3-The Architecture of the Early Mosques

The Hypostyle Mosque: Mosque in which the prayer hall is formed of rows of vertical supports, or columns, that can multiply indefinitely. Dominant type in the early period.

The Liturgical Elements of a Mosque:

Salat or namaz (prayer): Is the ritual of symbolically facing toward God and declaring in recitation and in an elaborate series of bending, prostrating and genuflection the submission to Him.

Mihrab: A wall recess, mostly in the form of arched niche, in the Qibla wall, indicating the position of the prayer-leader facing the direction toward Mecca.

Minbar: The pulpit, mostly made of wood, put in a mosque near its mihrab, upon which the prayer-leader stands when he gives the congregational prayer's sermon on Fridays and in holidays.

Minaret: A tall slender tower, circular or square in section, built next or in a mosque, from which the Muslims are called to prayer. Mosques may have one, two, three, four, and up to six minarets.

Ablution Fountain: A feature frequently but not always encountered in mosques. It is usually put in the center of the mosque's courtyard for the worshipers to perform their ritual washing before prayer.

The Early Congregational Mosques of the Amsar:

Misr: Name of early Islamic garrison towns, founded in the conquered regions. The most famous amsar (pl. of misr) were Busra and Kufa in Iraq, Fustat in Egypt, and Qayrawan in Tunisia.  These settlements grew from informal encampments around a central mosque to capital cities within the first century Hegire (7th-8th century C. E.).

         -The Mosque of Kufa in Iraq (638, rebuilt 670).

         -The Mosque of Basra in Iraq (635, rebuilt 665).

         -The Mosque of ‘Amru, Fustat, Egypt (641-42).

         -Other Early Examples of Mosques in Bosra, South Syria (late 7th c.).