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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 514: Designing Sacred Space

Tuesday 14 July 2009, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Frances Andrews, St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of St Andrews
Paper 514-aThe 'House of the Prophet' or the 'Mosque of the Prophet'
(Language: English)
Essam Abdelrahman, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Islamic and Arabic Studies

Paper -a:
The sizable structure built by the Prophet, once he migrated to Madina, is widely accepted to have had the decisive role in shaping mosque architecture. However, whether this ephemeral building was a mosque where congregational prayers were offered or a house for the Prophet's private use is still a controversial question that needs further investigation. As far as literature can tell, no middle ground has been found between two divergent views. While according to one view, it was deliberately designed by the Prophet as a mosque; the second argues that it was not until the period of the caliphate that this structure had a sacred disguise.