Is it true that Islam does not recognize the prophets of the other monotheistic religions?
What color is the sacred stone built into the Kaaba shrine?
Who is seated on the raised platform in the center of the courtyard?
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word originates from the Arabic word ´masjid,´ meaning ´place of prostration´ and comes from the word ´sajada,´ meaning ´to bow down in prayer´ and the prefix ´ma-,´ denoting place. There are several types of mosques. The most important of them are the Jami mosques, meaning Friday mosques. These are also called grand or congregational mosques, as this is where the congregation of a town gathers for Friday prayers.
One of the most magnificent mosques in the world is located in Isfahan, Iran. The city was an important center of the Parthian Empire, and later the capital of the Seljuq Empire. The grand mosque of the city is called the Jameh Mosque. Its structure reflects the typical features of Islamic architecture.
The exterior features domes and minarets – towers from where muezzins call Muslims to prayer. The interior is a single, unfurnished, open yard. The Qiblah wall is located opposite the entrance, perpendicularly to the direction of Mecca, the direction which Muslims face while praying. A niche in the Qiblah wall, called mihrab, indicates the direction of Mecca.
The most characteristic structural elements of the yard are the iwans: rectangular, vaulted halls, walled on three sides. The rich decoration of the gates of the four iwans ranks them among the masterpieces of Islamic architecture. There are also several fountains and washbasins in the yard, as Muslims are required to ritually clean themselves before praying. The magnificent architectural elements of the Jameh Mosque provide a worthy venue for Muslims to gather and pray.