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جمعه 22 آذر 1398
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Sight seeing of Iran

Tomb Of Hafez, Shiraz

Amir Chakhmaq Square, Yazd

Mosque

The mosque (masjed in Arabic and Persian, literally “a place of prostration”) is the most important religious institution in Iran. Larger congregational mosques (Masjed Jame) are intended for Friday prayers. The first mosque was copied from the house of the Prophet Mohammad at Medina and had a very simple and austere design. This mosque was an enclosure surrounded by mud brick walls which was covered by a flat wooden or reed mat roof resting on mud or brick supporting pillars on the qibla side (the side facing Mecca), and occasionally on other sides as well. Every mosque has a mihrab (an ornate niche that marks the direction of Mecca) and a minbar (a lofty pulpit usually standing by the mihrab).

The mihrab is used by the imam when he delivers the Friday sermon. Throughout the Islamic world, which stretched from Spain to India, the structure of the mosque was influenced by local materials and architectural traditions. Within Iran, a distinctive mosque type, laid on the foundations of its Sassanid predecessors, has been developed. This mosque consisted of large prayer halls arranged around a courtyard and entered through “eivans” (porticos). In the first mosques, which were converted from Sassanid fire temples, usually one eivan was built. It marked the qibla side and high lighted the sanctuary of the former fire temple. Soon afterwards, the opposite, northern wall of the mosque’s courtyard was also emphasized by the eivan. The Iranian mosque took its final form in the 12th century with the four-eivan structure. The congregational Mosque of Zavareh is the first mosque of this peculiar Iranian type.

Although the mosque has undergone many architectural changes, it essentially remains an open space, generally roofed over, containing a “mihrab” and a “minbar”, with a “minaret” sometimes added to it. An ablutions pool, containing running water, is usually attached to the mosque but may be separated from it. Each mosque is built with its front wall facing Mecca. In the decorative treatment of Iranian mosques, glazed tiling with floral and geometric motifs has become the specific feature. The prolific use of calligraphy, brick bonding patterns, “moqarnas”, and stucco work are the other most important elements of architectural ornamentation.

 

Refrence(s):

- Beheshti, Oksana (2003). Travel guide to Isfahan, Kashan and more. Iran. Tehran. Rozaneh publication.

 

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