The center prayer space inside is known as a musalla (literally, "place for prayer"). It is purposefully left naked. Worshippers sit, kneel, and bow straight on the floor, hence no furniture is required. There may be a few seats or benches available to help elderly or handicapped worshipers who have difficulties moving around. A musalla can also be called a dar-us-salasah ("a place of prostration").
In addition to the central prayer space, some mosques have side-chapels that are used for prayer. These are called jamaat-us-salaah ("places for congregation").
There are three types of spaces in a mosque that are used for prayer: the kaaba, the hajj, and the mashq.
The kaaba is the name given to the physical structure that constitutes Islam's holiest shrine; it is located in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The location of the actual stone from which Muhammad is believed to have taken prayers is unknown. What is known is that the original rock was moved to a new site when the old one was destroyed during the Hajj pilgrimage. The new site is called al-Haram ash-shafa'i ("the forbidden enclosure").
The hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that must be performed by any Muslim who is physically and financially able to make the trip.
In Islam, a musalla (Arabic: mSl, romanized: musalla) is an open place outside a mosque that is mostly utilized for prayer. A musalla is also a chamber, building, or location where salah (canonical prayers) are performed, and is commonly interpreted as a "prayer hall" smaller than a mosque.
The first chapter of the Qur'an contains instructions to pray five times a day at specific hours. These prayers are meant to be performed in a musalla so that they can be repeated many times until they are felt by the worshiper to be accepted. The first chapter ends with a brief description of the major mosques in Mecca, which include a "prayer hall" (miqâshadu' l-salât), where people could go and pray.
As far as the author knows, there is no direct reference to musallas in the Qur'an, but the practice dates back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. According to Islamic tradition, the first mosque built in Medina was called "The Musalla" (al-Musallah). It is believed that this name was given because it served as a place where people could go and pray in addition to being a house of worship.
In modern times, musallas are often small rooms within a mosque where individuals can pray independently of each other or in small groups.
It is normal to remove one's shoes and set them on the rack at the vestibule while entering a mosque. This is done out of respect and to keep the inside prayer hall floor clean. (There are no seats or benches in prayer rooms, simply rows upon rows of carpets lined to face Islam's holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.)
Chairs are used in mosques for elders to sit with honor in front of the qibla (the direction of Kaaba) when they lead prayers. There are also chairs for children to attend mosque sessions. The use of chairs in mosques is a modern innovation that has become popular recently. In the past people sat on mats on the floor or leaned against walls for support as they prayed. Now that many more people pray together in groups, chairs provide space for everyone to have some form of support while sitting upright.
An imam (a Muslim priest) leads prayers in mosques. He may be male or female. When men and women pray together, the man usually gives the sermon during weekly services called Jumu'ah. He may be accompanied by other scholars who teach during the sermon period and answer questions from the audience.
Jumu'ah sermons are often long discussions about Islamic topics held in mosques all over the world every week. They can be watched online via satellite TV or streamed live via the internet. Preachers/imams can be celebrities who attract large crowds in private clubs or small towns where no other preacher is available.
Please keep in mind that this is not a distinct building from the mosques, but rather a partition with its own door and walk-in space for worshipers to enter, and they pray behind the same imam who leads prayers for all Muslims who visit the mosque. Also note that while some churches have a baptistry, this is not necessary for them to be considered churches.
Churches come in three main forms: cathedral, temple, and church. A cathedral is a large church built primarily for religious ceremonies. They are found mainly in Catholic countries. A temple is a smaller version of a cathedral used primarily for religious services. They are found mostly in Buddhist countries. A church is the form of church that contains the most area within its walls - usually measuring about 30 meters long and 15 meters wide. Although churches can be found in many places, they are most common in European cities.
All three types of churches share certain features. For example, they all have a roof, which may be flat or peaked. The only difference between the types of churches is their size and purpose. Cathedrals are largest and most prestigious churches because they are where kings and other holy people are buried. Temples are next in size, and churches end up being the smallest type of church. However, all three types of churches contain a number of rooms where different events can take place.
It is a three-story structure with community meeting spaces and offices on the first floor. The male congregation meets for prayers in the huge, open main hall on the first level. The hall can hold up to 3,000 males, with an additional 1,500 in the ladies' section.
The mosque also has separate rooms for Qur'an studies, children's activities after prayer, and other functions.
The second floor contains the office of the imam (prayer leader) which includes a small library of books about Islam. The third floor is entirely given over to women and girls who use it as a place for activities after prayer. There are also several smaller rooms on this level that are used for various purposes.
The main attraction at the Birmingham Central Mosque is definitely the large main hall where men pray six times a day. The building was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in March 1990.
The central hall has five rows of chairs for men to sit in during prayers, with space for another 500 people outside the room. Prayers are led by an imam who speaks from the Quran and conducts group discussions with participants. Music is often played during Ramadan when Muslims refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours in anticipation of God sending down more verses of the Quran.