A mosque, or masjid in Arabic, is literally a clean space for prayer, oriented so that the praying worshippers are facing the holy city of Mecca. In Cairo, a mosque can refer to a piece of carpet next to a jewelry store on the third floor of the Ramses Hilton shopping mall or a monumental 12th-century building housing the head of Husayn, the Prophet's martyred grandson. A mosque means either a small prayer space near one's home or workplace for the five daily prayers or a large building purposely constructed for the Friday afternoon congregational prayer service.

The first mosque was Muhammad's home in Medina in the year 622 in the Gregorian calendar or year 1 in the Muslim calendar. The clean and undecorated palm-fronded courtyard ...

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