In architecture, a cupola is a small, most dome-like, tall structure on top of a building. Used to provide a lookout or to admit light and air, it crowns a larger roof or dome; the word derives, via Italian, from the lower Latin cupula "small cup" indicating a vault resembling an upside down cup. The cupola is a development during the Renaissance of the oculus, an ancient device found in Roman architecture, but being weatherproof was superior for the wetter climates of northern Europe; the chhatri, seen in Indian architecture, fits the definition of a cupola when it is used atop a larger structure. Cupolas appear as small buildings in their own right, they serve as a belfry, belvedere, or roof lantern above a main roof. In other cases they may crown tower, or turret. Barns have cupolas for ventilation; the square, dome-like segment of a North American railroad train caboose that contains the second-level or "angel" seats is called a cupola. Some armored fighting vehicles have cupolas, called commander's cupola, a raised dome or cylinder with armored glass to provide 360-degree vision around the vehicle.
The Badshahi Mosque is a Mughal era masjid in Lahore, capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab, Pakistan. The mosque is located west of Lahore Fort along the outskirts of the Walled City of Lahore, is considered to be one of Lahore's most iconic landmarks; the Badshahi Mosque was commissioned by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671, with construction of the mosque lasting for two years until 1673. The mosque is an important example of Mughal architecture, with an exterior, decorated with carved red sandstone with marble inlay, it remains the largest and most recent of the grand imperial mosques of the Mughal-era, is the second-largest mosque in Pakistan. After the fall of the Mughal Empire, the mosque was used as a garrison by the Sikh Empire and the British Empire, is now one of Pakistan's most iconic sights; the mosque is located adjacent to the Walled City of Pakistan. The entrance to the mosque lies on the western side of the rectangular Hazuri Bagh, faces the famous Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort, located on the eastern side of the Hazuri Bagh.
The mosque is located next to the Roshnai Gate, one of the original thirteen gates of Lahore, located to the southern side of the Hazuri Bagh. Near the entrance of the mosque lies the Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal, a poet revered in Pakistan as the founder of the Pakistan Movement which led to the creation of Pakistan as a homeland for the Muslims of British India. Located near the mosque's entrance is the tomb of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, credited for playing a major role in preservation and restoration of the mosque. Lahore was considered a strategic center as it protected the empire from potential invaders from the west; the city was made an imperial capital by the earlier Emperor, who established the nearby Lahore Fort. The sixth Mughal emperor, chose Lahore as the site for his new imperial mosque. Aurangzeb, unlike the previous emperors, was not a major patron of art and architecture and instead focused, during much of his reign, on various military conquests which added over 3 million square kilometres to the Mughal realm.
The mosque was built to commemorate military campaigns against the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji, although construction of the mosque exhausted the Mughal treasury and weakened the Mughal state. As a symbol of the mosque's importance, it was built directly across from the Lahore Fort and its Alamgiri Gate, concurrently built by Aurangzeb during construction of the mosque; the mosque was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671, with construction overseen by the Emperor's foster brother, Governor of Lahore, Muzaffar Hussein - known by the name Fidai Khan Koka. Aurangzeb had the mosque built in order to commemorate his military campaigns against the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji. After only two years of construction, the mosque was opened in 1673. On 7 July 1799, the Sikh army of Ranjit Singh took control of Lahore. After the capture of the city, Maharaja Ranjit Singh used its vast courtyard as a stable for his army horses, its 80 Hujras as quarters for his soldiers and as magazines for military stores.
In 1818, he built a marble edifice in the Hazuri Bagh facing the mosque, known as the Hazuri Bagh Baradari, which he used as his official royal court of audience. Marble slabs for the baradari may have been plundered by the Sikhs from other monuments in Lahore. During the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1841, Ranjit Singh's son, Sher Singh, used the mosque's large minarets for placement of zamburahs or light guns which were used to bombard the supporters of Chand Kaur, who had taken refuge in the besieged Lahore Fort. In one of these bombardments, the fort's Diwan-e-Aam was destroyed, but was subsequently rebuilt in the British era. During this time, Henri de La Rouche, a French cavalry officer employed in the army of Sher Singh used a tunnel connecting the Badshahi mosque to the Lahore fort to temporarily store gunpowder. In 1848, the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh was built for the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh at a site adjacent to the mosque after his death. In 1849 the British seized control of Lahore from the Sikh Empire.
During the British Raj, the mosque and the adjoining fort continued to be used as a military garrison. The 80 cells built into the walls surrounding the its vast courtyard were demolished by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, so as to prevent them from being used for anti-British activities; the cells were replaced by open arcades known as dalans. Because of increasing Muslim resentment against the use of the mosque as a military garrison, the British set up the Badshahi Mosque Authority in 1852 to oversee the restoration and to re-establish it as a place of religious worship. From onwards, piecemeal repairs were carried out under the supervision of the Badshahi Mosque Authority; the building was handed back to the Muslim community by John Lawrence, the Viceroy of India. The building was re-established as a mosque. In April 1919, after the Amritsar Massacre, a mixed Sikh and Muslim crowd of an estimated 25,000-35,000 gathered in the mosque's courtyard in protest. A speech by Gandhi was read at the event by Khalifa Shuja-ud-Din, who would become Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab.
Extensive repairs commenced from 1939 onwards, when Sikandar Hayat Khan began raising funds for this purpose. Renovation was supervised by supervised by the architect Nawab Alam Yar Jung Bahadur; as Khan was credited for extensive restorations to the mosque, he was buried adjacent to the mosque in the Hazuri Bagh. Restoration works begun in 1939 continued after the Independence of Pakistan, were complet
The Mughal Empire or Mogul Empire was an empire in the Indian subcontinent, founded in 1526. It was established and ruled by the Timurid dynasty, with Turco-Mongol Chagatai roots from Central Asia, claiming direct descent from both Genghis Khan and Timur, with significant Indian Rajput and Persian ancestry through marriage alliances; the dynasty was Indo-Persian in culture, combining Persianate culture with local Indian cultural influences visible in its court culture and administrative customs. The beginning of the empire is conventionally dated to the victory by its founder Babur over Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, in the First Battle of Panipat. During the reign of Humayun, the successor of Babur, the empire was interrupted by the Sur Empire established by Sher Shah Suri; the "classic period" of the Mughal Empire began with the ascension of Akbar to the throne. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to the Mughal dominance of northwestern India, but most of them were subdued by Akbar.
All Mughal emperors were Muslims. The Mughal Empire did not try to intervene in native societies during most of its existence, rather co-opting and pacifying them through concilliatory administrative practices and a syncretic, inclusive ruling elite, leading to more systematic and uniform rule. Traditional and newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, the Pashtuns, the Hindu Jats and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience. Internal dissatisfaction arose due to the weakness of the empire's administrative and economic systems, leading to its break-up and declarations of independence of its former provinces by the Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh, the Nizam of Hyderabad and other small states. In 1739, the Mughals were crushingly defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, Delhi was sacked and looted, drastically accelerating their decline.
By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had routed Mughal armies and won over several Mughal provinces from the Punjab to Bengal. During the following century Mughal power had become limited, the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, had authority over only the city of Shahjahanabad. Bahadur issued a firman supporting the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Consequent to the rebellion's defeat he was tried by the British East India Company for treason and exiled to Rangoon; the last remnants of the empire were formally taken over by the British, the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act 1858 to enable the Crown formally to displace the rights of the East India Company and assume direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj. At its height, the Mughal Empire stretched from Kabul, Afghanistan in the west to Arakan, Myanmar in the east, from Kashmir in the north to the Deccan Plateau in the south, extending over nearly all of the Indian subcontinent, it was the third largest empire in the Indian subcontinent, spanning four million square kilometers at its zenith, 122% of the size of the modern Republic of India.
The maximum expansion was reached during the reign of Aurangzeb, who ruled over more than 150 million subjects, nearly 25% of the world's population at the time. The Mughal Empire ushered in a period of proto-industrialization, around the 17th century, Mughal India became the world's largest economic and manufacturing power, responsible for 25% of global industrial output until the 18th century; the Mughal Empire is considered "India's last golden age" and one of the three Islamic Gunpowder Empires. The reign of Shah Jahan represented the height of Mughal architecture, with famous monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Moti Masjid, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Lahore Fort being constructed during his reign. Contemporaries referred to the empire founded by Babur as the Timurid empire, which reflected the heritage of his dynasty, this was the term preferred by the Mughals themselves; the Mughal designation for their own dynasty was Gurkani. The use of Mughal derived from the Arabic and Persian corruption of Mongol, it emphasised the Mongol origins of the Timurid dynasty.
The term remains disputed by Indologists. Similar terms had been used to refer to the empire, including "Mogul" and "Moghul". Babur's ancestors were distinguished from the classical Mongols insofar as they were oriented towards Persian rather than Turco-Mongol culture. Another name for the empire was Hindustan, documented in the Ain-i-Akbari, and, described as the closest to an official name for the empire. In the west, the term "Mughal" was used for the emperor, by extension, the empire as a whole; the Mughal Empire was founded by Babur, a Central Asian ruler, descended from the Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur on his father's side and from Chagatai, the second son of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan, on his mother's side. Ousted from his ancestral domains in C
A merlon is the solid upright section of a battlement in medieval architecture or fortifications. Merlons are sometimes pierced by narrow, vertical embrasures or slits designed for observation and fire; the space between two merlons is called a crenel, a succession of merlons and crenels is a crenellation. Crenels designed in eras for use by cannons were called embrasures; the word comes from the French language, adapted from the Italian merlone a shortened form of mergola, connected with Latin mergae, or from a diminutive moerulus, from murus or moerus. An alternative etymology suggests that the medieval Latin merulus functioned as a diminutive of Latin merle, "blackbird", expressing an image of this bird sitting on a wall; as an essential part of battlements, merlons were used in fortifications for millennia. The best-known examples appear on medieval buildings, where battlements, though defensive, could be attractively formed, thus having a secondary decorative purpose; some buildings have false "decorative battlements".
The two most notable European variants in Middle Ages merlons shape were the Ghibelline and the Guelph merlon: the former ended in the upper part with a swallow-tailed form, while the latter term indicates the normal rectangular shape merlons. Other shapes include: three-pointed, shielded, flower-like, pyramidal, etc. depending either from the type of attacks expected or aesthetic considerations. In Roman times, the merlons had a width sufficient to shelter a single man; as new weapons appeared in the Middle Ages, the merlons were enlarged and provided with loop-holes of various dimensions and shapes, varying from rounded to cruciform. From the 13th century, the merlons could be used to pivot wooden shutters; the shutters could be opened by hand, or by using a pulley. After falling out of favour when the invention of the cannon forced fortifications to take a much lower profile, merlons re-emerged as decorative features in buildings constructed in the neo-Gothic style of the 19th century; the three peaks of today's Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Italian Dolomites were known as the Drei Zinnen, German for the Three Merlons.
Battlement Embrasure called a crenel Defensive walls Machicolation Balestracci, D.. "I materiali da costruzione nel castello medievale". Archeologia Medievale: 227–242. Luisi, R.. Scudi di pietra, I castelli e l’arte della guerra tra Medioevo e Rinascimento. Bari. ISBN 88-420-5083-0
Lal Masjid, Islamabad
The Lal Masjid is a mosque located in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. The Red Mosque located on Masjid Road is one of the oldest mosques within the capital. Before the construction of Faisal Mosque, the largest in the capital as well as the country, it was in the Red Mosque that presidents and other high public dignitaries came to offer ceremonial prayers. Located at a centralized position, it lies in close proximity to the two busiest commercial centres of the city, Aabparah market in the east and Melody market in the north, it is named for its red walls and interiors. According to Capital Development Authority records, the Lal Masjid is one of the oldest Mosques in Islamabad. Maulana Muhammad Abdullah was appointed its first imam. Abdullah was critical of all governments except Zia's with whom he was close. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq had close relationship with Maulana Muhammad Abdullah, the former head of the mosque. During the Soviet–Afghan War, the Red Mosque played a major role in recruiting and training mujahideen to fight with Alongside Afghan mujahideen.
Throughout its existence, it has enjoyed patronage from influential members of the government, prime ministers, army chiefs, presidents. Several thousand male and female students live in adjacent seminaries. After Maulana Muhammad Abdullah was assassinated in 1998, his sons Abdul Aziz and Abdul Rashid took over the mosque, Abdul Aziz remains the official khateeb of the Mosque. On July 3, 2007, the stand-off between the students barricaded inside the mosque and the government resulted in bloody gun battles in which over twenty people, including students of the mosque, members of the media, paramilitary personnel, a businessman were killed and over one hundred others were injured. An FIR was registered against Aziz and Rashid with charges ranging from kidnapping and murder to treason, as well as terrorism. People who supported the activities of Lal Masjid said they were only attacking "Chinese girls who were prostitutes and they destroying CD shops which sold pornography." Lal Masjid held on to what many people call "pure and true Muslim ethic" and what the opposing parties called "fundamental and dogmatic".
Aziz and Rashid were negotiating the conflict with Senior Minister for Religious Affairs, Ijaz-ul-Haq in consultation with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, President Pakistan Muslim League. Till last minute reports, the negotiations were deemed successful. After the minister left the Mosque, he changed his stance and could not defend the commitments he made at the mosque. Government and Security officials had asked Maulana Abdul Rashid to surrender but he refused, he proposed that if government would give him and his students safe passage to allow him to live a silent life in his home village, he would hand over Lal Masjid to government, Jamia Hafsa and Jamia Faridia to Wafaqul Madaris. This agreement was made between Ulmai Karam and Government including Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain but at the final moment President Pervez Musharaf canceled the agreement and ordered to attack the mosque where hundreds of female students were present On July 8, 2007, most of the private media outlets became convinced from the movements of the security forces on the ground that they were preparing to storm the building.
At dawn on Tuesday, July 10, after attempts at negotiation failed, government troops stormed the mosque, taking control of most of the complex. Many conflicting reports swirled around the incident and it is difficult to determine the truth of these given the sensitive political nature of the event. Many Believe The Causality Was Between 300 To 400 When Asked About The Alleged foreigners the government was unable to prove the presence of any foreigners in the mosque and Many Believe that some locals as Were Dubbed As Foreigners. Following the week-long siege, the country entered a three-day mourning period; the bodies of those killed were buried in temporary graves. Hundreds of Abdul Rashid's supporters attended his funeral in his Punjabi village, amid calls for Holy War; this gave rise to fears of a violent backlash from fundamentalist quarters. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda's second in command, released a message which included the sentence: "Your salvation is only through jihad", heightening tensions in the region.
On July 6, 2008, at 7:50 PM local time, a bomb exploded near Lal Masjid killing 18 policemen and 1 civilian. A Pakistani official claims the bombing occurred on the first anniversary of the siege and was a revenge attack; the attack occurred amidst tight security in Islamabad, where thousands of Islamic students in Pakistan came to mark the day when Pakistani troops stormed Lal Masjid. The blast was the work of a suicide bomber around 30 years of age. Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik, who visited the blast site, said about 12,000 students attended the rally and the attack was directed at the police; the mosque was rebuilt in 2009, after being released from prison Abdul Aziz resumed to lead prayers at the mosque, the government has attempted to remove him multiple times most notably in December 2014 and May 2018 but the government has always faced backlash and forced removal of any other appointee. After taking over the mosque he has built a small library inside it and has named it after his late brother Abdul Rasheed Ghazi @Lal Masjid Official @Jamia Hafsa Official
Wazir Khan Mosque
The Wazir Khan Mosque is 17th century mosque located in the city of Lahore, capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab. The mosque was commissioned during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as part of an ensemble of buildings that included the nearby Shahi Hammam baths. Construction of Wazir Khan Mosque began in 1634 C. E. and was completed in 1641. Considered to be the most ornately decorated Mughal-era mosque, Wazir Khan Mosque is renowned for its intricate faience tile work known as kashi-kari, as well as its interior surfaces that are entirely embellished with elaborate Mughal-era frescoes; the mosque has been under extensive restoration since 2009 under the direction of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Government of Punjab, with contributions from the governments of Germany and the United States. The mosque is located in the Walled City of Lahore along the southern side of Lahore's Shahi Guzargah, or "Royal Road,", the traditional route traversed by Mughal nobles on their way to royal residences at the Lahore Fort.
The mosque is situated 260 metres west of the Delhi Gate, where the mosque's Shahi Hammam is located. The mosque faces a town square known as Wazir Khan Chowk, the Chitta Gate; the mosque was commissioned by the chief physician to the Mughal Court, Ilam-ud-din Ansari, known as Wazir Khan. Wazir Khan became the subedar, or Viceroy of Punjab, commissioned several monuments in Lahore. Wazir Khan owned substantial amounts of property near the Delhi Gate, commissioned the Wazir Khan mosque in 1634 in order to enclose the tomb of Miran Badshah, an esteemed Sufi saint whose tomb now lies in the courtyard of the mosque. Prior to construction of the Wazir Khan Mosque, the site had been occupied by an older shrine to the saint; the mosque's interior was richly embellished with frescoes that synthesize Mughal and local Punjabi decorative traditions, while the exterior of the mosque was lavishly decorated with intricate Persian-style kashi-kari tile work. Wazir Khan's mosque superseded the older Maryam Zamani Mosque as the Lahore main mosque for congregations Friday prayers.
Wazir Khan's mosque was part of a larger complex that included a row of shops traditionally reserved for calligraphers and bookbinders, the town square in front of the mosque's main entrance. Wazir Khan Mosque features South Asia's first example of a purpose-built Central Asian charsu bazaar, or four-axis bazaar - although in the Wazir Khan Mosque adaptation, two of the four axises are aligned as the mosque's entryway, while the other two form the Calligrapher's Bazaar. In addition to the row of shops that formed the "Calligrapher's Bazaar," the mosque rented space to other types of merchants in the mosque's northern and eastern façades, ran the nearby Shahi Hammam. Revenues from these sources were meant to serve as a waqf, or endowment, for the mosque's maintenance. Construction of the mosque began under the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in either 1634 or 1635, was completed in seven years. In the late 1880s, John Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard Kipling, wrote about the mosque and its decorative elements in the former Journal of Indian Art.
The British scholar Fred Henry Andrews noted in 1903. The mosque is built with the main portal opening onto the Wazir Khan Chowk; the outer perimeter of the Wazir Khan Mosque measures 279 feet by 159 feet, with the long axis parallel to the Shahi Guzargah. It was built with bricks laid in kankad lime. Wazir Khan mosque is renowned for its elaborate embellishment in a style which draws from the decorative traditions from several regions. While other monuments in Lahore from the Shah Jahan period feature intricate kashi-kari tile work, none match the enormous scale of the Wazir Khan Mosque. Bricks facing the mosque's exterior are richly embellished with the Persian-style title work known as kashi-kari. Façades facing the inner courtyard are richly embellished with motifs and palette which display strong influences from 17th century Persia. Persian-style colours used include lajvard, white, orange and purple, while Persian-influenced motifs include star-shaped flowers and grapevines; the mosque contains motifs of cypress trees, is the first Mughal monument to have borrowed this motif from Persia.
The façade of the entry portal facing Wazir Khan Chowk is decorated with elaborate tile work and calligraphy that includes verses of the Quran, verses of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, prayers for the Prophet, calligraphic insignias. Above the iwan entrance to the main prayer hall are verses from the Quran's surah Al-Baqara written by the calligraphist Haji Yousaf Kashmiri. Unlike the contemporary Shah Jahan Mosque in Sindh, the interior walls of Wazir Khan Mosque are plastered and adorned with detailed buon frescoes The interior decorative style is unique for Mughal-era mosques, as it combines imperial Mughal elements with local Punjabi decorative styles; the main prayer hall contains a square pavilion over which the mosque's largest dome rests - a Persian form known as Char Taq. The underside of the dome feature frescoes depicting trees in pairs, pitchers of wine, platters of fruit, which are an allusion to the Islamic concept of Paradise; the arched niche at the mosque's entrance facing Wazir Khan Chowk is richly decorated with floral motifs, features one of Lahore's first examples of a muqarna - an architectural element found at the Alhambra in Spain, as well as on several imperial mosques in Iran.
The low domes over the prayer hall reflect the style of the earlier Lodi dynasty, which ruled Lahore prior to the Mughal era. Entry into Waz
A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. Any act of worship that follows the Islamic rules of prayer can be said to create a mosque, whether or not it takes place in a special building. Informal and open-air places of worship are called musalla, while mosques used for communal prayer on Fridays are known as jāmiʿ. Mosque buildings contain an ornamental niche set into the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca, ablution facilities and minarets from which calls to prayer are issued; the pulpit, from which the Friday sermon is delivered, was in earlier times characteristic of the central city mosque, but has since become common in smaller mosques. Mosques have segregated spaces for men and women; this basic pattern of organization has assumed different forms depending on the region and denomination. Mosques serve as locations for prayer, Ramadan vigils, funeral services, Sufi ceremonies and business agreements, alms collection and distribution, as well as homeless shelters. Mosques were important centers of elementary education and advanced training in religious sciences.
In modern times, they have preserved their role as places of religious instruction and debate, but higher learning now takes place in specialized institutions. Special importance is accorded to the Great Mosque of Mecca, Prophet's Mosque in Medina and the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. In the past, many mosques in the Muslim world were built over burial places of Sufi saints and other venerated figures, which has turned them into popular pilgrimage destinations; the first mosque was built by Muhammad in Medina. With the spread of Islam, mosques multiplied across the Islamic world. Sometimes churches and other temples were converted into mosques, which influenced Islamic architectural styles. While most pre-modern mosques were funded by charitable endowments, modern states in the Muslim world have attempted to bring mosques under government control. Increasing government regulation of large mosques has been countered by a rise of funded mosques of various affiliations and ideologies, many of which serve as bases for different Islamic revivalist currents and social activism.
Mosques have played a number of political roles. The rates of mosque attendance vary depending on the region; the word'mosque' entered the English language from the French word mosquée derived from Italian moschea, from either Middle Armenian մզկիթ, Medieval Greek: μασγίδιον, or Spanish mezquita, from Arabic: مَـسْـجِـد, translit. Masjid, either from Nabataean masgĕdhā́ or from Arabic Arabic: سَـجَـدَ, translit. Sajada ultimately from Aramaic sĕghēdh; the first mosque in the world is considered to be the area around the Ka‘bah in Mecca, now known as Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarâm. A Hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari states that the Kaaba was the First Mosque on Earth, the Second Mosque was the Temple in Jerusalem. Since as early as 638 AD, the Sacred Mosque has been expanded on several occasions to accommodate the increasing number of Muslims who either live in the area or make the annual pilgrimage known as Ḥajj to the city. Others regard the first mosque in history to be the Quba Mosque in present-day Medina since it was the first structure built by Muhammad upon his emigration from Mecca in 622, though the Mosque of the Companions in the Eritrean city of Massawa may have been constructed at around the same time.
The Islamic Prophet Muhammad went on to establish another mosque in Medina, now known as the Masjid an-Nabawi, or the Prophet's Mosque. Built on the site of his home, Muhammad participated in the construction of the mosque himself and helped pioneer the concept of the mosque as the focal point of the Islamic city; the Masjid al-Nabawi introduced some of the features still common in today's mosques, including the niche at the front of the prayer space known as the mihrab and the tiered pulpit called the minbar. The Masjid al-Nabawi was constructed with a large courtyard, a motif common among mosques built since then. Mosques had been built in Iraq and North Africa by the end of the 7th century, as Islam spread outside the Arabian Peninsula with early caliphates; the Imam Husayn Shrine in Karbala is one of the oldest mosques in Iraq, although its present form – typical of Persian architecture – only goes back to the 11th century. The shrine, while still operating as a mosque, remains one of the holiest sites for Shia Muslims, as it honors the death of the third Shia imam, Prophet Muhammad's grandson, Hussein ibn Ali.
The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As was the first mosque in Egypt, serving as a religious and social center for Fustat during its prime. Like the Imam Husayn Shrine, nothing of its original structure remains. With the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, mosques throughout Egypt evolved to include schools and tombs; the Great Mosque of Kairouan in present-day Tunisia was the first mosque built in northwest Africa, with its present form serving as a model for other Islamic places of worship in the Maghreb. It includes naves akin to a basilica; those features can be found in Andalusian mosques, including the Grand Mo