The Early Mosque Revisited: Introduction of the Minbar and Maqṣūra
journal article
As the mosque evolved in response to the contested authority of Islam’s early rulers, the dependency of this authority upon the public audience in the mosque gave rise to a series of changes that occurred within the qibla of the mosque. By considering the congregational mosques at Kufa, Basra, Damascus, Wasit, and Madina between 630 and 715, and revisiting the development of their qibla spaces, three changes are presented as embodiments of this shift. This includes the development of the minbar as a platform for the khuṭba (Friday sermon) and of the enclosure screen (maqṣūra) in front of the qibla for the caliph, as well as the provision of direct access to the dār al-imāra via the qibla wall. By situating these developments within the context of contested religious and political authority in early Islam, this study challenges paradigms of formal influence in the interpretation of mosque architecture.
Mostafa, Heba. "The Early Mosque Revisited: Introduction of the Minbar and Maqṣūra." Muqarnas: An Annual On The Visual Cultures Of The Islamic World 33 (2016): 1-16.
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Heba Mostafa