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Beat the Boredom

Learn the different tessellations and motifs of Islamic architecture from around the world.

What is a mosque?

A mosque is the house of worship for Muslims. The main component of a mosque is it’s prayer hall that is carpeted and lined, for Muslims to line up in straight rows without bumping into each other while praying. There are other key features including the dome, minaret, mihrab and mimbar. These features aren’t found in all mosques and depends in the country they are found in and the cultures that influence the architecture. For example a mosque in China and a mosque in Mali look completely different.

 

The Great Mosque of Xi’an built 742 CE in Xi’an, China.

Great Mosque of Djenne built in the 13th century in Djenne, Mali.

Neither of the mosques have stereotypical mosque features including a tall minaret and a dome. These two mosques represent the importance of diversity in Islam, and the influence of culture in the Muslim identity. In this module we will be creating our own personalised mosques with our own artistic designs and choosing which features we would like to include. Will it have a round dome? Will it have a short or a tall minaret? Geometric or floral patterns? It’s all up to you! Get creative with including Australian or  culture such as using red as a key colour to represent our red dirt or build an open air mosque like the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo, Egypt to enable air ventilation.

Key Features

Exterior Features

Dome 

Qubba [Qub-bah] in Arabic, is not a requirement for a mosque. The feauture symbolises the vault of heaven. When inside a mosque, the dome is decorated with culturally appropriate Islamic art. In Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and other Persian inspired cultures, they feature floral designs. In Morocco, Saudi Arabia and other Arabesque inspired cultures feature geometric designs.

Minaret

Manara [Ma-naa -ra] in Arabic, means beacon. A tower of which Muslims are called to prayer five times a day by a muezzin [mu-az-zin], a person who reads the call to prayer. 

Interior Features

Mihrab

A mihrab [meeh-raab] is a semicircle niche in the wall of a mosque, indicating the direction of the Kaaba in Makkah. These niches can be detailed to distinguish the wall from others.

Mimbar

The mimbar [meem-bar] is a stand in the mosque when the imam, the prayer leader, stands to deliver khutbah [khuut-bah], a sermon, specially for the Jummah prayers on Fridays. 

Building Your Mosque

To build your own mosque you will need the worksheets below and:

– A cardboard box approximately 30cm (W) x 15 (H) x 30cm (D) or any box you have at home

– Scissors

– Glue

– Sticky tape 

– Paint, texta, pencils or other materials to colour your mosque

– Paper 

Make sure to have your parent/ guardian assist you when using scissors! After completing your mosque, make sure to send us photos of your completed copy and we will share your beautiful work on our social media pages.

 

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