You have no items in your shopping cart.
Search
Filters

The Making of the Mosque


A Survey of Religious Imperatives


The fact that many features are standard to the oldest surviving mosques suggests that a canonical type, mostly a courtyard surrounded by four porticoes, did exist early in Islamic history. While the structure built by the Prophet in Madina, soon after the Hijra in 622 AD, is believed by many to have later provided the prototype of the mosque, the dominant theory that it was only a private residence casts doubt on that belief. The current study provides fresh evidence, based on the Qurʾān, ḥadīth and early poetry, that this structure was indeed built to be a mosque.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0727-4
  • *
Publication Status: Forthcoming

Publication Date: Apr 12,2019
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 493
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0727-4
$125.00
$100.00

The fact that many features are standard to the oldest surviving mosques suggests that a canonical type, mostly a courtyard surrounded by four porticoes, did exist early in Islamic history. Such a template would have been copied by the builders of later mosques, combined with modifications inspired by the varying local architectural heritage. The evolution of such a universally-endorsed prototype, and the many influences that shaped it, have been copiously discussed. In the absence of reliable archaeological evidence, nonetheless, the question of how the mosque was made represents a real challenge. Its origin remains moot despite many attempts to settle the question. However, the devotional prompts for the mosque institution are either underestimated or totally dismissed by most writings, mainly because of the belief that the Prophet did not fundamentally know the mosque type. The idea that the creation of the mosque has only little to do with the Prophet’s career is supported by formulaic views on Arabia and Islam (a region of poor architectural and artistic heritage; a religion dismissive of building and decoration). While the structure built by the Prophet in Madina, soon after the Hijra in 622 AD, is believed by many to have later provided the prototype of the mosque, the dominant theory that it was only a private residence casts doubt on that belief. The current study provides fresh evidence, based on the Qurʾān, ḥadīth and early poetry, that this structure was indeed built to be a mosque. This finding is decisive for a number of undecided issues such as the immediate origin of the mosque type and the kind of impulses that shaped its design. A mosque founded and approved by the Prophet would constitute a religious context for the development of the mosque and give the big number of mosque-related ḥadīths more point and more reliability.

The fact that many features are standard to the oldest surviving mosques suggests that a canonical type, mostly a courtyard surrounded by four porticoes, did exist early in Islamic history. Such a template would have been copied by the builders of later mosques, combined with modifications inspired by the varying local architectural heritage. The evolution of such a universally-endorsed prototype, and the many influences that shaped it, have been copiously discussed. In the absence of reliable archaeological evidence, nonetheless, the question of how the mosque was made represents a real challenge. Its origin remains moot despite many attempts to settle the question. However, the devotional prompts for the mosque institution are either underestimated or totally dismissed by most writings, mainly because of the belief that the Prophet did not fundamentally know the mosque type. The idea that the creation of the mosque has only little to do with the Prophet’s career is supported by formulaic views on Arabia and Islam (a region of poor architectural and artistic heritage; a religion dismissive of building and decoration). While the structure built by the Prophet in Madina, soon after the Hijra in 622 AD, is believed by many to have later provided the prototype of the mosque, the dominant theory that it was only a private residence casts doubt on that belief. The current study provides fresh evidence, based on the Qurʾān, ḥadīth and early poetry, that this structure was indeed built to be a mosque. This finding is decisive for a number of undecided issues such as the immediate origin of the mosque type and the kind of impulses that shaped its design. A mosque founded and approved by the Prophet would constitute a religious context for the development of the mosque and give the big number of mosque-related ḥadīths more point and more reliability.

Write your own review
  • Only registered users can write reviews
  • Bad
  • Excellent
Contributor Biography

Essam Ayyad

Dr Essam Ayyad received his PhD in the history of Islamic civilization from the University of Leeds, UK, in 2011. He is currently working as an assistant professor of Islamic history at Qatar University. Before joining Qatar, he was elected to Imam Tirmizi Visiting Research Fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, a recognized independent centre of the University of Oxford. He joined Oxford as a visiting research fellow during Trinity Term 2016. Earlier in 2015, Dr Ayyad joined the Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge as a visiting scholar. His main interest is to explore the array of prompts and modalities that shaped the various aspects of Islamic civilization, with most of his studies centring on the early period.

Table of Contents (v) 
Acknowledgments (ix) 
Transliteration (xi)
Charts, Tables, Plates and Figures (xiii)

Chapter One. Introduction—Aim and Scope (1)
1.1 Why the religious context for mosque evolution has been underestimated so far? (4)
1.2 Dominant perspectives on the Prophet and his homeland (7) 
1.3 Problems with these views (21)
1.4 Questions and methodology (43)

Chapter 2. Sources for the Study of Early Mosques (47) 
2.1 Introduction (47) 
2.2 Arabic literary sources (48)
2.3 Other existing evidence (69)
2.4 Conclusion (87)

Chapter 3. Studying Ḥadīth (93) 
3.1 Introduction (93) 
3.2 Ḥadīth in modern scholarship (96) 
3.3 History of ḥadīth transmission (106)
3.4 Dialectics about the authoritativeness of the tradition (123) 
3.5 Conclusion (133)

Chapter 4. The ‘House of the Prophet’ or the ‘Mosque of the Prophet’? (137) 
4.1 Introduction (137)
4.2 Existing theories on the Prophet’s building (138)
4.3 The ‘House of the Prophet’ theory (147)
4.4 The ‘Mosque of the Prophet’ theory (150)
4.5 Ḥadīth and the ‘Mosque of the Prophet’ (166)
4.6 The Qurʾān and the ‘Mosque of the Prophet’ (180)
4.7 Other mosques in the time of the Prophet (196)
4.8 Conclusion (205)

Chapter 5. A Prophetic Perspective of the Mosque: Layout and Architectural Components (209) 
5.1 Introduction (209) 
5.2 Status of the mosque (211) 
5.3 Site (216)
5.4 Mosque layout (229) 
5.5 Architectural components of the mosque (231)
5.6 Conclusion (265)

Chapter 6. A Prophetic Perspective of the Mosque: Elaboration and Decoration (269) 
6.1 Introduction (269) 
6.2 Discussing anti-building traditions (269) 
6.3 Mosque-related ḥadīths: a theoretical framework (284) 
6.4 Decoration (299) 
6.5 Conclusion (313)

Chapter 7. Evolution of Mosque Architecture: Between‘Orthodoxy’ and Other Modalities (315) 
7.1 Introduction (315) 
7.2 Evolution of the mosque under the Rāshidūn (322)
7.3 Evolution of the mosque under the Umayyads (347)
7.4 Conclusion (389)

Chapter 8. Conclusions (395)

Bibliography (407)
Index (455)