The Mosque Between the Past, Present, and its Function Beyond a Religious Space
The mosque; the Islamic holy place of prayer, carries a distinct structural characteristic and identity. It is a serene and spiritual architecture that brings individuals closer to their faith and divine entity. Prophet Muhammad’s original house in Medina (in present-day Saudi Arabia) is believed to be the first place of prayer, and served as a model for early mosque architecture; a mud-brick structure with living quarters on one side of an enclosed rectangular courtyard. Soon after, the allocation of open spaces in the center of towns where Muslims could gather and pray became more frequent, resulting in several spaces of worship with a universal spatial characteristic: their orientation towards Mecca.