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Great Mosque of Damascus. Worshippers at Mihrab.

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Great Mosque of Damascus. Worshippers at Mihrab.
8th c Syrian Umayyad Architecture

UMAYYAD Anonymous (661 - 1031) Primary
8th c
Damascus. Syria.
A major requirement of Islam was that all Moslems should face Mecca when they pray. The need to determine the direction of Mecca was one of the contributing factors to the Islamic development of science, for the Moslems adopted the Chinese invention of the compass much more quickly than did the Christians. In a mosque a wall, known as the QIBLAH WALL, indicated the direction of Mecca. In the center of the qiblah wall was a niche, known as a MIRHAB. You can see the mirhab to the left of the photograph; the qiblah wall continued on the other side. The decoration of the early mosques had been quite simple, for Mohammed urged simplicity, abhorring all vanity that might lead to idolatry. The richest decoration was reserved for the mirhab, which here is covered with a multicolored marble facing.

Caption: UMAYYAD | Great Mosque. Worshippers at Mihrab. | 708-715 | Islamic | Umayyad

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