobia, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Like other places of worship, mosques can be at the center of social conflicts.

Babri Mosque was the centre of such a conflict up until the early 1990s when it was demolished. Before a solution could be found, the mosque was destroyed by about 200,000 Hindus. It took place on 6 December 1992. The mosque was built by Babur to mark the birth place of Ram. It was believed to be on a site of an earlier Hindu temple.[9] The conflict over the mosque was directly linked to rioting in Bombay (present-day Mumbai) as well as bombings in 1993 that killed 257 people.

In February 2006, a bombing seriously damaged Iraq's al-Askari Mosque. This increased the existing tensions. The conflict between two Muslim groups in Iraq had already led to other bombings. However mosque bombings are not limited to Iraq. In June 2005, a suicide bomber killed at least 19 people at an Afghan mosque.[10] In April 2006, there were two explosions at India's Jama Masjid.

After the September 11 attacks, several American mosques were targets of attacks. These ranged from simple vandalism to arson.[11]

The Jewish Defense League was suspected of plotting to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California.[12] There were similar attacks in the United Kingdom after the 7 July 2005 London bombings. Outside the Western world, in June 2001, the Hassan Bek Mosque was the target of attacks. The attacks involved hundreds of Israelis angry at Arabs for a previous attack.[13][14][15]

Saudi influence

See also: Wahhabism

Saudi involvement in building mosques around the world only goes back to the 1960s.[16] In the 1980s, the Saudi Arabian government began to pay for the building of mosques in countries around the world. An estimated US$45 billion has been spent by the Saudi Arabian government for mosques and Islamic schools in foreign countries. Ain al-Yaqeen, a Saudi newspaper, reported in 2002 that Saudi money may have helped to build as many as 1,500 mosques and 2,000 other Islamic centers.[17] Saudi citizens have also given a lot of money to mosques in the Islamic world, especially in countries where they see Muslims as poor and oppressed. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1992, mosques in Afghanistan received money from Saudi citizens.[16] The King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California and the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy in Rome are two of Saudi Arabia's largest investments in foreign mosques as former Saudi king Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud gave US$8 million[16] and US$50 million[18] to the two mosques, respectively.

Rules and behaviour in mosques

File:Bayt al
Baitul Mukarram (Dhaka), the National Mosque of Bangladesh The structure resembles the Kaaba in Mecca.

In a mosque, people should keep focused on worshiping Allah. For this reason, there are a number of rules about the correct behaviour in a mosque. Some of these rules are the same all over the world, such as no shoes should be worn in the prayer hall. Other rules are different from mosque to mosque.

Prayer leader

It is generally seen as good to have someone who leads the prayers, though this is not strictly necessary.[19] The person who usually leads the prayers is called imam. He must be a free and honest man. He should also be an authority when it comes to answering questions on religion.[19] In mosques that were built or that are kept up by the government, the imam is selected by the ruler.[19] In private mosques, the community selects the imam, through majority voting.

File:Mosque of Cordoba
Interior of the Mezquita, a hypostyle former mosque with columns arranged in grid pattern, in Córdoba, Spain.

Only men may lead prayers for men.[19] Women are allowed to lead prayers for congregations where there are only women.

Attending a mosque

In addition to washing, there are other rules that also apply to those who enter the mosque, even if they do not wish to pray there. It is forbidden to wear shoes in the carpeted area of the prayer hall. Some mosques also do not allow wearing shoes in other parts, even though these may not be devoted to praying.

[[File:|thumb|right|200px|Among the crowds at Imām Ridhā Mosque, are many women who dress in Chador to maintain their modesty.]]

Islam requires that its believers wear clothes that show modesty. As a result, both men and women must follow this rule when they attend a mosque (though mosques may not always enforce the rules). Men are supposed to come to the mosque wearing loose and clean clothes that do not show the shape of the body. Similarly, women who come to the mosque are expected to wear loose clothing, shirts, pants that cover to the wrists and ankles and cover their heads such as with a hijab. Many Muslims, regardless of their ethnic background, wear Middle eastern clothing associated with Arabic Islam to special occasions and prayers at mosques.[1]

Mosques are places of worship. For this reason, those inside the mosque should be respectful to those who are praying. Loud talking or discussion of topics that could be disrespectful, is forbidden in areas where people are praying. It is also considered as rude to walk in front of Muslims in prayer or otherwise disturb them.[20]

Men and women pray in different parts

File:Islam in
Muslims praying in the male section of a mosque in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Islamic law requires men and women to be separated in the prayer hall. Ideally, women should pray behind men. Muhammad said, women should pray at home, not at the mosque. Muhammad thought women should not be forbidden in mosques. The second caliph Umar at one time stopped women from attending mosques, especially at night, because he feared they may be teased by males, so he made them to pray at home.[21] Sometimes a special part of the mosque was railed off for women; for example, the governor of Mecca in 870 had ropes tied between the columns to make a separate place for women.[22]

Many mosques today will put the women behind a barrier or partition or in another room. Mosques in South and Southeast Asia put men and women in separate rooms, as the divisions were built into them centuries ago. In nearly two-thirds of American mosques, women pray behind partitions or in separate areas, not in the main prayer hall; some mosques do not admit women at all. Although there are sections only for women and children, the Grand Mosque in Mecca is desegregated.[23]

Non-Muslims in mosques

File:Hassan II
The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is one of two mosques in Morocco open to non-Muslims.

A few scholars of Islamic law believe that non-Muslims may be allowed into mosques, as long as they do not sleep or eat there. Followers of the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence disagree. They say that non-Muslims may not be allowed into mosques at all.[19]

Different countries have different opinions on the question. Nearly all the mosques in the Arabian Peninsula as well as Morocco do not allow non-Muslims. The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is one of only two mosques in Morocco currently open to non-Muslims.[24]

In modern-day Saudi Arabia, the Grand Mosque and all of Mecca are open only to Muslims. Likewise, the Masjid al-Nabawi and the city of Medina that surrounds it are also off-limits to those who do not practice Islam.[25] For mosques in other areas, it has most commonly been taken that non-Muslims may only enter mosques if granted permission to do so by Muslims and if they have a proper reason.[1]

In modern Turkey non-Muslim tourists are allowed to enter any mosque, but must obey the rules of decorum. Visiting a mosque is allowed only between prayers; visitors must wear long trousers and take off their shoes; women must cover their heads; no photos; no loud talk is allowed. No references to other religions are allowed (no crosses on necklaces, no cross gestures etc.

However, there are also many other places in the west as well as the Islamic world where non-Muslims are welcome to enter mosques. Most mosques in the United States, for example, report receiving non-Muslim visitors every month.[26] Many Mosques throughout the United States welcome non-Muslims as a sign of openness to the rest of the community and to encourage conversions to Islam.[27][28]

Dogs

Dogs are usually banned from entering mosques, but on 24 September 2008, the Muslim Law Council UK made special ruling, called a fatwa, which granted a blind Muslim permission to take his guide dog into the mosque.[29]

Mosques as hostels

It is common for a smaller mosque to serve as a hostel for Muslims on haj (pilgrimage to Mecca). Sometimes mosques are used for refugees, or as temporary homes for homeless people. Obligations to neighbours in Islam are very strict, and specific. In the Qur'an Mohammed said that a person who helps others in the hour of need, and who helps the oppressed; that person God will help on the Day of Travail (agony).[30] There are other commands, such as helping the poor and being nice to people. An important part of being Muslim, or just being part of the mosque, is taking care of people who need help. A mosque is a social, as well as a religious, group.

A madrassa is a little different from a mosque. A madrassa focuses on teaching Islam, usually to children and young people.

Mosques in Spain

File:Mosque of Cordoba
The Mezquita de Córdoba was a mosque. Today, it is the cathedral of Cordoba.

When Spain was under Muslim control, some of the most beautiful buildings were mosques. After 1492, Spain was under Christian control. However, the Christians did not tear down the mosques. They simply put a crucifix in them to make them into churches. These mosques influenced the Renaissance architecture (way of building) in Europe.

References

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  2. "Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 4: Funeral Prayers (Salatul Janazah)". Compendium of Muslim Texts. University of Southern California. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/law/fiqhussunnah/fus4_62.html. Retrieved 2006-04-16. 
  3. "Eclipses". Compendium of Muslim Texts. University of Southern California. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/018.sbt.html. Retrieved 2006-04-16. 
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  5. "Charity". Compendium of Muslim Texts. University of Southern California. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/pillars/fasting/tajuddin/fast_51.html. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jamal, Amany. "The Role of Mosques in the civic and political incorporation of Muslim America". Teachers' College – Columbia University. http://www.tc.edu/muslim-nyc/research/projects/role%20of%20muslims.html. Retrieved 2006-04-22. 
  7. Swanbrow, Diane (2005-06-23). "Study: Islam devotion not linked to terror". The University Record Online. http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/0405/Jun13_05/03.shtml. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  8. "Friday prayer plea for Iraq calm". BBC. 2006-02-24. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4747886.stm. Retrieved 2006-04-23. 
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  12. "JDL Chairman, Follower Accused of Plotting to Bomb Mosque, Congressman". Associated Press via FOX News. 2001-12-13. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,40693,00.html. Retrieved 2006-04-23. 
  13. "Arafat orders immediate ceasefire". BBC. 2001-06-03. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1366719.stm. Retrieved 2006-04-23. 
  14. Harris, John (2006-04-22). "Paranoia, poverty and wild rumours - a journey through BNP country". The Guardian. http://politics.guardian.co.uk/farright/story/0,,1758974,00.html. Retrieved 2006-05-28. 
  15. Carlile, Jennifer. "Italians fear mosque plans". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12927212/. Retrieved 2006-05-28. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Ottoway, David B. (2004-08-19). "U.S. Eyes Money Trails of Saudi-Backed Charities". The Washington Post. p. A1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A13266-2004Aug18. Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  17. Kaplan, David E. (2003-12-15). "The Saudi Connection". U.S. News and World Report. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/031215/15terror.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  18. "Islamic Center in Rome, Italy". King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz. http://www.kingfahdbinabdulaziz.com/main/m4506.htm. Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Abu al-Hasankok Ibn Muhammad Ibn Habib, Al-Mawardi (2000). The Ordinances of Government (Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyya w’al-Wilayat al-Diniyya). Lebanon: Garnet Publishing. pp. 184. ISBN 1-85964-140-7. 
  20. Connecting Cultures, Inc.. "Building Cultural Competency: understanding Islam, Muslims, and Arab culture" (Doc). Connecting Cultures, Inc.. Retrieved on 12 July 2006.
  21. Doi, Abdur Rahman I.. "Women in Society". Compendium of Muslim Texts. University of Southern California. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/humanrelations/womeninislam/womeninsociety.html#mosque. Retrieved 2006-04-15. 
  22. Cite error: Invalid tag; no text was provided for refs named Masdjid1
  23. Rezk, Rawya (2006-01-26). "Muslim women seek more equitable role in Mosques". The Columbia Journalist. http://www.columbiajournalist.org/rw1_dinges/2005/article.asp?subj=national&course=rw1_dinges&id=624. Retrieved 2006-04-09. 
  24. "Morocco travel". CNN. http://edition.cnn.com/2003/TRAVEL/DESTINATIONS/02/25/morocco.travel.ap/index.html. Retrieved 2006-09-22. 
  25. Goring, Rosemary (1997-05-01). Dictionary of Beliefs & Religions. Wordsworth Editions. ISBN 1-85326-354-0. 
  26. . "The Mosque in America: a national portrait" (PDF). Council on American-Islamic Relations. Retrieved on 17 April 2006.
  27. Takim, Liyakatali (July 2004). "From Conversion to Conversation: Interfaith Dialogue in Post 9–11 America" (PDF). The Muslim World 94: 343–355. doi:10.1111/j.1478-1913.2004.00058.x. http://macdonald.hartsem.edu/articles/mw943f.pdf. Retrieved 2006-06-16.  Liyakatali Takim is a professor in the Department of Religious studies at the University of Denver
  28. "Laptop link-up: A day at the mosque". BBC. 2005-12-05. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4511780.stm. Retrieved 2006-06-16. 
  29. "BBC NEWS | England | Leicestershire | Ruling allows guide dog in mosque". News.bbc.co.uk. 24 September 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/7633623.stm. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  30. Al-Suhrawardy, Abdullah Al- Mamun. "The Sayings of Muhammad by Allama Sir Abdullah Al- Mamun Al-Suhrawardy". muslim-canada.org. http://muslim-canada.org/hadiths.html#Charity. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 

bjn:Masigit


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