There are various main features of mosques throughout the world: the sahn (courtyard), the mihrab (niche), the minaret (tower) and the qubba (dome). A mosque is a Muslim gathering place for prayer, where all men are required to gather for the Friday afternoon prayer. Mosques are also used by Muslims throughout the week for study, rest and reflection.Continue Reading
The sahn is usually attached to the prayer hall that provides room for the congregation and fountains for the ablutions, a ritual cleansing performed before prayer. The mihrab is a niche in the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca, where all Muslims face during prayer. The minaret is attached to the mosque. It serves as a reminder of the presence of Islam. It is also the place from where prayers are called. The qubba is the most recognizable feature of a mosque. It is a dome that symbolizes the vault of heaven. Mosques normally have one to three domes.
Most mosques have similar furnishings. There is usually large calligraphic frieze or inscribed cartouche above the mihrab with quotations from the Koran, the holy book of Islam. Most mosques also have hanging lamps. Mosques often have institutions such as soup kitchens, hospitals, schools and even mausoleums attached to them.Learn more about Islam
Muslims practice their traditions in the United States by praying at home and at work, attending religious services at mosques, reading the Quran, fasting and going on pilgrimages. Celebrating holidays, dressing in religiously permissible clothing and buying religiously permissible food and other products are also part of a practicing Muslim's life. Their value of religion is about the same as that of other Americans, compared to Muslims in Muslim countries.Full Answer >
As of 2010, the number of mosques in the United States stood at 2,106, up 74 percent from 1,209 mosques in 2000. The states with the most mosques include New York with 257, California with 246 and Texas with 166.Full Answer >
The world's largest mosque is either the Masjid al-Haram, located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, or the Imam Reza Shrine, which stands in Mashhad, Iran. The al-Haram mosque is by far the largest mosque in the world by its total capacity, while the Reza Shrine covers the greatest area.Full Answer >
There are between 49 and 51 Muslim-majority countries in the world, according to estimates from 2010. The fluctuation is a result of the changing demographics in countries where Muslims comprise around 50 percent of the population.Full Answer >