The most basic mosque would be a prayer room with a wall marked with a "mihrab"—a niche designating the direction of Mecca that Muslims should face when praying. A traditional mosque will also have a minaret, a dome, and a space to wash before prayer. Each aspect is significant in its own right. The mihrab marks the direction of Mecca, while the dome symbolizes the sky and our connection to God. The minaret allows people to know where the mosque is located and encourages them to come and pray.
A mosque can be anything that contains a place for people to pray; therefore, it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. There are many types of mosques, including commercial buildings, churches, synagogues, and temples. No matter what type of structure you choose, just make sure it's used for worship only and includes the necessary amenities to meet the needs of anyone attending prayers.
There are three main sections of a mosque: the nave, the sanctuary, and the adhan area. The nave is where the congregation gathers for prayer. The sanctuary is where the imam (Muslim priest) leads prayers. It may be an open area or it could have a podium where the imam stands during prayers. The adhan area is where those who cannot make it to the mosque but wish to declare their intention of fasting on certain days of the month can do so.
A mosque, Arabic masjid, or "jami" in Islam is any dwelling or open location for worship. Though the mosque as a whole has undergone numerous architectural alterations, the structure remains primarily an open area, often roofed over, with a mihrab and a minbar, and occasionally a minaret added to it. The word comes from mosqûa, one of the two small pools inside the cave where Moses is said to have prayed (the other being the Nile).
In medieval Europe, many churches had attached structures used for prayer called porches. These were usually located outside the church walls and accessible through an entrance opposite that which led into the body of the church. They often included a platform (often raised) for reading scripture and preaching, chairs where visitors could sit, and a railing around all sides to protect worshippers from falling off the edge. Some porches had small domes on top of them for extra lightness and to help sound travel better.
The term "mosque" came to be applied exclusively to those buildings used by Muslims throughout the world. Although mosques can be found in most major cities around the globe, they are especially common in Asia and Africa.
Mosque structures often have an ornate niche (mihrab) built into the wall that denotes the direction of Mecca (qiblah), ablution facilities, and minarets from which prayers are called. The main body of the mosque consists of a large area surrounded by rows of chairs for men or mats for women, where everyone can sit together and listen to the sermons.
Inside the mosque, there are also special areas for rituals such as slaughtering animals for food or sacrifice, for example, during Ramadan. In addition, mosques may have separate rooms for male visitors (khanaqs) or for children (zuhr schools).
Masajids were originally small temples used by Muhammad when he traveled around Arabia preaching Islam. Over time they were converted into mosques. Although mosques have many more rooms than a temple, they still have a main sanctuary with a ceiling made of star-shaped pieces of wood with hundreds of holes drilled into them for burning incense. This is because Muslims believe that God can be contacted through smoke.
There are several differences between a masjid and a temple. First, a temple must be consecrated or sanctified ground while a masjid does not have this requirement.