Mihrab, also known as a prayer niche, is a common element of Islamic Mosque architecture throughout the world.
The mihrab is symbolically cut over the jaali or marble lattice screen in Humayun’s Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In place of the traditional Surah An-Noor (Commandments) of Quran inscribed on the mihrabs, there is just an outline allowing light to enter from the Qibla or direction of the Mecca.
Mecca is the city in which the Prophet Muhammad was born, and the home of the most important Islamic site, the Kaaba. The direction of Mecca is called the Qibla, and so the wall in which the Mihrab is set is called the Qibla Wall.
- A mihrab in India will be to the west, while a one in Egypt will be to the east.
- The origin of Mihrab is non religious. A special room (used for private worship) in the house was referred as mihrab
- Mihrabs vary in size, are usually ornately decorated and designed to give the impression of an arched doorway or a passage to Mecca
- The mihrab originated in the reign of the Umayyad prince al-Walīd I (705–715), during which time the famous mosques at Medina, Jerusalem, and Damascus were built
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Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe