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A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word entered the English language most likely through French (mosquée), from Spanish (mezquita), from Berber (tamezgida), ultimately originating in Arabic: masjid مسجد‎ — Arabic pronunciation: [ˈmæsdʒɪd].[1] The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration. The word "mosque" in English refers to all types of buildings dedicated for Islamic worship, although there is a distinction in Arabic between the smaller masjid dedicated for the daily five prayers and the larger masjid jāmi‘ (مسجد جامع) where the daily five prayers and the Friday congregation sermons are held with a high volume of attendance. The masjid jāmi‘ also plays more roles such as teaching Qur'an and educating future imams.

The mosque serves as a place where Muslims can come together for salat (prayer) (Arabic: صلاة‎, ṣalāt) as well as a center for information, education, and dispute settlement. The Imam leads the prayer.

They have developed significantly from the open-air spaces that were the Quba Mosque and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in the 7th century. Many mosques have elaborate domes, minarets, and prayer halls. Mosques originated on the Arabian Peninsula, but are now found in all inhabited continents.

Large mosques play sometime a political role as well. In Islamic countries like Pakistan, Iran and Iraq (after 2003), political subjects are preached by imams at Friday congregations on a regular basis.[2] In other Islamic countries, imams are usually banned from mentioning political issues.


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