مسجد

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مسجد نیایشگاه و محل گردهمایی مسلمانان است. کعبه طبق آیات قرآن اولین مسجد روی زمین است. مسجد النبی با ورود محمد، پیامبر اسلام به مدینه در عربستان سعودی پایه‌گذاری شد.

پذیرش این مسئله که وجود مساجد گنبدها مناره‌ها در بافت یک شهر نمی‌تواند به معنای اسلامی بودن آن شهر باشد این امر را بدیهی می‌سازد که باید در عناصر و مؤلفه‌های دیگری که نه تنها کالبد بلکه روح و هویت شهرها را می‌سازند به دنبال نشانه‌هایی از زیست مسلمانان و الگوهای یک شهر اسلامی بود.[۱]

نام[ویرایش]

واژهٔ مسجد در لغت به معنای سجده‌گاه و پیشانی است. بر طبق یک نظر، واژهٔ مسجد معرب واژهٔ مزگت است که از زبان آرامی وارد عربی و فارسی شده‌است.[۲]

ایوان مسجد جامع در قم
ایوان مسجد جامع در قم

مَزگَت واژه‌ای ایرانی به معنی مسجد است. منظور از مز در مزکد یا مزگت همان خدا و کد به معنی خانه است. در زبان کُردی به مسجد، مزگت یا مِزگوت گفته می‌شود و در تمامی کردستان ایران، عراق، ترکیه و سوریه این واژه کاربرد دارد. هنوز برخی از مسجدهای کهن ایران با نام مزگت نامیده می‌شود مانند «ایسپیه مزگت» (مسجد سپید) در گیلان «دزگامزگت» مازندران و در تمامی مناطق کردنشین مانند مزگت طوبی خانم.

مسجد در قرآن[ویرایش]

در قرآن، مسجد به معنای اعم نیایشگاه خداوند به کار رفته‌است. مسجد الاقصی، که معبد یهودیان یا کنیسه بوده‌است و در زمان نزول قرآن کاربردی غیر از آن نداشته‌است، دو بار در قرآن از آن به عنوان مسجد نام برده شده‌است.[۳][۴] همچنین در داستان اصحاب کهف نیز قرآن می‌گوید بر مزار آنان مسجدی بنا کردند.[۵] این مسجد بر اساس قول غالب مورخین با توجه به دین مرسوم آن روز کلیسا بوده ست. البته ممکن است کنیسه نیز بوده باشد؛ ولی با توجه به قبل تر بودن از اسلام نمی‌تواند به معنی مسجد مخصوص مسلمانان بوده باشد. علاوه برمسجدالحرام(بیت العتیقمسجدالاقصی درقرآن کریم به مساجد دیگری نیز اشاره شده‌است. مسجد قبلتین۱اسرا-مسجد قبا۱۰۷توبه-مقام ابراهیم (مصلی)-مسجدضرارکه دستور تخریب آن داده شد۱۰۷توبه

تمثیل مسجد[ویرایش]

هانری کربن می‌گوید در آغاز با تفکر به پرواز پرندگان در آسمان، تصمیم گرفته شد فضایی همانند آسمان و در واقع در مقابل پرستشگاه آسمانی، پرستشگاهی زمینی ساخته شود که در واقع این محل مکان ارتباط میان آسمان و زمین باشد. پرستشگاه مفهومی از فضایی است که مسجد ایرانی را معنی می‌کند. در میان صحن مسجد، حوض آبی قرار دارد که تصویری از آسمان، که همان پرستشگاه مثالی است و کاشی‌های گنبد را نمایان می‌سازد. آب حوض، آیینه‌ای است که از طریق همین آیینه حقیقت نماد مرکزیت آشکار می‌شود. فیلسوفان بزرگی که در اصفهان زندگی می‌کردند همین نمود آیینه در پرستشگاه مثالی را بیان کرده‌اند. مساجد دارای ۴ ایوان هستند که در امتداد ۴ افق هم قرار دارند، اما اگر ما در یکی از ایوان‌ها قرار بگیریم قادر خواهیم بود هم ایوان و هم تصویر ایوان را در حوض ببینیم. این تصویر، تصویر مجازی است که ما می‌بینیم و انتقال تصویر از قوه و مجاز به واقعیت همان تأویل است که برای سهروردی رسوخ به عالم مثال بود. تصویر معنوی بر هر دریافت تجربی تقدم دارد و آیینه دقیقاً همان چیزی که در جهان واقعی قرار دارد را به ما نشان می‌دهد و ما را به سمت بعد معنوی تصویر می‌برد. به گفتهٔ یکی از بزرگان ایرانی دیدن چیزها در «هور قلیا» همان «اقلیم هشتم» یا«مدینهٔ تمثیلی» است و آیینه است که این راه را به ما نشان می‌دهد. «تمثیلی که مساجد ایرانی از صورت مثالی پرستشگاه آسمانی ارائه می‌دهند، با تعریض‌های ساختاری به رقم ۱۲ که عدد کلیدی ریاضیات عرفانی شیعه اثنی عشری است، دقت بیشتری پیدا می‌کند.» تحلیل ساختار مسجد و فضای ریاضی آن باعث شده که شاخص‌های بسیاری نمادین شود. مثلاً کتیبهٔ شاه طهماسب اول که گرداگرد ایوان جنوبی قرار دارد، نام ۱۴ معصوم را دربردارد؛ یا سعید قمی با سنجش ۱۲ زاویهٔ مکعب کعبه نام ۱۲ امام را سنجیده و این نکتهٔ پنهانی را دریافته‌است. به گفتهٔ هانری کربن اصفهان مقر هور قلیا است و شاه عباس اول هنگامی که حکومت را به دست گرفت تصمیم داشت اصفهان را بر اساس تصویر شهرهای بهشت و آنچه در قرآن، کتب عارفان و حکما نقل شده ایجاد کند.[۶]

مسجد تداعی‌کننده گنبد و مناره[ویرایش]

مناره و گلدسته مسجد شاه
مناره و گلدسته مسجد شاه

پذیرش این مسئله که وجود مساجد گنبدها مناره هادر بافت یک شهر نمی‌تواند به معنای اسلامی بودن ان شهر باشد این امر را بدیهی می‌سازد که باید در عناصر و مؤلفه‌های دیگری که نه تنها کالبد بلکه روح و هویت شهرها را می‌سازند به دنبال نشانه‌هایی از زیست مسلمانان و الگوهای یک شهر اسلامی بود.[۱] به عقیده مسلمانان مسجد محلی برای آرامش روحی انسان است.

مناره‌های مساجد معمولاً دو یا یک عدد می‌باشند به صورتی که مساجد فرقه سنی داری یک مناره و مساجد فرقه شیعه دارای دو مناره می‌باشد.

مسجد جامع[ویرایش]

تفاوت‌های موجود بین مسجد و مسجد جامع با ویژگی‌های هرکدام به خوبی مشخص است شاخصه‌هایی پایدار که در سراسر جهان اسلامی و در طول زمانی حدوداً هزار سال همچنان باقی مانده‌است. مسجد مکانی بوده صرفاً به جهت عبادت اما از آنجایی که در گذشته‌استفاده‌های دیگری هم از آن می‌شد نظیر قضاوت، نگهداری بیت المال، برپایی اجتماعات بزرگ، بزودی نماد قدرتمند اسلام شد و هم عرصه‌های دینی و هم قلمروهای دنیوی را دربرگرفت، اما نتوانست پاسخگوی نیازهای مذکور باشد، ساخت مسجد جامع بعلت حفظ این دو جنبه بود. فقدان نهادها و بناهای رسمی عمومی نظیر تالار شهر یا محاکم اسلامی، به نقش دووجهی مسجد جامع اهمیت بیشتری بخشید. این تمایز کارکردی، تفاوتی را در منزلت و مقصود مساجد منعکس ساخت و در دو واژه کاملاً مجزا رسمیت یافت، یعنی مسجد و جامع. علی‌رغم تمایز آشکار کارکردی بین مسجد و جامع، از لحاظ طرح تفاوتی بین این دو وجود ندارد. در واقع «جامع» عملاً ابعاد بزرگتر و تزئینات بیشتری را دارا می‌باشد.[۷]

مساجد شبستانی[ویرایش]

شبستان اصلی مسجد سلطان قابوس در مسقط
شبستان اصلی مسجد سلطان قابوس در مسقط

این مساجد که برگرفته از ته رنگ مسجد پیامبر در مدینه می‌باشند. دارای نقشه‌ای مستطیل شکل با حیاط مرکزی و شبستانی در جهت قبله می‌باشند. مساجد ابتدای اسلام اغلب دارای طرح شبستانی بوده‌اند. مسجد جامع فهرج، مسجد تاریخانه دامغان، مسجد جامع نیشاپور، مسجد اولیه جامع اصفهان، مسجد اولیه جامع یزد، مسجد اولیه جامع ساوه، مسجد جامع نائین و مسجد اولیه جامع اردستان دارای طرح شبستانی می‌باشند.[۸]

هنر تزیینی[ویرایش]

هنرهای تزیینی در بناهای مذهبی نشانه‌ای از کشف و شهود را در پی دارد و رنگ‌ها وشکل‌های موزون و قوس‌های صعودی و نزولی که از راز آفرینش پرده برمی‌دارد هر کدام به بیننده آرامش روحی و معنوی می‌دهد. به عنوان مثال قاعده هشت وجهی گنبد کنایه از کرسی الهی و نیز عالم فرشتگان و قاعده مربع و چهارگوش نماد جهان جسمانی روی زمین است. ویا این که ساختار مقرنس در این‌جا بازتابی از نمونه‌های مثالی آسمان نزول مأوای آسمانی به سوی زمین و تبلور آسمانی در قالب‌های زمینی است. قوس ایرانی به سوی بالا حرکت دارد و به سمت آسمان و به امر متعالی صعود می‌کند و قوس مغربی حرکتی درونی و به سوی قلب دارد.[۹]

معماری مسجد[ویرایش]

مساجد در ابتدا بسیار ساده ساخته می‌شدند و معمولاً سقف حصیری داشتند. هنگامیکه اسلام در ایران استحکام یافت مساجد با گنبد ساخته شد گنبد بیشتر در معماری ایرانی نمود پیدا کرده‌است. قدیمی‌ترین نمونه مساجد با گنبد چارطاقی مربوط به مسجد الاقصی است که قبل از اسلام ساخته شده‌است. در ایران ساسانی بیشتر آتشکده‌ها به صورت چارطاقی و گنبد دار مدور بودند و همین سبک در ساخت مساجد ایران بکار گرفته شد و سپس مناره بر آن افزوده شد. بر اساس کتاب نقش پارسی بر احجار هند معماری چارطاقی و گنبد دار در حوزه تمدنی ایران شکل گرفته‌است. کاخ اردشیر فیروز آباد یکی از نمونه‌های این‌گونه معماری است[۱۰] در کشورهای شمال آفریقا مساجد فاقد گنبد است و به صورت یک مناره‌ای ساخته می‌شود. مساجد قدیم تر در جهان عرب فاقد مناره هستند. مساجد در معماری ایران از سیر طراحی تکاملی برخوردارند. کاشی کاری سنتی از مهم‌ترین عناصر تزئینی مساجد ایرانی است.

اما بخش‌هایی هستند که در بیشتر مساجد وجود دارند. هر چند ممکن است در مساجد مهمی مانند مسجد شیخ لطف‌الله اصفهان وجود نداشته باشند. بخش‌های زیر در مساجد دیده می‌شوند:[۱۱]

نورگیر مسجد[ویرایش]

نمای بالای مسجد جمکران از بالای نورگیر مسجد
نمای بالای مسجد جمکران از بالای نورگیر مسجد

اطراف گنبدخانه‌های بناهای اسلامی یا در ساقهٔ آن‌ها نورگیرهای زیبایی وجود دارد که به علت شدت و ضعف نور، طرح‌های بدیعی را به وجود آورده. این پنجره‌ها که معمولاً در بغل ایوان‌ها نیز به وجود آمده‌اند و اصطلاحاً به آن‌ها پاچنگ می‌گویند، در اکثر مساجد قدیمی جزو عناصر همراه مساجد هستند. نورگیرها از مصالح کاشی معرق، سنگ، آجر، کاشی و چوب ساخته می‌شوند و دارای نقوش اسلیمی (خطوط برگرفته از پیچک‌های گیاهی) یا هندسی هستند. جنس پنجره‌های نورگیر در کشورهای هند و پاکستان از سنگ مرمر است.

در بعضی از مساجد قدیمی ایران نورگیرها از خشت خام هم دیده شده‌اند که دارای نقوش اسلیمی هستند و به علت وجود چند نور در آن‌ها، توجه همگان به آن معطوف می‌گردد. یکی از زیباترین پنجره‌های نورگیر، پنجره‌های مشبک چوبی مسجد جامع اصفهان است که با طرح‌های متنوع گره سازی، عملکردی در پنجره‌ها و درهای ارسی دارند. امروزه بسیاری از ضریح‌های امامزاده‌های ایران به صورت شبکه‌های چوبی یا منبت کاری درآمده‌اند از آثار جالب مراکز مذهبی‌اند.[۱۲]

در مسجد شیخ لطف‌الله نور کیفیتی ورای ماده پیدا نموده تا آن جا که نور از جداره شمال شرقی به جداره جنوب غربی تابیده و به محراب نقشی ورای ماده می‌دهد. همچنین نور از جداره‌های طوقه گنبد عبور کرده و پیچ و تاب شبکه‌ها را بر روی گنبد خانه انداخته و مانند این است که این نقوش با سبک بالی در حال رقصند.[۱۳]

سیالیت[ویرایش]

سیالیت همان احساس تعلیق است که در معماری دوره اصفهانی به خوبی می‌توان دید. از آنجا که سیال بودن باعث می‌شود بنا سبک‌تر به نظر رسد و به بیننده کمک می‌کند تا از عالم مادی به عالم معنوی رود. همانند گنبد خانه‌های مساجد که در گذر زمان کالبد سبک تری پیدا نموده‌اند تا آنجا که علاوه بر کاهش جرز، بازشوهایی در بدنه و طوقه گنبد ایجاد شده و نور را به داخل فضا می‌کشاند و حس سیال بودن گنبد را به مخاطب ارمغان می‌دهد چرا که گنبد در زیر امواج‌های نور قرار گرفته و حس تعلیق را به وجود می‌آورد، همانا که مصالح با پیوند نور آسمانی می‌شوند.[۱۴]

مسجد در معماری ایران[ویرایش]

میدان نقش جهان که در آن دو مسجد شیخ لطف‌الله و مسجد شاه قرار دارد.
نمایی از فضای گنبدخانهٔ تاج‌الملک مسجد جامع اصفهان

مساجد مهم‌ترین بناهای معماری ایران پس از اسلام هستند. شاخص‌ترین و پیشرفته‌ترین بناهای هر دوره معماری ایران پس از ورود اسلام را می‌توان در مساجد پیدا نمود. اهمیت مسجد در ایران نشانه‌ای از پذیرش و اقبال مردم ایران نسبته به دین اسلام است. چرا که در دورافتاده‌ترین نقاط ایران نیز مساجد مهم‌ترین بناهای بافت اطراف خود بوده‌اند که با هزینه مردم بنا می‌شدند.

ویژگی‌های ساختاری هر مسجد شامل انعطاف ذاتی، بی‌تفاوتی نسبت به نماهای خارجی، تأکید متقابل بر فضای داخلی، و گرایش طبیعی به تزئینات کاربردی است. زمانی که از مسجد «جامع» سخن می‌رانیم در واقع همان مسجد است با ویژگی‌هایی مضاف و فراتر از مسجد و وام گرفته شده از معماری دوره بیزانس با ریشه‌های کلاسیک. به اعتقاد پیرنیا (۱۳۸۳)،[۱۵] ایرانیان کهن و هنرمندان آن‌ها باور به تقلید درست داشته‌اند و آن را بهتر از نوآوری بد می‌دانستند. تقلید یا برداشتی که منطق داشته باشد و با شرایط زندگی سازگار باشد. از این وجوه خاص که جامع را از مسجد متمایز می‌کند، می‌توان به محراب، منبر یا سکوی وعظ، مقصوره یا محصوره، ناو یا راهروی بالا آمده میانه شبستان و گنبد اشاره کرد. ذکر این نکته حائز اهمیت است همه این عناصر در یک بنا با درجه اهمیت برابر باقی نماندند و با همه آن‌ها به یک نحو برخورد نمی‌شد (براند، ۱۳۸۳).[۷]

تاریخچه مسجد در ایران[ویرایش]

پس از فروافتادن ساسانیان، ساخت مساجد در ایران آغاز شد. در سه قرن نخستین حکومت اسلامی در ایران، مساجد به شیوه‌ای بسیار ساده و به پیروی از معماری ساسانی ساخته می‌شد. زادگاه اولین نمونه‌های معماری اسلامی ایران را در خراسان دانسته‌اند، لذا طریق ساخت بناهای این دوران (شامل امویان، عباسیان، طاهریان) به شیوه خراسانی معروف است. در این شیوه که نقشه عمومی بناهای آن از مساجد صدر اسلام اقتباس شده، مساجد به صورت «شبستانی» یا «چهل ستونی» ساخته شده‌اند (ذکرگو، ۴۶:۱۳۸۰)[۱۶] با پدیدار شدن اسلام و پذیرش آن از سوی ایرانیانی که زیر بیدادگری و ستم بودند دگرگونی‌هایی در ساختمان‌سازی رخ داد:

  1. پس از اسلام، با الگو گرفتن از باورهای اسلامی ساختمان‌ها «مردم وار» تر شدند. گرچه در شیوه پارتی نیز مردم واری و پرهیز از بیهودگی نمایان بود ولی پس از اسلام این ارزش‌ها بیشتر نمودار شدند.
  2. در شیوه‌های پیشین بنابر شرایط، ساختمان‌سازی کیفیت ویژه‌ای یافت. برای نمونه در شیوه پارتی در روزگار اشکانیان، ساختمان‌ها با سبک پاک‌تراش و با ریزه کاری بیشتری ساخته می‌شدند، اما در دوره دوم زمان ساسانیان چون به ساختمان‌های بیشتری نیاز داشتند ساختمان را با سنگ لاشه می‌ساختند، بدین گونه کیفیت: ساختمان‌سازی نیز افت می‌کرد (پیرنیا، ۱۳۴:۱۳۸۳)[۱۵] این امر به روی نحوه ساخت مساجد در دوره‌های مختلف تأثیر گذاشت. به‌طور مثال ”در دوره سلجوقی آجر کاری و در دوره ایلخانی گچ بری و در دوره تیموری و صفویه کاشیکاری رایج بوده‌است. نقشه ساختمانی مساجد نیز تفاوت‌های آشکاری در هر دوره دارد. در ایران اسلامی با مساجد شبستانی، یک ایوانی، دو ایوانی، چهار ایوانی و ترکیب گنبد خانه با ایوان اصلی روبرو هستیم“(ابوذری ۱۳۸۰: ۱۱۷)[۱۷]

ساختار مسجد در معماری ایران[ویرایش]

مسجد شاه اصفهان. البته نام امروزی او مسجد امام خمینی است.
مسجد شاه اصفهان
معماری ساسانی مسجد کاروانسرای دیرگچین که در دوران قبل از اسلام کاربری چهارطاقی را داشته است.
معماری ساسانی مسجد کاروانسرای دیرگچین که در دوران قبل از اسلام کاربری چهارطاقی را داشته است.

در معماری ایرانی هرگاه چند طاق پوش در کنار هم جای می‌گیرند، دهانه کوچه میانی یا میان وار بیش از کوچه‌های دیگر است و از دهانه بر وارها با کوچه‌های دیگر کم‌کم کاسته می‌شود و کوچه کناری که طاق آن روی دیوار پرت (دیواری که پشت آن آزاد است) می‌نشیند کمترین دهانه را دارد تا از رانش طاق کم‌کم کاسته شود و دیوار پرت را نیندازد؛ ناگزیر نمای میانوار که به روی سرای سرگشاده باز می‌شود پردهانه تر و بلندتر می‌شود و از مردم واری آن می‌کاهد. معمار هنرمند مسجد فهرج برای پیشگیری از این کاستی در کنار دو جرز میانوار، پیلک‌های نغزی افزوده تا دهانه یکسان نماید (این نغزکاری یکصد سال پیش از آن در تاریخانه دامغان به کار رفته‌است). کار بهره‌گیری از ساختمایه‌های بوم‌آور در این مسجد بدانجا کشیده‌است که به جای کاه در کاهگل (که شاید در فهرج کمیاب بوده)، ژاژ (خارشتر-آدور) آسیا شده به کار برده‌اند و همین کار اندودها را از آسیب موریانه بر کنار داشته‌است.[۱۸]

هنر و معماری مساجد ایران[ویرایش]

مساجد ایران تمثیلی بی‌نهایت است از رساندن انسان به کمال و ترکیب‌کننده رمز قدسی به گونه‌ای که این مکان دارای تقدس است و انسان با اشراق درونی با آن ارتباط برقرار می‌کند. این حرکت و سیر کمال گرایانه لازمه هر بنای مذهبی است که اساساً محل بندگی و پرستش است. هنر به کمال رسیده ایرانیان با بهره‌گیری از مفاهیم هندسی کیهانی همواره نمود بی‌نهایت در یک نهایت یا صورت بوده‌است.

مسجد عتیق شیراز مربوط به دوره سلجوقی
مسجد عتیق شیراز مربوط به دوره سلجوقی

مساجد در نهایت نفس را به حقیقت ازلی و کمال حقیقی می‌رساند. این نائل شدن باحضور و شهودی همراه است که همواره حرکت در مکان و دیدنی از جنس شناخت از لحظه ورود تا به انتها با موحد همس است. تمامی مراتب این حرکت مکانی چون طریقت عرفانی آرام آرام نور حقیقت را در دل آشکار کرده انسان را از حشو و زواید خارج از این مکان مقدس منزه می‌دارد. ورودی در مساجد ایران جایگاه انتخاب و اطمینان است و تمایز را در مکان نشان می‌دهد و بیان می‌دارد که هویتی قدسی و کاملاً متفاوت با پهنه هیولایی اطراف در حال وقوع است. عمدتاً ورودی‌های مساجد ایران حرکتی روحانی به سوی آسمان دارد. به‌طور کلی هرچه به گذشته بازمی‌گردیم درمی‌یابیم که زندگی انسان با کیهان و آسمان بیشتر مرتبط بوده‌است.

جلوه‌های این ارتباط را درقالب نقوش هندسی چون خورشید ماه و ستاره‌ها در معماری می‌یابیم که آن‌ها را در تزیینات به صورت اجر کاری یا کاشی کاری یا در کل حجم معماری در قالب استفاده از حجم‌ها هندسی مطلقی چون مکعب یا مربع مستطیل یا دایره یا احجامی از این قبیل ملاحظه می‌کنیم. هندسه این نقوش دارای کششی درونی و به صورت متحدالمرکز یا مرکزگرا نمایان می‌شود. حرکت اجزای کوچک‌تر و چرخش آن‌ها به دور اجزای دیگر بخشی از چرخش و حرکت کلی است. اجزا در یک نقش در عین حال که دارای اتحاد کلی هستند در بین خود نیز دارای وحدتی یکسان اند و به سوی یک مرکز دارای یک حرکت درونی هستند. این در واقع قانون نظم طبیعی در جهان هستی است. منبت کاری‌ها گره چینی‌ها یا کاشی کاری‌ها به ایجاز این نظم کیهانی را به تصویر می‌کشند. تمامی نقوشی که به صورت طرح‌های اسلیمی هستند در یک حرکت دایره وار قابل مهار شدن در دایره‌اند. این دوایر نامرئی چون روح ویا پهنه بی‌انتها ی معنا همواره در نقوش حضور دارند و بیانگر ماهیت مینویی ان‌اند. این نقوش اصول حقیقی را به نمایش می‌گذارد که بر اساس معرفت وجود و هستی شناسی علاوه بر این که الگویی طبیعی در جهان هستی است در بردارنده معنای ازلی نیز هست که ره یافتن به این معنا از طریق مشاهده و درک تحقق می‌یابد.

تابش پی در پی نور در سطوح متفاوت و با زوایای مختلف در پیش تاق ایوان ورودی باعث احساس حضور نور می‌شود حضوری که شاید در حالت عادی در سطوح احساس نمی‌شود اما باتغییر تابش و ایجاد سایه‌های متفاوت احساسی بلورین را در زیر تاق برمی انگیزاند. نور در این میان نقش حکیمانه خویش را با ظهوری حیات بخش ایفا می‌کند و تأثیر وجودی خویش را در تراش الماس گونه فضا در هماهنگی شگفت‌انگیز با هندسه به جای می‌گذارد. نور بخشایش و رحمت الهی را بر آینه دل مؤمنین می‌تابد. اگر ان واجد بازتابش باشد انوار عالی الهی را به طرق مختلف نمایان می‌سازد. اما با وجود تکثر این بازتابش‌ها حرکت صعودی در آن‌ها دیده می‌شود و در انتها به یک خورشید یا شمسه در نور ازلی می‌رسند.[۱۹]

هندسه پیش تاق یا ایوان ورودی به صورت یک مستطیل کشیده شده‌است که عمدتاً با دو مناره در دو طرف ترکیب می‌شوند و با زبان سکوت شهادت می‌دهند که در این‌جا اتفاقی مقدس رخ می‌دهد. علاوه بر این تفاوت مقیاس و شکستنی که در خط آسمان عناصر اطراف خود ایجاد می‌کند بر حرکت رو به بالای ورودی بیشتر تأکید می‌کند. این عروج روحانی در پیش تاق یا موتیف‌هایی چون مناره‌ها و کاشی کاری‌ها بر روی مناره‌ها به صورت اجر کاری و با طرح‌های اسلیمی مقرنس‌ها پیچ‌های تزیینی نیلی رنگ محیط و قوس‌های تیزه دار بیان می‌شود. فضای ورودی آغاز سفر عرفانی است که درون را به آنچه شایسته رسیدن اوست سوق می‌دهد.[۲۰]

کارکردهای مسجد[ویرایش]

مساجد به عنوان مهم‌ترین بناها در هر شهر و روستا همواره نقش‌های متعددی در زندگی قشرها مردم داشته‌اند. این بناها چون بزرگ‌ترین ساختمان‌ها بوده‌اند در آغاز نیازی به داشتن نشانی ویژه‌ای نداشته نگاه هر گذرنده‌ای را به سوی خود جلب می‌کردند اما پس از گسترش شهرها نخست با افزایش در گاه‌ها و نهادن توق بر بلندترین جای ان و سپس با ساختن میل برج مناره در کنار و نزدیک ان ساکنان شهر را به عبادتگاه راهنمایی می‌کرده‌اند.[۲۱] رفته رفته مسجد به عنوان چشم‌اندازی جغرافیایی و جلوه گاه هنر و ذوق ایرانی شهر را کاملاً تحت تأثیر خود قرار داد اما سیمای خاصی که مسجد در شهر به وجود می‌آورد و اثری که بر گسترش شهر می‌گذاشت. تنها به فضاهای فیزیکی و آرایش‌های هنری و ذوقی ان ختم نمی‌شد بلکه مسجد از گذشته کارکردهای گوناگونی داشته و اکنون هم این نقش‌ها را تا حدودی حفظ کرده‌است. این نقش‌ها عبارتند از:

  • مرکز ارشاد و تبلیغ اسلامی و کانون رعایت قواعد و قوانین خاص.
  • اعتقاد به عبادت نمازگزاران و نیایش به خدا از عوامل و انگیزه‌های بنیاد و ایجاد مساجد است.[۲۲]
  • جمع‌آوری نذورات و کمک‌های خیرین پخش آن بین نیازمندان
  • تنها مسجد مسلمانان در شهر تفلیس که شیعه و سنی به صورت مشترک از آن استفاده می‌کنند و دو مهراب دارد
    تنها مسجد مسلمانان در شهر تفلیس
    آموزش رشته‌های مختلف (قرآن، نهج البلاغه، آمادگی دفاعی و…)

محدودیت‌ها[ویرایش]

در عربستان سعودی ساخت هرگونه عبادت‌گاهی به غیر از مسجد ممنوع است.[۲۳]

شهر آتن تنها پایتخت یک کشور اروپایی است که با بیش از۵۰۰ هزار مسلمان، مسجدی رسمی ندارد. همچنین مسلمانان یونانی و مسلمانان مقیم این کشور از داشتن گورستانی برای دفن مرده‌های خود نیز محروم هستند.[۲۴]

در تاریخ ۲۹ نوامبر ۲۰۰۹ میلادی، اکثریت مردم سوئیس با شرکت در یک همه‌پرسی عمومی، به «ممنوعیت احداث مناره در سوئیس»، رأی مثبت دادند.[۲۵]

نگارخانه[ویرایش]

جستارهای وابسته[ویرایش]

منابع[ویرایش]

  1. ۱٫۰ ۱٫۱ رضا شاطریان-تحلیل معماری مساجد ایران-ص38
  2. http://islampedia.ir/fa/1391/11/مفهوم-شناسی-مسجد/
  3. قرآن، 17:1
  4. قرآن، 17:7
  5. قرآن، 18:21
  6. استیرلن، اصفهان، تصویر بهشت، ۱-۱۲.
  7. ۷٫۰ ۷٫۱ هیلن براند، ر. (١٣٨٣) معماری اسلامی، ترجمه باقر آیت‌الله‌زاده شیرازی، تهران، انتشارات روزنه
  8. رضا شاطریان-تحلیل معماری مساجد ایران-ص22
  9. رضا شاطریان-تحلیل معماری مساجد ایران-ص 128
  10. [۱]
  11. Architecture of the contemporary mosque. Ismail Serageldin, James Steele. Publisher Academy Editions, 1996. Original from the University of Michigan. ISBN 1-85490-394-2
  12. پیرنیا، کریم، معماری اسلامی ایران، چاپ دوم خرداد، تهران1372، انتشارات دانشگاه علم و صنعت
  13. فروغ حسین‌پور، امین رفیعی گله پردسری، «هنر سنتی و بررسی آن در معماری اسلامی
  14. میرمران، سید هادی (۱۳۷۷). سیری از ماده به روح.
  15. ۱۵٫۰ ۱۵٫۱ پیرنیا، م(١٣٨٣) سبک‌شناسی معماری ایرانی، تهران، نشر معمار، ١٣٨٣
  16. ذکرگو، ا.ح. (١٣٨٠) سیر هنر در تاریخ (١)، تهران، سازمان پژوهش فرهنگی.
  17. ابوذری، م. (١٣٨٠) آشنایی با میراث فرهنگی هنری ایران، تهران، سازمان پژوهش فرهنگی.
  18. پیرنیا، محمد کریم (۱۳۹۲). آشنایی با معماری اسلامی ایران. سروش دانش.
  19. رضا شاطریان، تحلیل معماری مساجد ایران، ص 4
  20. رضا شاطریان-تحلیل معماری مساجد ایران-ص5
  21. کریم پیرنیا-معماری ایران دوره اسلامی-مجموعه مقالات-ص 6-7
  22. رضا شاطریان-تحلیل معماری مساجد ایران-ص 35
  23. جنجال بر سر فتوای مفتی سعودی درباره دعوت به تخریب کلیساها، رادیو فردا
  24. آتن، شهر بی مسجد . [خبرگزاری جمهوری اسلامی(ایرنا) http://www.irna.ir ]
  25. سوئیسی‌ها به ممنوعیت ساختن مناره رای دادند، بی‌بی‌سی فارسی

پیوند به بیرون[ویرایش]

Mosque
مَسْجِد
Main Mosque in Pavlodar.jpg
Religion
AffiliationIslam

A mosque (/mɒsk/; from Arabic: مَسْجِد‎, romanizedmasjid, pronounced [masdʒid]; literally "place of ritual prostration") is a place of worship for Muslims.[1][2] Any act of worship that follows the Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, whether or not it takes place in a special building.[2] Informal and open-air places of worship are called musalla, while mosques used for communal prayer on Fridays are known as jāmiʿ.[1] Mosque buildings typically contain an ornamental niche (mihrab) set into the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca (qiblah),[1] ablution facilities and minarets from which calls to prayer are issued.[1][2] The pulpit (minbar), from which the Friday sermon (khutba) is delivered, was in earlier times characteristic of the central city mosque, but has since become common in smaller mosques.[3][1] Mosques typically have segregated spaces for men and women.[1] This basic pattern of organization has assumed different forms depending on the region, period and denomination.[2]

Mosques commonly serve as locations for prayer, Ramadan vigils, funeral services, Sufi ceremonies, marriage and business agreements, alms collection and distribution, as well as homeless shelters.[1][3] Historically, mosques were also important centers of elementary education and advanced training in religious sciences. In modern times, they have preserved their role as places of religious instruction and debate, but higher learning now generally takes place in specialized institutions.[1][3] Special importance is accorded to the Great Mosque of Mecca (center of the hajj), the Prophet's Mosque in Medina (burial place of Muhammad) and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (believed to be the site of Muhammad's ascent to heaven).[1] In the past, many mosques in the Muslim world were built over burial places of Sufi saints and other venerated figures, which has turned them into popular pilgrimage destinations.[1][2]

With the spread of Islam, mosques multiplied across the Islamic world. Sometimes churches and other temples were converted into mosques, which influenced Islamic architectural styles.[3] While most pre-modern mosques were funded by charitable endowments, modern states in the Muslim world have attempted to bring mosques under government control.[1] Increasing government regulation of large mosques has been countered by a rise of privately funded mosques of various affiliations and ideologies, many of which serve as bases for different Islamic revivalist currents and social activism.[3] Mosques have played a number of political roles. The rates of mosque attendance vary widely depending on the region.

Etymology

A nomad's mosque orientated towards Mecca

The word 'mosque' entered the English language from the French word mosquée, probably derived from Italian moschea (a variant of Italian moscheta), from either Middle Armenian մզկիթ (mzkit‘), Medieval Greek: μασγίδιον (masgídion), or Spanish mezquita, from مسجد (meaning "site of prostration (in prayer)" and hence a place of worship), either from Nabataean masgĕdhā́ or from Arabic Arabic: سَجَدَ‎, romanizedsajada (meaning "to bow down in prayer"), probably ultimately from Nabataean Arabic masgĕdhā́ or Aramaic sĕghēdh.[4]

History

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

Beginnings

According to one set of views, Islam started during the lifetime of Muhammad in the 7th century CE,[5] and so did architectural components such as the mosque. In this case, either the Mosque of the Companions in the Eritrean city of Massawa,[6] or the Quba Mosque in the Hejazi city of Medina (the first structure built by Muhammad upon his emigration from Mecca in 622 CE),[7] would be the first mosque that was built in the history of Islam.[8]

According to another set of views, which uses passages of the Quran,[9][10][11] Islam as a religion preceded Muhammad,[12][13][14] representing even previous Prophets such as Abraham.[15] Abraham in Islam is credited with having built the Ka'bah ('Cube') in Mecca, and consequently its sanctuary, Al-Masjid Al-Haram (The Sacred Mosque), which is seen as the first mosque[8] that ever existed.[16][17][18][19] A Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari states that the sanctuary of the Kaaba was the first mosque on Earth, with the second mosque being Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem,[20] which is also associated with Abraham.[17] Since as early as 638 AD, the Sacred Mosque of Mecca 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 Hajj to the city.[21]

Either way, after the Quba Mosque, Muhammad went on to establish another mosque in Medina, which is now known as Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (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.[22] The Prophet's mosque 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.[23] The mosque was also constructed with a large courtyard, a motif common among mosques built since then.[22]

Diffusion and evolution

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

Mosques had been built in Iraq and North Africa by the end of the 7th century, as Islam spread outside the 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 Shi'ite Muslims, as it honors the death of the third Shia imam, and Muhammad's grandson, Hussein ibn Ali.[24] The 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.[25] With the later Shia Fatimid Caliphate, mosques throughout Egypt evolved to include schools (known as madrasas), hospitals, and tombs.[26]

The 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.[27][28] 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.[28] Still, some elements of Visigothic architecture, like horseshoe arches, were infused into the mosque architecture of Spain and the Maghreb.[29]

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.[30] Minarets were initially prohibited by the state.[31] 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.[30]

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.[32] 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.[31][33] In turn, the Javanese style influenced the styles of mosques in Indonesia's Austronesian neighbors—Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines.[32]

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

Muslim 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.[34] The Jama Masjid in Delhi and the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, built in a similar manner in the mid-17th century,[35] remain two of the largest mosques on the Indian subcontinent.[36]

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 in Damascus.[37] 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.[38]

Several of the early mosques in the 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.[39] 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.[40]

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.[41] 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, was built in 1934.[42] 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.[43]

Conversion of non-Muslim places of worship

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, 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.[44] 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 ibn Marwan (Al-Waleed's father) is said to have transformed 10 churches in Damascus into mosques.[45]

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.[46]

Mosques have also been converted for use by other religions, notably in southern Spain, following the conquest of the Moors in 1492.[47] The most prominent of them is the Great Mosque of Cordoba, itself constructed on the site of a church demolished during the period of Muslim rule. Outside of the Iberian Peninsula, such instances also occurred in southeastern Europe once regions were no longer under Muslim rule.

Religious functions

The masjid jāmiʿ (Arabic: مَسْجِد جَامِع‎), a central mosque, can play a role in religious activities such as teaching the Quran and educating future imams.[citation needed]

Prayers

There are two holidays (Eids) in the Islamic calendar: ʿĪd al-Fiṭr and ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā, 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, 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.[48][49]

Ramadan

Islam's holiest month, Ramaḍān, is observed through many events. As Muslims must fast during the day during Ramadan, mosques will host Ifṭār dinners after sunset and the fourth required prayer of the day, that is Maghrib. 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 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.[50]

Following the last obligatory daily prayer (ʿIshāʾ special, optional Tarāwīḥ 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.[51] 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.[51] 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

Vault ceiling of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran

During the last ten days of Ramadan, larger mosques within the Muslim community will host Iʿtikāf, 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.[51]

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.[52] 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

A mosque in Utrecht, Netherlands

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.

In the United States in particular, it has been shown in a study done by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding that Muslim Americans who regularly attend mosques are more likely to work with their neighbors to solve community problems (49 vs. 30 percent), be registered to vote (74 vs. 49 percent), and plan to vote (92 vs. 81 percent). Overall, “there is no correlation between Muslim attitudes toward violence and their frequency of mosque attendance.” [53]

When it comes to mosque attendance, data shows that American Muslim women and American Muslim men attend the mosque at similar rates (45% for men and 35% for women). Additionally, when compared to the general public looking at the attendance of religious services, young Muslim Americans attend the mosque at closer rates to older Muslim Americans.[53]

Percentage of Muslims who attend mosque at least once a week, 2009–2012[54]
Countries Percentage
GhanaGhana
100%
Liberia Liberia
94%
Ethiopia Ethiopia
93%
Uganda Uganda
93%
Guinea-Bissau Guinea-Bissau
92%
Mozambique Mozambique
92%
Kenya Kenya
91%
Niger Niger
88%
Nigeria Nigeria
87%
Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo
85%
Cameroon Cameroon
84%
Djibouti Djibouti
84%
Tanzania Tanzania
82%
Chad Chad
81%
Mali Mali
79%
Indonesia Indonesia
72%
Jordan Jordan
65%
Senegal Senegal
65%
Afghanistan Afghanistan
61%
Egypt Egypt
61%
Pakistan Pakistan
59%
Malaysia Malaysia
57%
United Kingdom United Kingdom[note 1][55]
56%
State of Palestine Palestine
55%
Morocco Morocco
54%
Spain Spain[56]
54%
Bangladesh Bangladesh
53%
Thailand Thailand[note 2]
52%
Yemen Yemen[note 3][57]
51%
Israel Israel[note 4][58]
49%
Italy Italy[59]
49%
Canada Canada[note 5][60]
48%
Algeria Algeria[note 6][61]
47%
Tunisia Tunisia
47%
United States United States of America[62]
47%
Turkey Turkey
44%
Australia Australia[note 7][63]
40%
Iraq Iraq
40%
Germany Germany[note 8][64]
35%
Lebanon Lebanon
35%
Libya Libya[note 9][57]
35%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina
30%
France France[note 10][65]
30%
Tajikistan Tajikistan
30%
Belgium Belgium[59]
28%
Iran Iran[note 11][61]
27%
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia[note 12][61]
27%
Denmark Denmark[66]
25%
Netherlands Netherlands[67]
24%
Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan
23%
Kosovo Kosovo[a]
22%
Bulgaria Bulgaria[note 13][68]
21%
Russia Russia
19%
Georgia (country) Georgia[note 14][68]
14%
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan
10%
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan
9%
Albania Albania
5%
Azerbaijan Azerbaijan
1%

Role in contemporary society

The East London Mosque was one of the first in Britain to be allowed to use loudspeakers to broadcast the adhan[69]

Political mobilization

The late 20th century saw an increase in the number of mosques used for political purposes. While some governments in the Muslim world have attempted to limit the content of Friday sermons to strictly religious topics, there are also independent preachers who deliver khutbas that address social and political issues, often in emotionally charged terms. Common themes include social inequalities, necessity of jihad in the face of injustice, the universal struggle between good and evil, with the West often symbolizing moral and spiritual decadence, and criticism of local rulers for corruption and inefficiency.[1] In Islamic countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, political subjects are preached by imams at Friday congregations on a regular basis.[70] Mosques often serve as meeting points for political opposition in times of crisis.[1]

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.[71] Studies of US Muslims have consistently shown a positive correlation between mosque attendance and political involvement. Some of the research connects civic engagement specifically with mosque attendance for social and religious activities other than prayer.[72] 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.[71] Research on Muslim civic engagement in other Western countries "is less conclusive but seems to indicate similar trends."[72]

Role in violent conflicts

Mosque in Gaza, destroyed during the Gaza War in 2009

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 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.[73] 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.[74]

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.[75] In April 2006, two explosions occurred at India's Jama Masjid.[76][77] Following the al-Askari Mosque bombing in Iraq, imams and other Islamic leaders used mosques and Friday prayers as vehicles to call for calm and peace in the midst of widespread violence.[78]

A study 2005 indicated that while support for suicide bombings is not correlated with personal devotion to Islam among Palestinian Muslims, it is correlated with mosque attendance because "participating in communal religious rituals of any kind likely encourages support for self-sacrificing behaviors that are done for the collective good."[79]

Following the September 11 attacks, several American mosques were targeted in attacks ranging from simple vandalism to arson.[80] Furthermore, the Jewish Defense League was suspected of plotting to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California.[81] 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 after a suicide bomber killed 19 people in a night club in Tel Aviv.[82][83][84] Although mosquegoing is highly encouraged for men, it is permitted to stay at home when one feels at risk from Islamophobic persecution.[85]

Saudi influence

Funded by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, the 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 became a large influence in foreign Sunni mosques.[86] 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.[87]

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.[86] 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[86] and US$50 million[88] to the two mosques, respectively.

Political controversy

In the western world, and in the United States in particular, Anti-Muslim sentiment and targeted domestic policy has created challenges for mosques and those looking to build them. There has been government and police surveillance of mosques in the US[89] and local attempts to ban mosques and block constructions,[90] despite data showing that in fact, most Americans opposing banning the building of mosques (79%) and the surveillance of U.S. mosques (63%) as shown in a 2018 study done by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.[91]

Ningxia officials were notified on 3 August 2018 that the Weizhou Grand Mosque would be forcibly demolished because it had not received the proper permits before construction.[92][93][94] Officials in the town said that the mosque had not been given proper building permits, because it is built in a Middle Eastern style and includes numerous domes and minarets.[92][93] The residents of Weizhou alarmed each other through social media and finally stopped the mosque destruction by public demonstrations.[93]

Architecture

A 14th century mosque of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani in Srinagar, Kashmir

Styles

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.[46] One of the most notable hypostyle mosques is the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain, the building being supported by over 850 columns.[95] 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.[46]

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 and the Sarvestan Palace.[96] Thus, 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.[96] 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.[97] The Persians also introduced 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.[98] This style was heavily influenced by Byzantine architecture with its use of large central domes.[46] Hajja Soad's mosque took a pyramid shape that is a creative style in Islamic architecture.

The 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 designs, it lacks a dome. The mosque's architecture is a departure from the long history of South Asian Islamic architecture.[citation needed]

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 in Nigeria and others.[citation needed]

Minarets

The oldest standing minaret in the world at the Great Mosque 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.[99][100][101] 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 ] 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.[102] The oldest standing minaret in the world is the minaret of the Great Mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia,[103][104] built between the 8th and the 9th century, it is a massive square tower consisting of three superimposed tiers of gradual size and decor.[105]

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.[51] The Iqâmah (Arabic: إِقَـامَـة‎), which is similar to the adhan and proclaimed right before the commencement of prayers, is usually not proclaimed from the minaret even if a mosque has one.

Mihrab

A miḥrāb, also spelled as mehrab is a semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qiblah (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, which is the raised platform from which an Imam (leader of prayer) addresses the congregation.[citation needed]

Domes

The domes, often placed directly above the main prayer hall, may signify the vaults of the heaven and sky.[106] 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.[107] Some mosques have multiple, often smaller, domes in addition to the main large dome that resides at the center.

Prayer hall

The prayer hall, also known as the muṣallá (Arabic: مُصَلَّى‎), 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.[108] 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.[51]

The hypostyle prayer hall in the Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia

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).[109]

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).[110] One of the finest examples of the hypostyle-plan mosques is the Great Mosque of Kairouan (also known as the Mosque of Uqba) in Tunisia.[111]

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.[112] 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, or some other speaker to offer a Khuṭbah (Sermon). The mihrab serves as the location where the imam leads the five daily prayers on a regular basis.[113]

Ablution facilities

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.[95] 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.[108]

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.[citation needed]

Symbols

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".[114] Mosques also often have floral patterns or images of fruit and vegetables. These are allusions to the paradise after death.[115]

Rules and etiquette

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.[citation needed]

Prayer leader (Imam)

Appointment of a prayer leader is considered desirable, but not always obligatory.[116] The permanent prayer leader (imam) must be a free honest individual and is authoritative in religious matters.[116] In mosques constructed and maintained by the government, the prayer leader is appointed by the ruler;[116] 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.[116]

Leadership at prayer falls into three categories, depending on the type of prayer: five daily prayers, Friday prayer, or optional prayers.[116] 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.[116] 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.[116]

All Muslim authorities hold the consensus opinion that only men may lead prayer for men.[116] Nevertheless, women prayer leaders are allowed to lead prayer in front of all-female congregations.[117]

Cleanliness

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.[118]

Dress

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.[51]

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.[119] The walls within the mosque have few items, except for possibly Islamic calligraphy, so Muslims in prayer are not distracted.[120] 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

A women-only mosque in Byblos, Lebanon

There is nothing written in the Qur'an 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 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 '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.[121] 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.[46]

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.[122]

Non-Muslims in mosques

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

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.[116]

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 maintaining mosques:

It is not for such as join gods with Allah, to 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 17[123]

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[124]

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 Al-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.[46] 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.[125]

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.[126][127]

In modern-day Saudi Arabia, the Grand Mosque and all of Mecca are open only to Muslims. Likewise, Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi and the city of Medina that surrounds it are also off-limits to those who do not practice Islam.[128] 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.[51]

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.[129]

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;[130] in 18th-century Egypt, Jews and Christians had to dismount before several mosques in veneration of their sanctity.[131]

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.[132]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ 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 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognized as an independent state by 112 out of 193 United Nations member states, while 12 states have recognized Kosovo only to later withdraw their recognition.
  1. ^ Survey was conducted in 2016, not 2009–2012.
  2. ^ Survey was only conducted in the southern five provinces.
  3. ^ Survey was conducted in 2013, not 2009–2012. Sample was taken from entire population of Yemen, which is approximately 99% Muslim.
  4. ^ Survey was conducted in 2015, not 2009–2012.
  5. ^ Survey was conducted in 2016, not 2009–2012.
  6. ^ Survey was conducted in 2008, not 2009–2012.
  7. ^ Survey was conducted in 2015, not 2009–2012.
  8. ^ Survey was conducted in 2008, not 2009–2012.
  9. ^ Survey was conducted in 2013, not 2009–2012. Sample was taken from entire population of Libya, which is approximately 97% Muslim.
  10. ^ Survey was conducted in 2016, not 2009–2012.
  11. ^ Survey was conducted in 2008, not 2009–2012.
  12. ^ Survey was conducted in 2008, not 2009–2012.
  13. ^ Survey was conducted in 2017, not 2009–2012.
  14. ^ Survey was conducted in 2017, not 2009–2012.

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Further reading

External links