ANSWERS: 2
  • Muslim temple or public places of worship. Each are different and the temples are different that the outside places of religion.
  • A mosque is a place of worship used by Muslims. The English word "mosque" is derived from its Arabic equivalent, masjid, which means "place of prostration." It is in the mosque that Muslims perform their prayers, a part of which includes placing the forehead on the floor. A mosque is a place that is specifically dedicated as a place of prayer. However, there is nothing sacred about the building or the place itself. There is no equivalent of an altar in a mosque. A Muslim may pray on any clean surface. Muslims often pray in public places. The musalla, or prayer hall, in each mosque is oriented in the direction of Mecca, toward which Muslims face during prayers. Prayer halls are open and uncluttered to accommodate lines of worshippers who stand and bow in unison. There are no pews or chairs. Members of the congregation sit on the floor. Because Muslim men and women form separate lines when they stand in prayers, some mosques will have a balcony reserved for the use of women. Other mosques will accommodate men and women in the same musalla, or they may have two separate areas for men and women. All mosques have some sort of mihrab, or niche, that indicates which wall of the mosque faces Mecca. The mihrab is often decorated with Arabic calligraphy. Its curved shape helps reflect the voice of the imam, or prayer leader, back toward the congregation. Many mosques also have a minbar, or pulpit, to the right of the mihrab. During the Friday prayer service, the imam delivers a sermon from the minbar. Many mosques have a minaret, the large tower used to issue the call to prayer five times each day. Facilities to perform wudu, or ablutions, can be found in all mosques. Muslims wash their hands, faces and feet before prayers as a way to purify and prepare themselves to stand before God. Wudu facilities range from washbasins to specially designed areas with built-in benches, floor drains and faucets. Bookshelves are found in most mosques. They contain works of Islamic philosophy, theology and law, as well as collections of the traditions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Copies of the Quran, Islam's revealed text, are always available to worshippers.

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