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The Role of the Mosque in Islam

2011 Vol. 4: July/Aug

Mosques are the outward and visible symbol of Islam. The mosque is the most important institution in Islam, serving as a house of worship and as the center of authority and of communal life for Muslims throughout Islamic history. It has also been the central point for the dissemination of Islamic beliefs and practices. The word ‘mosque’ (masjid in Arabic) is derived from a root meaning ‘to prostrate,’ one of the postures of Islamic worship. Another commonly used word for mosque is jamaa, derived from a root word meaning ‘to gather’ or ‘gathering.’

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