13 May 2003, 13:32
Mosque (from Arabian "masdzhid" - a place of worship) - a Muslim prayful and public building. In a mosque the Quran is read, sermons are made, the state acts are disclosed, Islamic disciplines are studied. In a prayful hall of a mosque there is a mikhrab - a niche indicating a direction to Mecca to which the praying ones are obliged to turn their faces to. Nearby a minbar - pulpit of a preacher - is established. The floor is covered with carpets or mates. Everyone who enters the mosque must take off his shoes. Usually a mosque has one or several minarets (towers) from which muedzin proclaims an appeal to a pray (azan). Minarets are built either in a corner of a mosque, or above its entrance. At a mosque there is a reservoir or a room for ablution is usually attached to a mosque (prayers should be in a condition of prayful cleanliness), as well as a premise for storage of the religious literature. In cities there are "cathedral" mosques where a public pray takes place on Fridays with obligatory sermon reading, there are also quarter mosques for daily prays.