The captivating Silhouette of Minaret on mosques in Islamic Cities brings peace to devotees and those who appreciate architecture.
Minarets are decorative towers erected on the four corners of the Mosque compounds.
How to pronounce Minaret?
Just say “Min – a – ret “
The Purpose of a Minaret?
These obelisks are meant to:-
- Make the Mosque and Skyline reflect its Islamic Character from far away.
- Call the faithful to prayer five times a day
- Adorn the mosque tastefully
- Help locate the mosque
Minarets have also been used to study astronomy during the golden period of Muslims when Baghdad and Cordoba were the seats of learning.
- Also, Minarets have also been used as spotter points to guide artillery, motor, and sniper during battles.
- To give peace to the faithful just by watching them from afar
Definition in Islam
The word Minaret is derived from the Arabic word “Manaara or Manar” meaning tower and it is not necessarily from early Islam.
The first Adhan (call to prayer) was delivered from the Roof of the Medina Mosque, in the 6th Century by the Black companion of Prophet Muhammad, Bilal
History of the Mosque Minaret in Islam
Minarets were added to the architecture of Muslim Mosques in the Omayyad Time in Spain (661-750 AD), probably inspired by other religious worship places like Cathedrals.
Subsequently, Abbasid improved on the square-shaped Minarets in the 9th century.
Byzantine Empire (330 to 1453 AD) is credited with the improvement and preservation of Minaret structures, Arch Columns, and tile Mosaics that are still practiced by artisans in buildings with spiritual value as far away as Pakistan
Minarets and Spires of churches
Almost all religions have a minaret tower like Islamic mosque does, except maybe Zoroastrianism, because they were not that sophisticated in architecture back then..
Essential Parts of Mosques
The mosques of today must have:-
- One Minaret or up to 6 in total
- Compound or Sehn,
- The Quba (dome) on top,
- Mihrab (prayer leader’s niche) that points to Mecca.
Now the Minarets towers in the mosque of Islam keep getting taller and taller. They don’t need to house the call to prayer leaders, instead, they house the loudspeaker.
Minaret in Mosques
Religiously inclined Muslim countries like Pakistan have numerous mosques at street corners and people adorn mosques with religious zeal.
I have visited quite a several mosques and can’t believe how artistic the embellishments are.
They bring comfort to the faithful Muslims wherever they visit a new city. It shows Muslims belong here and are welcome. The bland and uniform cities in the west seem indifferent and cold.
Muslim Architecture with Minarets?
Almost all countries of the world have a Muslim population and where there are Muslims there will be mosques with minaret towers on them.
These towers have become so symbolic of tall structures that anything tall and elegant is named minaret:-
- The Minecraft gate in desert games has Minarets
- Contemporary Architecture indicates Muslim structure like Minaret Theater has Minaret towers
- The minaret-like light house tower in Minareto, Italy is why the city got its name.
- Minaret Lake in Mammoth Mountains
Does it have to be a tall tower?
No, not essentially. As Minarets have religious and cultural values, they don’t have to be towering high above.
There is nothing more soothing to the nerves than listening to the sweet voice of a moazzin (cal to prayer leader) from a beautifully adorned Minaret on Mosques
What is a Minarette Tree?
The name of the straight-growing Minarette tree has its name derived from the mosque minaret because it too grows straight with fruit growing on its stem.
To see the pictures of the beautiful Wazir Khan mosque, you can go to this link.