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Islamic Architecture
 
Columns in prayer hall of a mosque
Can I design a prayer hall (of a mosque) with a lot of columns (for example, a grid of 2.5 by 2.5 meters accommodating two rows of three muslims in between)?

Muslims from Poland say it is forbidden.

I haven't yet seen a modern mosque with a lot of columns. On the other hand, we have the example of the Prophet's Mosque.

May it be specific to Polish muslims society?
Przemek Sieradzki
Responses
 
Columns in prayer hall of a mosque
during prayers muslims are required to stand 'shoulder to shoulder', it is a symbolism of equality in islam and it is very important.

if you were to look at later ottoman mosques you'd see the usage of domes to give clear spans of uninteruppted space.

columns are given in many mosques such as the prophets as well as the great mosque of cordoba and the great mosque of damascus.

what would be desirable is to give columns between rows so that there are no interuptions in the horizontal row of muslims standing togther in prayer.
Ahmed Asad Zuberi
Columns in prayer hall of a mosque
although i do not know the answer to your query, i do know of two mosques in delhi, built during 14 cent Tughlaq period, that incorporate pillars as well as courtyards in their design. one is Khirki Masjid and the other is Kalan Masjid at Nizamuddin. the former was discontinued to be used as a mosque very long ago. however, the latter is still in use. why so??? i dont know...but this is just to say that there are a few such mosques. the grid sizes in these are a little over 3 metres. maybe you need to increase the grid size, and make it a multiple of the prayer mats or something.
all t best.
Shubhru Gupta
Columns in prayer hall of a mosque
I do not believe there is anything forbidding the use of columns in a mosque, but as the previous responses have indicated Muslims need to stand in rows facing the qibla, therefore it is preferable for the columns to be in the axiz perpendicular to rather than parallel to the qibla.
The Prophet's mosque did have a lot of oclumns, and such mosques with columns are typically called the hypostyle mosque. However, that was due to limitations in technology. It is always best to have as large a span as possible.
Thus, if your question is simply a question of is it forbidden or permissible to have a grid column designs, I cannot say for sure since I am not a specialized religious scholar, but I believe the answer would be you can. However, if the question is rephrased in the form of 'would a mosque prayer hall with a grid of 2.5m x 2.5m be a good design?' then I would have to say it is always better to increase the span as much as possible. From personal experience, columns are a bit in the way when we come to stand in rows. Yet, at the same time, if it is a large mosque, they are useful to lean your back on during breaks between long prayer times.
Perhaps you can survey mosques around you or speak to other Muslims in the area.
Sara Sharaf
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