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Islam is the youngest and among the world’s major faith, which came to existence in the 7th century. It centers on Allah’s message, the Arabic word for God received by Muhammad, a prophet via the intermediate angel Gabriel. A follower of Islam is commonly referred to as a Muslim. The Islamic art historians and archeologists tried to describe the meaning in the architecture in the objects’ art and in painting. This paper shall focus on the major elements of the early mosque building, address the significance, functions, and development of the mosque’s major elements. The paper will also explain the origin and sources of the Ottoman congregational Mosques’ architectural forms.

The general Islamic art is functional, for instance, metalwork, buildings, and pottery. It is highly prohibited to make realistic images of any living creature that exist especially human images. This is because believes within the Muslim community that any representation of god’s work is imperfect and, therefore, it is dishonorable. Thus, the Islamic art under any circumstances does not emulate any living thing. This leads to a severe punishment in hell in attempting to be like God for any artist who tries to create realistic art, for instance, life-like painting.

Elements of the Mosque Building and Their Origin


Origin of the mosque

The origin of the mosque was back in Medina, presently known as Saudi Arabia, where the house of Prophet Muhammad was converted to be the first mosque. As a result, it served as a model of the early mosque architecture. The house was a mud-brick structure with an enclosed rectangular courtyard containing the living quarters on one side. Muhammad’s followers started to gather in his home to worship and conduct prayers; therefore, the courtyard side facing the direction of prayer used by worshippers was called the qibla. They incorporated a porch that is covered by the palm branches that were to offer them shelter from the hot sun. This gave a blueprint for the large number of mosques that were built later in the Arab land as they followed the general layout of the prophet’s house.

Elements of early mosque building    

The mosque’s early architectural elements portray how the founders of the religious faith came up with structures of worship. The mosque’s early essential architectural elements included; qibla, which was the general direction that the Muslims faced when praying toward ka’bain mecca. There was a wall in a mosque that faces mecca that was called the qibla wall. Secondly, the mihrab acts as a niche in the mosque, and it indicates the direction in which the Muslim perform the salat. Thirdly the minbar/member is commonly a pulpit, which is in the form of the staircase in which the leader of the prayer, referred to as imam, stands when delivering the sermon. Another element of the early mosque is the minaret, which is a tall tower adjacent to the mosque. The purpose of this is the call for prayer that is issued five times a day can be heard clearly in the city where the mosque is located.



The function and the significance, appearance, and the development of the elements of mosque architecture

The mosque architecture elements have a vital role in the smooth running of the mosque in general. At this juncture, this paper shall focus on the appearance of this feature of the mosque, address the functions and significance of these features. To begin with, the minaret which is a tall tower that is normally located in the corner of the mosque. Minaret can be more than one in some mosques. They are basically for calling during the prayer time. They are tall such that the calling might be heard throughout the city in which the mosque stands.

Mihrab is very instrumental in the mosque. It is commonly a niche on the wall to indicate the direction of mecca. It is commonly semicircular, and the Muslims worshiping in the mosque align towards it for prayer. The minbar is another mosque architecture element that plays a great role in the mosque. It is a raised platform that is located in the prayer room that the prayer leader uses to deliver messages. Maqsura equally plays a great role as the ruler uses it for protection purposes and the status it is located close to the mihrab and the minbar and can be defined by a timber screen and metal. It can effectively be used for communal prayers also.

A portal is described as an opening in a building wall. The entrance portal in a mosque was made of metal gates. The surface that surrounds the entrance was decorated with ornaments. The entrance portal has the elements such as tympanum and voussoir. The columns of a portal entrance consist of the curving of the saints. This was particularly done to honor them significantly. Lastly, the internal façade in the mosque is also a very significant aspect from the design viewpoint. It actually set the tone for the whole mosque building. The internal façade is of great importance due to its energy efficiency.

Origin of the architectural form of the ottoman congregation mosque

The origin of the Ottoman Empire’s architecture is in Adrianople and Bursa back in the thirteenth century. They developed from the Seljuk architecture under the influence of the byzantine architecture. For more than four hundred years, the Byzantine architectural artifacts served as the ottoman mosque models. The architectural artifacts used in this case included the church of Hagai Sophia, which helped to serve the mosque. In generality, the ottoman architecture has been designated as the byzantine, which is additionally synthesized with architectural traditions of the Persia, Balkans, and some parts of the Middle East.


The Muslim faith is the youngest but among the major faith in existence had a solid foundation from Muhammad’s founding prophet. It has been a long trail since the 7th century. The unit that existed when the faith began in Muhammad’s house back in Medina, where his followers came to fellowship, kept the faith strong all through. Long after the prophet’s death, the faith was kept intact still because of the prevailing unit that existed from the beginning. The mosque architecture development originally was emulated from the prophet’s house designating unit and loyalty to the prophet. The mosque was designed to take the significant elements that were to ensure the smooth running of the worship services in the mosque. In summary, the Muslims worship Allah, and they recite the Quran as well. They believe there will be a judgment day and life after death.

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