The Info List - Mosque

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A mosque (/mɒsk/; from Arabic: مَـسْـجِـد‎, translit. masjid) is a place of worship for Muslims. There are strict and detailed requirements in Sunni jurisprudence (Arabic: فِـقْـه‎, fiqh) for a place of worship to be considered a mosque, with places that do not meet these requirements regarded as musallas.[1] There are stringent restrictions on the uses of the area formally demarcated as the mosque (which is often a small portion of the larger complex), and in the Islamic Sharī‘ah (Arabic: شَـرِيْـعَـة‎, Law), after an area is formally designated as a mosque, it remains so until the Last Day.[1] Many mosques have elaborate domes, minarets, and prayer halls, in varying styles of architecture. Mosques originated on the Arabian Peninsula, but are now found in all inhabited continents. The mosque serves as a place where Muslims can come together for Ṣalāh (Arabic: صَـلَاة‎, meaning "prayer") as well as a center for information, education, social welfare, and dispute settlement.[2] The Imām (Arabic: إِمَـام‎, Leader) leads the congregation in prayer.


1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 Diffusion and evolution 2.2 Conversion of non- Muslim
places of worship

3 Religious functions

3.1 Prayers 3.2 Ramadan 3.3 Charity 3.4 Frequency of attendance

4 Contemporary political roles

4.1 Advocacy 4.2 Social conflict 4.3 Saudi influence

5 Architecture

5.1 Styles 5.2 Minarets 5.3 Mihrab 5.4 Domes 5.5 Prayer hall 5.6 Ablution facilities 5.7 Contemporary features 5.8 Symbols

6 Rules and etiquette

6.1 Prayer leader 6.2 Cleanliness 6.3 Dress 6.4 Concentration 6.5 Gender separation 6.6 Non-Muslims in mosques

7 See also 8 Notes 9 References

9.1 Bibliography

10 Further reading 11 External links


A nomad's mosque orientated towards Mecca, 2013

The word entered English from a French word that probably derived from Italian moschea, a variant of Italian moscheta, from either Middle Armenian մզկիթ (mzkit‘) or Medieval Greek: μασγίδιον (masgídion) or Spanish mezquita, from Arabic: مَـسْـجِـد‎, translit. masjid (meaning "place of worship" or "prostration in prayer"), either from Nabataean masgĕdhā́ or from Arabic Arabic: سَـجَـدَ‎, translit. sajada (meaning "to bow down in prayer"), probably ultimately from Aramaic sĕghēdh.[3] History[edit]

The Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
standing on the eastern side of Naghsh-i Jahan Square, Isfahan, Iran

The first mosque in the world is often considered to be the area around the Ka‘bah (Arabic: كَـعْـبَـة‎, 'Cube') in Mecca, which is now known as Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarâm (Arabic: ٱلْـمَـسْـجِـد الْـحَـرَام‎, the Sacred Mosque).[4] Since as early as 638 CE, the Sacred Mosque
has been expanded on several occasions to accommodate the increasing number of Muslims who either live in the area or make the annual pilgrimage known as Ḥajj (Arabic: حَـجّ‎) to the city.[5] Others regard the first mosque in history to be the Quba Mosque
Quba Mosque
in present-day Medina
since it was the first structure built by Muhammad
upon his emigration from Mecca
in 622.[6]

The Great Mosque
of Kairouan, in Tunisia, is the oldest mosque in the Muslim

The Islamic Prophet Muhammad
went on to establish another mosque in Medina, which is now known as the Masjid an-Nabawi, or the Prophet's Mosque. Built on the site of his home, Muhammad
participated in the construction of the mosque himself and helped pioneer the concept of the mosque as the focal point of the Islamic city.[7] The Masjid al-Nabawi introduced some of the features still common in today's mosques, including the niche at the front of the prayer space known as the mihrab and the tiered pulpit called the minbar.[8] The Masjid al-Nabawi was also constructed with a large courtyard, a motif common among mosques built since then.[7] Diffusion and evolution[edit]

The Great Mosque of Xi'an
Great Mosque of Xi'an
incorporates traditional elements of Chinese architecture

Mosques had been built in Iraq
and North Africa
North Africa
by the end of the 7th century, as Islam
spread outside the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
with early caliphates. The Imam
Husayn Shrine in Karbala
is reportedly one of the oldest mosques in Iraq, although its present form – typical of Persian architecture – only goes back to the 11th century.[citation needed] The shrine, while still operating as a mosque, remains one of the holiest sites for Shia Muslims, as it honors the death of the third Shia imam, and Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Hussein ibn Ali.[9] The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As
Mosque of Amr ibn al-As
was reportedly the first mosque in Egypt, serving as a religious and social center for Fustat
(present-day Cairo) during its prime. Like the Imam
Husayn Shrine, though, nothing of its original structure remains.[10] With the later Shia Fatimid Caliphate, mosques throughout Egypt
evolved to include schools (known as madrasas), hospitals, and tombs.[11] The Great Mosque of Kairouan
Great Mosque of Kairouan
in present-day Tunisia
was reportedly the first mosque built in northwest Africa, with its present form (dating from the 9th century) serving as a model for other Islamic places of worship in the Maghreb. It was the first to incorporate a square minaret (as opposed to the more common circular minaret) and includes naves akin to a basilica.[12][13] Those features can also be found in Andalusian mosques, including the Grand Mosque
of Cordoba, as they tended to reflect the architecture of the Moors
instead of their Visigoth predecessors.[13] Still, some elements of Visigothic architecture, like horseshoe arches, were infused into the mosque architecture of Spain
and the Maghreb.[14] The first mosque in East Asia was reportedly established in the 8th century in Xi'an. However, the Great Mosque
of Xi'an, whose current building dates from the 18th century, does not replicate the features often associated with mosques elsewhere.[15] Indeed, minarets were initially prohibited by the state.[16] Following traditional Chinese architecture, the Great Mosque
of Xi'an, like many other mosques in eastern China, resembles a pagoda, with a green roof instead of the yellow roof common on imperial structures in China. Mosques in western China were more likely to incorporate elements, like domes and minarets, traditionally seen in mosques elsewhere.[15]

Inside the Imam
Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran

Kampung Hulu Mosque, the oldest mosque in Malaysia
influenced by the Malay, Chinese and Hindu architecture

A similar integration of foreign and local influences could be seen on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra
and Java, where mosques, including the Demak Great Mosque, were first established in the 15th century.[17] Early Javanese mosques took design cues from Hindu, Buddhist, and Chinese architectural influences, with tall timber, multi-level roofs similar to the pagodas of Balinese Hindu temples; the ubiquitous Islamic dome did not appear in Indonesia
until the 19th century, this affected the modern world massively![16][18] In turn, the Javanese style influenced the styles of mosques in Indonesia's Austronesian neighbors—Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines.[17]

The Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid
in Delhi
is India's largest mosque, and a classic example of the Mughal style of architecture

Badshahi Mosque
Badshahi Mosque
(1673) in Lahore, currently the fifth largest mosque in the world

empires were instrumental in the evolution and spread of mosques. Although mosques were first established in India during the 7th century, they were not commonplace across the subcontinent until the arrival of the Mughals in the 16th and 17th centuries. Reflecting their Timurid origins, Mughal-style mosques included onion domes, pointed arches, and elaborate circular minarets, features common in the Persian and Central Asian styles.[19] The Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid
in Delhi
and the Badshahi Mosque
Badshahi Mosque
in Lahore, built in a similar manner in the mid-17th century,[20] remain two of the largest mosques on the Indian subcontinent.[21] The Umayyad Caliphate
was particularly instrumental in spreading Islam and establishing mosques within the Levant, as the Umayyads constructed among the most revered mosques in the region — Al-Aqsa Mosque
and Dome
of the Rock in Jerusalem, and the Umayyad Mosque
Umayyad Mosque
in Damascus.[22] The designs of the Dome
of the Rock and the Umayyad Mosque
were influenced by Byzantine architecture, a trend that continued with the rise of the Ottoman Empire.[23] Several of the early mosques in the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
were originally churches or cathedrals from the Byzantine Empire, with the Hagia Sophia (one of those converted cathedrals) informing the architecture of mosques from after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople.[24] Still, the Ottomans developed their own architectural style characterized by large central rotundas (sometimes surrounded by multiple smaller domes), pencil-shaped minarets, and open facades.[25] Mosques from the Ottoman period are still scattered across Eastern Europe, but the most rapid growth in the number of mosques in Europe has occurred within the past century as more Muslims have migrated to the continent. Many major European cities are home to mosques, like the Grand Mosque
of Paris, that incorporate domes, minarets, and other features often found with mosques in Muslim-majority countries.[26] The first mosque in North America was founded by Albanian Americans in 1915, but the continent's oldest surviving mosque, the Mother Mosque of America, only dates back to the 1930s.[27] As in Europe, the number of American mosques has rapidly increased in recent decades as Muslim immigrants, particularly from South Asia, have come in the United States. Greater than forty percent of mosques in the United States were constructed after 2000.[28] Conversion of non- Muslim
places of worship[edit] Main article: Conversion of non- Muslim
places of worship into mosques

The Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople
in 1453

According to early Muslim
historians, towns that surrendered without resistance and made treaties with the Muslims were allowed to retain their churches and the towns captured by Muslims had many of their churches converted to mosques.[29] One of the earliest examples of these kinds of conversions was in Damascus, Syria, where in 705 Umayyad caliph Al-Walid I
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, When He was left in Africa, he thought about the laws of the world and studied them. Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan
(Al-Waleed's father) is said to have transformed 10 churches in Damascus
into mosques.[30] The process of turning churches into mosques were 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, into mosques immediately after capturing the city in 1453. 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.[31] Mosques have also been converted for use by other religions, notably in southern Spain, following the conquest of the Moors
in 1492.[32] The most prominent of them is the Great Mosque
of Cordoba. Outside of the Iberian Peninsula, such instances also occurred in southeastern Europe once regions were no longer under Muslim
rule. Religious functions[edit] The masjid jāmi‘ (Arabic: مَـسـجِـد جَـامِـع‎), a central mosque, can play a role in religious activities such as teaching the Quran
and educating future imams. Prayers[edit]

Inside the Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Indonesia, during Eid ul-Fitr

There are two holidays (Eids) in the Islamic calendar: ʻĪd al-Fiṭr (Arabic: عِـيـد الْـفِـطْـر‎) and ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā (Arabic: عِـيـد الْأَضْـحَى‎), 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, in the absence of an outdoor Eidgah
(Urdu: عید گاہ‬‎), a large mosque 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, town squares or on the outskirts of town in an Eidgah.[33][34] Ramadan[edit] Islam's holiest month, Ramaḍān (Arabic: رَمَـضَـان‎), is observed through many events. As Muslims must fast during the day during Ramadan, mosques will host Ifṭār (Arabic: إِفْـطَـار‎) dinners after sunset and the fourth required prayer of the day, that is Maghrib
(Arabic: مَـغْـرِب‎). Food is provided, at least in part, by members of the community, thereby creating daily 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 Suḥūr (Arabic: سُـحُـور‎) meals before dawn to congregants attending the first required prayer of the day, Fajr
(Arabic: فَـجْـر‎). 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.[35]

at Taipei Grand Mosque, Taiwan
during Ramadan

Following the last obligatory daily prayer (‘Ishâ’ (Arabic: عِـشَـاء‎)) special, optional Ṫarâwîḥ (Arabic: تَـرَاوِيـح‎) 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 Quran
(a Hafiz) will recite a segment of the book.[36] 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 Quranic revelations.[36] 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

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
vault ceiling Shiraz, Iran

During the last ten days of Ramadan, larger mosques within the Muslim community will host I‘ṫikāf (Arabic: إِعْـتِـكَـاف‎), a practice in which at least one Muslim
man from the community must participate. Muslims performing itikaf 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.[36] Charity[edit] The third of the Five Pillars of Islam
states that Muslims are required to give approximately one-fortieth of their wealth to charity as Zakâṫ (Arabic: زَكَـاة‎).[37] Since mosques form the center of Muslim
communities, they are where Muslims go to both give zakat and, if necessary, collect it. Before 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. Frequency of attendance[edit]

Islamic Center of Campinas, Brazil

The frequency by which Muslims attend mosque services vary greatly around the world. In some countries, weekly attendance at religious services are common among Muslims while in others, attendance is rare.

Percentage of Muslims who attend mosque at least once a week, 2009–2012[38]





















Democratic Republic of the Congo


























United Kingdom[note 1][39]










Thailand[note 2]


Yemen[note 3][41]


Israel[note 4][42]




Canada[note 5][44]


Algeria[note 6][45]




United States
United States
of America[46]




Australia[note 7][47]




Germany[note 8][48]




Libya[note 9][41]


Bosnia and Herzegovina


France[note 10][49]






Iran[note 11][45]


Saudi Arabia[note 12][45]








Kosovo[a] ( Serbia)


Bulgaria[note 13][52]




Georgia[note 14][52]










Contemporary political roles[edit] See also: Political aspects of Islam

The East London Mosque
East London Mosque
was one of the first in Britain to be allowed to use loudspeakers to broadcast the adhan[53]

The late 20th 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 coexistence with non-believers, even in times of adversity. Large mosques sometimes play a political role as well. In Islamic countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, political subjects are preached by imams at Friday congregations on a regular basis.[54] In other Islamic countries, imams are usually banned from mentioning political issues. Advocacy[edit] Countries with a minority Muslim
population are more likely than Muslim-majority countries of the Greater Middle East
Greater Middle East
to use mosques as a way to promote civic participation.[55] 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.[55] Nevertheless, a link between political views and mosque attendance can still be seen in other parts of the world.[56] Following the al-Askari Mosque
bombing in February 2006, imams and other Islamic leaders used mosques and Friday prayers
Friday prayers
as vehicles to call for calm and peace in the midst of widespread violence.[57] Social conflict[edit] See also: Islamophobia
and Israeli–Palestinian conflict

by the English Defence League
English Defence League
calling for a mosque in Newcastle-upon-Tyne
to be shut down

As they are considered important to the Muslim
community, mosques, like other places of worship, can be at the heart of social conflicts. The Babri Mosque
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 on December 6, 1992 as the mosque was built by Babur
allegedly on the site of a previous Hindu temple marking the birthplace of Rama.[58] 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.[59] Bombings in February 2006 and June 2007 seriously damaged Iraq's al-Askari Mosque
and exacerbated existing tensions. 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.[60] In April 2006, two explosions occurred at India's Jama Masjid.[61][62] Following the September 11 attacks, several American mosques were targeted in attacks ranging from simple vandalism to arson.[63] Furthermore, the Jewish Defense League
Jewish Defense League
was suspected of plotting to bomb the King Fahd Mosque
in Culver City, California.[64] Similar attacks occurred throughout the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
following the 7 July 2005 London bombings. Outside the Western world, in June 2001, the Hassan Bek Mosque
Hassan Bek Mosque
was the target of vandalism and attacks by hundreds of Israelis after a suicide bomber killed 19 people in a night club in Tel Aviv.[65][66][67] Although mosquegoing is highly encouraged for men, it is permitted to stay at home when one feels at risk from Islamophobic persecution.[68] Saudi influence[edit]

Funded by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, the Faisal Mosque
Faisal Mosque
in Islamabad is the largest mosque in Pakistan

Although the Saudi involvement in Sunni mosques around the world can be traced back to the 1960s, it was not until later in the 20th century that the government of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
became a large influence in foreign Sunni mosques.[69] Beginning in the 1980s, the Saudi Arabian government began to finance the construction of Sunni mosques in countries around the world. An estimated US$45 billion has been spent by the Saudi Arabian government financing mosques and Sunni 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.[70] 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.[69] The King Fahd Mosque
in Culver City, California
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[69] and US$50 million[71] to the two mosques, respectively. Architecture[edit] Styles[edit] Further information: Islamic architecture

Huseina Čauša džamija (a.k.a. Džindijska), 17th century traditional wooden mosque in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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 Middle Eastern and Mediterranean 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.[31] One of the most notable hypostyle mosques is the Great Mosque
of Cordoba in Spain, the building being supported by over 850 columns.[72] 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.[31]

The Great Mosque of Kairouan
Great Mosque of Kairouan
in Tunisia
is one of the earliest remaining mosques

The mosque of Isfahan
international conference center, Isfahan, Iran

Shah Mosque, Isfahan, Iran

The first departure within mosque design started in Persia (Iran). The Persians had inherited a rich architectural legacy from the earlier Persian dynasties, and they began incorporating elements from earlier Parthian and Sassanid designs into their mosques, influenced by buildings such as the Palace of Ardashir
Palace of Ardashir
and the Sarvestan Palace.[73] Thus, Islamic architecture
Islamic architecture
witnessed the introduction of such structures as domes and large, arched entrances, referred to as iwans. During Seljuq rule, as Islamic mysticism was on the rise, the four-iwan arrangement took form. The four-iwan format, finalized by the Seljuqs, and later inherited by the Safavids, firmly established the courtyard façade of such mosques, with the towering gateways at every side, as more important than the actual buildings themselves.[73] They typically took the form of a square-shaped central courtyard with large entrances at each side, giving the impression of gateways to the spiritual world.[74] The Persians also introduced Persian gardens
Persian gardens
into mosque designs. Soon, a distinctly Persian style of mosques started appearing that would significantly influence the designs of later Timurid, and also Mughal, mosque designs. The Ottomans introduced central dome mosques in the 15th 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.[75] This style was heavily influenced by Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture
with its use of large central domes.[31] Hajja Soad's mosque took a pyramid shape that is a creative style in Islamic architecture. The Faisal Mosque
Faisal Mosque
in Islamabad, Pakistan, in a relatively unusual design fuses contemporary lines with the more traditional look of an Arab
Bedouin's tent,[citation needed] with its large triangular prayer hall and four minarets. However, unlike traditional mosque design, it lacks a dome. The mosque's architecture is a departure from the long history of South Asian Islamic architecture.

Yavuz Selim Mosque, an Ottoman mosque in Istanbul

Mosques built in Southeast Asia often represent the Indonesian-Javanese style architecture, which are different from the ones found throughout the Greater Middle East. The ones found in Europe and North America appear to have various styles but most are built on Western architectural designs, some are former churches or other buildings that were used by non-Muslims. In Africa, most mosques are old but the new ones are built in imitation of those of the Middle East. This can be seen in the Abuja National Mosque
Abuja National Mosque
in Nigeria
and others. Minarets[edit]

The oldest standing minaret in the world at the Great Mosque
of Kairouan, Tunisia

Typical Ottoman minarets in Turkey

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.[76][77][78] It has a height of 210 metres (689 ft) and completed in 1993, it was designed by Michel Pinseau. 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.[citation needed][dubious – discuss]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.[79] The oldest standing minaret in the world is the minaret of the Great Mosque
of Kairouan in Tunisia,[80][81] built between the 8th and the 9th century, it is a massive square tower consisting of three superimposed tiers of gradual size and decor.[82] Before the five required daily prayers, a Mu’adhdhin (Arabic: مُـؤَذِّن‎) 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 Adhān (Arabic: أَذَان‎, Call to Prayer), 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
(Arabic: سُـنَّـة‎) 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.[36] The Iqâmah (Arabic: إِقَـامَـة‎), 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.


in Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

A miḥrāb (Arabic: مِـحْـرَاب‎), also spelled as mehrab is a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qiblah (Arabic: قِـبْـلَـة‎, the direction of the Kaaba) in Mecca, and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying. The wall in which a mihrab appears is thus the "qibla wall." Mihrabs should not be confused with the minbar (Arabic: مِـنـۢبَـر‎), which is the raised platform from which an Imam
(leader of prayer) addresses the congregation. Domes[edit]

Shait Gombuj Moshjid in Bangladesh
built in the 1400s

The domes, often placed directly above the main prayer hall, may signify the vaults of the heaven and sky.[83] 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 which has gone on to become characteristic of the Arabic architectural style of dome.[84] Some mosques have multiple, often smaller, domes in addition to the main large dome that resides at the center. Prayer hall[edit] The prayer hall, also known as the muṣallá (Arabic: مُـصَـلَّى‎), rarely has furniture; chairs and pews are generally absent from the prayer hall so as to allow as many worshipers as possible to line the room.[85] Some mosques have Islamic calligraphy and Quranic verses on the walls to assist worshippers in focusing on the beauty of Islam
and its holiest book, the Quran, as well as for decoration.[36]

The hypostyle prayer hall in the Great Mosque
of Kairouan

Often, a limited part of the prayer hall is sanctified formally as a masjid in the sharia sense (although the term masjid is also used for the larger mosque complex as well). Once designated, there are onerous limitations on the use of this formally designated masjid, and it may not be used for any purpose other than worship; restrictions that do not necessarily apply to the rest of the prayer area, and to the rest of the mosque complex (although such uses may be restricted by the conditions of the waqf that owns the mosque).[1] In many mosques, especially the early congregational mosques, the prayer hall is in the hypostyle form (the roof held up by a multitude of columns).[86] One of the finest examples of the hypostyle-plan mosques is the Great Mosque of Kairouan
Great Mosque of Kairouan
(also known as the Mosque
of Uqba) in Tunisia.[87] 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.[88] 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 Khaṭīb (Arabic: خَـطِـيـب‎), or some other speaker to offer a Khuṭbah
(Arabic: خُـطْـبَـة‎, Sermon). The mihrab serves as the location where the imam leads the five daily prayers on a regular basis.[89] Ablution facilities[edit]

The wudu ("ablution") area, where Muslims wash their hands, forearm, face and feet before they pray. Example from the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan

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.[72] 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.[85] Contemporary features[edit] 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. Symbols[edit] Certain symbols are represented in a mosque's architecture to allude to different aspects of the Islamic religion. One of these feature symbols is the spiral. The "cosmic spiral" found in designs and on minarets is a references to heaven as it has "no beginning and no end".[90] Mosques also often have floral patterns or images of fruit and vegetables. These are allusions to the paradise after death.[91] Rules and etiquette[edit] Mosques, in accordance with Islamic practices, institute a number of rules intended to keep Muslims focused on worshiping God. 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[edit]

The prayer room inside the Taipei Grand Mosque
Taipei Grand Mosque
in Taiwan

Appointment of a prayer leader is considered desirable, but not always obligatory.[92] The permanent prayer leader (imam) must be a free honest individual and is authoritative in religious matters.[92] In mosques constructed and maintained by the government, the prayer leader is appointed by the ruler;[92] in private mosques, however, appointment is made by members of the congregation through majority voting. According to the Hanafi
school of Islamic jurisprudence, the individual who built the mosque has a stronger claim to the title of imam, but this view is not shared by the other schools.[92] Leadership at prayer falls into three categories, depending on the type of prayer: five daily prayers, Friday prayer, or optional prayers.[92] 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.[92] An imam appointed to lead Friday prayers
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.[92] All Muslim
authorities hold the consensus opinion that only men may lead prayer for men.[92] Nevertheless, women prayer leaders are allowed to lead prayer in front of all-female congregations.[93] Cleanliness[edit] See also: Ritual purity in Islam

Storage for shoes

All mosques have rules regarding cleanliness, as it is an essential part of the worshippers' 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.[94] Dress[edit] Islam
requires that its adherents wear clothes that portray modesty. 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 Ḥijāb (Arabic: حِـجَـاب‎), 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.[36]

Tippu Mosque, Mysore

Concentration[edit] 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.[95] The walls within the mosque have few items, except for possibly Islamic calligraphy, so Muslims in prayer are not distracted.[96] 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[edit] Further information: Gender segregation and Islam

A women-only mosque in Byblos, Lebanon

There is nothing written in the Qurʼan about the issue of space in mosques and gender separation. However, traditional rules have segregated women and men. By traditional rules, women are most often told to occupy the rows behind the men. In part, this was a practical matter as the traditional posture for prayer – kneeling on the floor, head to the ground – made mixed-gender prayer uncomfortably revealing for many women and distracting for some men. Traditionalists try to argue that Muhammad
preferred women to pray at home rather than at a mosque, and they cite a ḥadīth (Arabic: حَـدِيـث‎) in which Muhammad
supposedly said: "The best mosques for women are the inner parts of their houses," although women were active participants in the mosque started by Muhammad. Muhammad told Muslims not to forbid women from entering mosques. They are allowed to go in. The second Sunni caliph ʻ Umar
at one time prohibited women from attending mosques especially at night because he feared they may be sexually harassed or assaulted by men, so he required them to pray at home.[97] 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.[31] 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 due to the lack of space and the fact that some prayers, such as the Friday Jumuʻah, are mandatory for men but optional for women. Although there are sections exclusively for women and children, the Grand Mosque
in Mecca
is desegregated.[98] Non-Muslims in mosques[edit]

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
and Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama
at the Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, the Indonesian island of Java

Under most interpretations of sharia, non-Muslims are permitted to enter mosques provided that they respect the place and the people inside it.[additional citation(s) needed] A dissenting opinion and minority view 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.[92] The Quran
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. — Quran, Sura
9 (At-Tawba), Ayah

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. — Quran, Sura
9 (At-Tawba), ayah 28[100]

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 remains in practice in present-day Saudi Arabia.[31] Today, the decision on whether non-Muslims should be allowed to enter mosques varies. With few exceptions, mosques in the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
as well as Morocco
do not allow entry to non-Muslims. For example, the Hassan II Mosque
Hassan II Mosque
in Casablanca
is one of only two mosques in Morocco
currently open to non-Muslims.[101]

President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
inside the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C.

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. 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.[102][103] In modern-day Saudi Arabia, the Grand Mosque
and all of Mecca
are open only to Muslims. Likewise, the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi and the city of Medina
that surrounds it are also off-limits to those who do not practice Islam.[104] 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.[36]

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

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.) Similar rules apply to mosques in Malaysia, where larger mosques that are also tourist attractions (such as the Masjid Negara) provide robes and headscarves for visitors who are deemed inappropriately attired.[105] In certain times and places, non-Muslims were expected to behave a certain way in the vicinity of a mosque: in some Moroccan cities, Jews were required to remove their shoes when passing by a mosque;[106] in 18th-century Egypt, Jews
and Christians had to dismount before several mosques in veneration of their sanctity.[107]

Mariam Al-Batool Mosque
Mariam Al-Batool Mosque
is the only Mosque
in Malta
and is open to everyone but during Friday prayers
Friday prayers
women are segregated to nearby rooms of the Islamic Center

The association of the mosque with education remained one of its main characteristics throughout history,[additional citation(s) needed] and the school became an indispensable appendage to the mosque. From the earliest days of Islam, the mosque was the center of the Muslim community, a place for prayer, meditation, religious instruction, political discussion, and a school. Anywhere Islam
took hold, mosques were established; and basic religious and educational instruction began.[108] See also[edit]

Holiest sites in Islam Imam
khatib (Sunni Islam) Imamah (Shi'a doctrine) List of the historical structures in the Isfahan
province Lists of mosques Loudspeakers in mosques


^ Kosovo
is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo
and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo
has received formal recognition as an independent state from 113 out of 193 United Nations
United Nations
member states.

^ Survey was conducted in 2016, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was only conducted in the southern five provinces. ^ Survey was conducted in 2013, not 2009–2012. Sample was taken from entire population of Yemen, which is approximately 99% Muslim. ^ Survey was conducted in 2015, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was conducted in 2016, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was conducted in 2008, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was conducted in 2015, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was conducted in 2008, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was conducted in 2013, not 2009–2012. Sample was taken from entire population of Libya, which is approximately 97% Muslim. ^ Survey was conducted in 2016, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was conducted in 2008, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was conducted in 2008, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was conducted in 2017, not 2009–2012. ^ Survey was conducted in 2017, not 2009–2012.


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Online. Brill Academic Publishers. ISSN 1573-3912.  Bellows, Keith, ed. (2008). Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World's Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Books. ISBN 9781426203367.  Bloom, Jonathan M.; Blair, Sheila, eds. (2009). The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture. Oxford, Eng.: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195309911.  Budge, E. A. Wallis (2001). Budge's Egypt: A Classic 19th-Century Travel Guide. Toronto: Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 9780486149530.  Chiu, Y. C. An Introduction to the History of Project Management: From the Earliest Times to A.D. 1900, Part 1900. Delft, the Netherlands: Eburon Uitgeverij B.V. ISBN 9789059724372.  Cosman, Madeleine Pelner; Jones, Linda Gale (2008). Handbook to Life in the Medieval World. New York: Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9781438109077.  Cowen, Jill S. (July–August 1985). "Muslims in China". Saudi Aramco World. 36 (4).  Dumper, Michael; Stanley, Bruce E., eds. (2007). Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-919-5.  Elleh, Nnamdi (2002). Architecture and Power in Africa. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275976798.  Essa, Ahmed; Ali, Othman (2010). Title Studies in Islamic Civilization: The Muslim
Contribution to the Renaissance. Herndon, Va.: The International Institute of Islamic Thought. ISBN 9781565643505.  Flood, Finbarr Barry (2001). The Great Mosque
of Damascus: Studies on the Makings of an Ummayyad Visual Culture. Islamic History and Civilization. Leiden, the Netherlands: BRILL. ISBN 9789004116382.  Goldschmidt, Jr., Arthur; Davidson, Lawrence (2005). A Concise History of the Middle East (8th ed.). Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-4275-7.  Kuban, Doğan (1974). The Mosque
and Its Early Development. Iconography of Religions: Islam. Leiden, the Netherlands: E.J. Brill. ISBN 9789004038134.  Kuban, Doğan (1985). Muslim
Religious Architecture: Development of Religious Architecture in Later Periods. Iconography of Religions: Islam. Leiden, the Netherlands: E.J. Brill. ISBN 9789004070844.  Netton, Ian Richard (1996). Seek Knowledge: Thought and Travel in the House of Islam
(annotated ed.). Abingdon, Eng.: Psychology Press. ISBN 9780700703401.  Nielsen, Jørgen Schøler; Akgönül, Samim; Alibašić, Ahmet; Goddard, Hugh; Maréchal, Brigitte, eds. (2011). Yearbook of Muslims in Europe. 3. Leiden, the Netherlands: BRILL. ISBN 9789004205161.  Nimer, Mohamed (2002). The North American Muslim
Resource Guide: Muslim
Community Life in the United States
United States
and Canada. New York: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415937283.  Ruggles, D. Fairchild (2002). Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain. University Park, Penn.: Penn State Press. ISBN 9780271042725.  Tajuddin, Mohamed (1998). The Mosque
as a Community Development Centre: Programme and Architectural Design Guidelines for Contemporary Muslim
Societies. Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit UTM. ISBN 9789835201318. 

Further reading[edit]

Yahya Abdullahi; Mohamed Rashid Bin Embi (2013). Evolution of Islamic geometric patterns. Frontiers of Architectural Research: Elsevier.  Abdullahi, Y.; Embi, M. R. B (2015). Evolution Of Abstract Vegetal Ornaments On Islamic Architecture. International Journal of Architectural Research: Archnet-IJAR.  Arberry, A. J. (1996). The Koran Interpreted: A Translation (1st ed.). Touchstone. ISBN 978-0-684-82507-6.  Campanini, Massimo, Mosque, in Muhammad
in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God
(2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014. ISBN 1610691776 Hawting, Gerald R. (2000). The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyard Caliphate
AD 661–750. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-24072-7.  Kahera, Akel (2008). Deconstructing the American Mosque: Space, Gender and Aesthetics. Austin TX: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-74344-0.  Khan, Muhammad
Muhsin; Al-Hilali Khan; Muhammad
Taqi-ud-Din (1999). Noble Quran
(1st ed.). Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-9960-740-79-9.  Kramer (ed.), Martin (1999). The Jewish Discovery of Islam: Studies in Honor of Bernard Lewis. Syracuse University. ISBN 978-965-224-040-8. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Kuban, Doğan (1974). Muslim
Religious Architecture. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-03813-4.  Lewis, Bernard (1993). Islam
in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East. Open Court. ISBN 978-0-8126-9217-4.  Lewis, Bernard (1994). Islam
and the West. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-509061-1.  Lewis, Bernard (1996). Cultures in Conflict: Christians, Muslims, and Jews
in the Age of Discovery. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-510283-3.  Mubarkpuri, Saifur-Rahman (2002). The Sealed Nectar: Biography of the Prophet. Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-1-59144-071-0.  Najeebabadi, Akbar Shah (2001). History of Islam. Dar-us-Salam Publications. ISBN 978-1-59144-034-5.  Nigosian, S. A. (2004). Islam: Its History, Teaching, and Practices (New ed.). Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21627-4.  Rahman, Fazlur (1979). Islam
(2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-70281-0.  Walker, Benjamin (1998). Foundations of Islam: The Making of a World Faith. Peter Owen Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7206-1038-3. 

External links[edit]

Texts on Wikisource:

"Mosque". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.  Spiers, R. Phené (1911). "Mosque". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.).  "Mosque". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. 

Images of mosques from throughout the world, from the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT

v t e

People and things in the Quran



Allâh ("The God")

Names of Allah
found in the Quran

Beings in Paradise

Ghilmān or Wildān Ḥūr



The baqarah (cow) of Israelites The dhi’b (wolf) that Jacob
feared could attack Joseph The fīl (elephant) of the Abyssinians) Ḥimār (Domesticated donkey) The hud-hud (hoopoe) of Solomon The kalb (dog) of the sleepers of the cave The nāqaṫ (she-camel) of Saleh The nūn (fish or whale) of Jonah


Ḥimār (Wild ass) Qaswarah
('Lion', 'Beast of prey' or 'Hunter')


‘Ifrîṫ ("Strong one") Mârid ("Rebellious one")

Iblīs the Shayṭān (Devil)




Ādam (Adam) Al-Yasa‘ (Elisha) Ayyūb (Job) Dāwūd (David) Dhūl-Kifl (Ezekiel?) Hārūn (Aaron) Hūd (Eber?) Idrīs (Enoch?) Ilyās (Elijah) ‘Imrān (Joachim the father of Maryam) Is-ḥāq (Isaac) Ismā‘īl (Ishmael)

Dhabih Ullah

Isma'il Ṣādiq al-Wa‘d (Fulfiller of the Promise) Lūṭ (Lot) Ṣāliḥ Shu‘ayb (Jethro, Reuel or Hobab?) Sulaymān ibn Dāwūd ( Solomon
son of David) ‘ Uzair
(Ezra?) Yaḥyā ibn Zakariyyā ( John the Baptist
John the Baptist
the son of Zechariah) Ya‘qūb (Jacob)

Isrâ’îl (Israel)

Yūnus (Jonah)

Dhūn-Nūn ("He of the Fish
(or Whale)" or "Owner of the Fish
(or Whale)") Ṣāḥib al-Ḥūṫ ("Companion of the Whale")

Yūsuf ibn Ya‘qūb ( Joseph
son of Jacob) Zakariyyā (Zechariah)



Aḥmad Other names and titles of Muhammad

ʿĪsā (Jesus)

Al-Masīḥ (The Messiah) Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary)

Mūsā Kalīmullāh ( Moses
He who spoke to God) Ibrāhīm Khalīlullāh ( Abraham
Friend of God) Nūḥ (Noah)

Debatable ones

Dhūl-Qarnain (Cyrus the Great?) Luqmân Maryam (Mary) Ṭâlûṫ (Saul or Gideon?)


Irmiyā (Jeremiah) Ṣamû’îl (Samuel) Yūsha‘ ibn Nūn (Joshua, companion and successor of Moses)

People of Prophets

Evil ones

Āzar (possibly Terah) Fir‘awn ( Pharaoh
of Moses' time) Hāmān Jâlûṫ (Goliath) Qārūn (Korah, cousin of Moses) As-Sāmirī Abî Lahab Slayers of Saleh's she-camel (Qaddar ibn Salif and Musda' ibn Dahr)

Good ones

Adam's immediate relatives

Martyred son Wife

Believer of Ya-Sin Family of Noah

Father Lamech Mother Shamkhah bint Anush or Betenos

Luqman's son People of Aaron and Moses

Believer of Fir'aun Family (Hizbil/Hizqil ibn Sabura) Imra’aṫ Fir‘awn (Âsiyá bint Muzâḥim or Bithiah) Khidr Magicians of the Pharaoh Moses' wife Moses' sister-in-law Mother Sister

People of Abraham

Mother Abiona or Amtelai the daughter of Karnebo Ishmael's mother Isaac's mother

People of Jesus

Disciples (including Peter) Mary's mother Zechariah's wife

People of Joseph

Brothers (including Binyāmin (Benjamin) and Simeon) Egyptians

‘Azîz (Potiphar, Qatafir or Qittin) Malik (King Ar-Rayyân ibn Al-Walîd)) Wife of ‘Azîz (Zulaykhah)


People of Solomon

Mother Queen of Sheba Vizier


Implied or not specified

Abrahah Bal'am/Balaam Barsisa Caleb or Kaleb the companion of Joshua Luqman's son Nebuchadnezzar II Nimrod Rahmah the wife of Ayyub Shaddad



Aş-ḥāb al-Jannah

People of Paradise People of the Burnt Garden

Aş-ḥāb as-Sabṫ (Companions of the Sabbath) Christian

Ḥawāriyyūn (Disciples of Jesus)

Companions of Noah's Ark Aş-ḥāb al-Kahf war-Raqīm (Companions of the Cave and Al-Raqaim? Companions of the Elephant People of al-Ukhdūd People of a township in Surah Ya-Sin People of Yathrib or Medina Qawm Lûṭ (People of Sodom and Gomorrah) Nation of Noah

Tribes, ethnicities or families

A‘rāb (Arabs or Bedouins)

ʿĀd (people of Hud) Companions of the Rass Qawm Ṫubba‘ (People of Tubba')

People of Saba’ or Sheba

Quraysh Thamûd (people of Saleh)

Aṣ-ḥâb al-Ḥijr ("Companions of the Stoneland")

Ajam Ar- Rûm (literally "The Romans") Banî Isrâ’îl (Children of Israel) Mu’ṫafikāṫ (The overthrown cities of Sodom and Gomorrah) People of Ibrahim People of Ilyas People of Nuh People of Shuaib

Ahl Madyan People of Madyan) Aṣ-ḥāb al-Aykah
Aṣ-ḥāb al-Aykah
("Companions of the Wood")

Qawm Yûnus (People of Jonah) Ya'juj and Ma'juj/Gog and Magog Ahl al-Bayṫ ("People of the Household")

Household of Abraham

Brothers of Yūsuf Daughters of Abraham's nephew Lot (Ritha, Za'ura, et al.) Progeny of Imran Household of Moses Household of Muhammad
ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim

Daughters of Muhammad Wives of Muhammad

Household of Salih

People of Fir'aun Current Ummah
of Islam
( Ummah
of Muhammad)

Aṣ-ḥāb Muḥammad (Companions of Muhammad)

Muhajirun (Emigrants) Anṣār Muslims of Medina
who helped Muhammad
and his Meccan followers, literally 'Helpers')

People of Mecca

Umm Jamil (wife of Abu Lahab)

Children of Ayyub Dead son of Sulaiman Qabil/Cain (son of Adam) Wali'ah or Wa'ilah/Waala (wife of Nuh) Walihah or Wahilah (wife of Lut) Ya’jūj wa Ma’jūj (Gog and Magog) Yam or Kan'an (son of Nuh)

Implicitly mentioned

Amalek Ahl al-Suffa (People of the Verandah) Banu Nadir Banu Qaynuqa Banu Qurayza Iranian people Umayyad Dynasty Aus & Khazraj People of Quba

Religious groups

Ahl al-dhimmah (Dhimmi) Kâfirûn (Infidels) Zoroastrians Munāfiqūn (Hypocrites) Muslims People of the Book (Ahl al-Kiṫāb)

Naṣārā (Christian(s) or People of the Injil)

Ruhban ( Christian
monks) Qissis ( Christian

Yahūd (Jews)

Ahbār (Jewish scholars) Rabbani/Rabbi



Meccan polytheists at the time of Muhammad Mesopotamian polytheists at the time of Abraham
and Lot



Al-Arḍ Al-Mubārakah
Al-Arḍ Al-Mubārakah
("The Land The Blessed")

Al-Arḍ Al-Muqaddasah ("The Land The Holy")

In the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
(excluding Madyan)

Al-Aḥqāf ("The Sandy Plains," or "the Wind-curved Sand-hills")

Iram dhāṫ al-‘Imād (Iram of the Pillars)

Al-Madīnah (formerly Yathrib) ‘Arafāṫ Al-Ḥijr (Hegra) Badr Ḥunayn Makkah (Mecca)

Bakkah Ka‘bah (Kaaba) Maqām Ibrāhīm (Station of Abraham) Safa and Marwah

Saba’ (Sheba)

‘Arim Saba’ (Dam of Sheba)


(Hell) Jannah
(Paradise, literally 'Garden') In Mesopotamia:


Munzalanm-Mubārakan ("Place-of-Landing Blessed")

Bābil (Babylon) Qaryaṫ Yūnus ("Township of Jonah," that is Nineveh)

Door of Hittah Madyan (Midian) Majma' al-Bahrain Miṣr (Mainland Egypt) Salsabîl (A river in Paradise) Sinai Region or Tīh Desert

Al-Wād Al-Muqaddas Ṭuwan (The Holy Valley of Tuwa)

Al-Wādil-Ayman (The valley on the 'righthand' side of the Valley of Tuwa and Mount Sinai)

Mount Sinai
Mount Sinai
or Mount Tabor




Arabia Ayla Barrier of Dhul-Qarnayn Bayt al-Muqaddas
Bayt al-Muqaddas
& 'Ariha Bilād ar-Rāfidayn (Mesopotamia) Canaan Cave of Seven Sleepers Dār al-Nadwa Al-Ḥijāz (literally "The Barrier")

Black Stone
Black Stone
(Al-Ḥajar al-Aswad) & Al-Hijr of Isma'il Cave of Hira
& Ghar al-Thawr (Cave of the Bull) Ta'if

Hudaybiyyah Jordan
River Nile
River Palestine River Paradise
of Shaddad

Religious locations

Bay'a (Church) Mihrab Monastery Masjid (Mosque, literally "Place of Prostration")

Al-Mash‘ar Al-Ḥarām
Al-Mash‘ar Al-Ḥarām
("The Monument the Sacred") Al-Masjid Al-Aqṣā (Al-Aqsa Mosque, literally "The Place-of-Prostration The Farthest") Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām (The Sacred Mosque
of Mecca) Masjid al-Dirar A Mosque
in the area of Medina, possibly:

Masjid Qubâ’ (Quba Mosque) The Prophet's Mosque

Salat (Synagogue)



Ḥabb dhul-‘aṣf (Corn of the husk) Rummān (Pomegranate) Ṫīn (Fig) Ukul khamṭ (Bitter fruit or food of Sheba) Zayṫūn (Olive) In Paradise

Forbidden fruit of Adam

Bushes, trees or plants

Plants of Sheba

Athl (Tamarisk) Sidr (lote-tree)

Līnah (Tender palm tree) Nakhl (date palm) Rayḥān (Scented plant) Sidraṫ al-Munṫahā Zaqqūm


Al-Injîl (The Gospel
of Jesus) Al-Qur’ân (The Book of Muhammad) Ṣuḥuf-i Ibrâhîm (Scroll(s) of Abraham) Aṫ-Ṫawrâṫ (The Torah)

Ṣuḥuf-i-Mûsâ (Scroll(s) of Moses) Tablets of Stone

Az-Zabûr (The Psalms
of David) Umm al-Kiṫâb ("Mother of the Book(s)")

Objects of people or beings

Heavenly Food of Christian
Apostles Noah's Ark Staff of Musa Ṫābūṫ as-Sakīnah (Casket of Shekhinah) Throne of Bilqis Trumpet of Israfil

Mentioned idols (cult images)

'Ansāb Idols of Israelites:

Baal The ‘ijl (golden calf statue) of Israelites

Idols of Noah's people:

Nasr Suwā‘ Wadd Yaghūth Ya‘ūq

Idols of Quraysh:

Al-Lāṫ Al-‘Uzzá Manāṫ

Jibṫ and Ṭâghûṫ

Celestial bodies

Maṣābīḥ (literally 'lamps'):

Al-Qamar (The Moon) Kawâkib (Planets)

Al-Arḍ (The Earth)

Nujūm (Stars)

Ash-Shams (The Sun)


Mā’ ( Water
or fluid)

Nahr (River) Yamm ( River
or sea)

Sharâb (Drink)


Battle of al-Aḥzāb ("the Confederates") Battle of Badr Battle of Hunayn Battle of Khaybar Battle of Tabouk Battle of Uhud Conquest of Mecca Incident of Ifk Laylat al-Mabit Mubahala Sayl al-‘Arim
Sayl al-‘Arim
(Flood of the Great Dam of Marib
in Sheba) The Farewell Pilgrimage
The Farewell Pilgrimage
(Hujja al-Wada') Treaty of Hudaybiyyah Umrah al-Qaza Yawm al-Dār


Event of Ghadir Khumm

Note: The names are sorted alphabetically. Standard form: Islamic name / Biblical name (title or relationship)

v t e


Outline of Islam


in Islam Tawhid Muhammad

In Islam

Prophets of Islam Angels Revelation Predestination Judgement Day

Five Pillars

Shahada Salah Sawm Zakat Hajj

History Leaders

Timeline of Muslim
history Conquests Golden Age Historiography Sahaba Ahl al-Bayt Shi'a Imams Caliphates

Rashidun Umayyad Abbasid Córdoba Fatimid Almohad Sokoto Ottoman

Religious texts

Quran Sunnah Hadith Tafsir Seerah


Sunni Shia Ibadi Black Muslims Ahmadiyya Quranism Non-denominational

Life Culture

Animals Art Calendar Children Clothing Holidays Mosques Madrasas Moral teachings Music Philosophy Political aspects Qurbani Science


Social welfare Women LGBT Islam
by country

Law Jurisprudence


Banking Economic history Sukuk Takaful Murabaha Riba


Ghusl Miswak Najis Tayammum Toilet Wudu

Marriage Sex

Marriage contract Mahr Mahram Masturbation Nikah Nikah Mut‘ah Zina

Other aspects

Cleanliness Criminal Dhabiĥa Dhimmi Divorce Diet Ethics Etiquette Gambling Gender segregation Honorifics Hudud Inheritance Jizya Leadership Ma malakat aymanukum Military


Slavery Sources of law Theological

baligh kalam

 Islamic studies


Arabesque Architecture Calligraphy Carpets Gardens Geometric patterns Music Pottery

Medieval science

Alchemy and chemistry Astronomy Cosmology Geography and cartography Mathematics Medicine Ophthalmology Physics


Early Contemporary Eschatology Theological

Other areas

Astrology Creationism (evolution) Feminism Inventions Liberalism and progressivism Literature


Psychology Shu'ubiyya Conversion to mosques

Other religions


Mormonism Protestantism

Hinduism Jainism Judaism Sikhism

Related topics

Apostasy Criticism of Islam Cultural Muslim Islamism

Criticism Post-Islamism Qutbism Salafi movement



Islamic terrorism Islamic view of miracles Domestic violence Nursing Persecution of Muslims Quran
and miracles Symbolism

portal Category

v t e

Islamic architecture


Arabic architecture Berber architecture Iranian architecture Islamic architecture Mughal architecture Ottoman architecture


Abbasid Anatolia Beyliks Ayyubid Azeri Bengali Chinese Fatimid Indo-Islamic Indonesian / Malaysian Isfahani Khorasani Mamluk Modern Moorish Moroccan Mudéjar Mughal Ottoman Pakistani Razi Seljuk Somali Sudano-Sahelian Tatar Timurid Umayyad Vernacular Persian Yemenite



Ablaq Chahartaq Chhajja Hasht-Bihisht Hypostyle Iwan Jharokha Kucheh Liwan Mashrabiya Moroccan riad Qadad Riwaq Sahn Semi-dome Shabestan Squinch Tadelakt Vaulting Voussoir Windcatcher

of the Rock in Jerusalem

arch styles

Discharging arch Four-centred arch Horseshoe arch Multifoil arch Ogee
arch Pointed arch

roof styles

(Arabic dome / Onion dome
Onion dome
/ Persian dome / South Asian dome) Guldasta Tajug

religious objects

Bedug Dikka Gonbad Hussainiya Imamzadeh Kiswah Loudspeakers Maqsurah Mihrab Minaret Minbar Müezzin mahfili Qibla Zarih


Alfiz Arabesque Banna'i Girih Girih
tiles Islamic calligraphy Islamic geometric patterns Islamic interlace patterns Jali Mocárabe Mosque
lamp Muqarnas Nagash painting Qashani Shabaka Socarrat Yeseria Zellige


Andaruni Harem Qa’a Zenana


Bagh Charbagh Islamic garden Mughal gardens Ottoman gardens Paradise
garden Persian gardens Reflecting pool

outdoor objects

Chhatri Eidgah Howz Shading Umbrellas Mechouar Sebil Shadirvan



Dargah Gongbei Jama Masjid Jama'at Khana Khanqah Külliye Madrasa Maqam Maqbara Mazar Mosque Musalla Qubba Rauza Surau Tekyeh Türbe Zawiya


Baradari Bazaar Caravanserai Dar al-Shifa Ghorfa Kasbah Mahal Medina
quarter Souq Turkish bath Well house


Albarrana tower Alcazaba Alcázar Amsar Bab Kasbah Ksar Qalat Ribat


Aga Khan Award for Architecture ArchNet


Indo-Saracenic Revival Influences on Western architecture Moorish Revival

Part of Islamic arts

v t e

Place of worship

Bahá'í House of Worship
Bahá'í House of Worship
(Baha'is) Chaitya/Buddhist temples/monastery (Buddhists) Church building (Christians) Hof (Germanic pagans) Hindu temple/mandir (Hindus) Jain temple/basadi (Jains) Synagogue
(Jews) Mosque
(Muslims) Shinto shrine/jinja (Shintos) Gurdwara
(Sikhs) Taoist temple
Taoist temple
(Taoists) Magic circle
Magic circle
(Neopagans / Wiccans) Fire temple
Fire temple
(Zoroastrians) Sun
temple (various)

Portals Access related topics

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