Istanbul Travel Tips: Visiting Mosques
Like Sultanahmet (Blue mosque), Suleymaniye and Rustem Pasha, mosques should be in your places-to-see list. After we got a question; “What is mimbar in mosques?”. We decided to prepare a short glossary of mosques. Added also basics of mosque etiquette.
- Imam: Who leads pray and preaches.
- Muezzin: Who leads call to prayer(Ezan)
- Mihrab: Mihrab is the place where Imam stands and leads the pray.
- Minbar(Mimbar): A minbar is a pulpit in the mosque where the imam stands for Khutbah in Friday prays.
- Khutbah(Hutbe): Public preaching sermon of Friday Pray.
- Şadırvan: Fountain where muslims perform ritual ablutions
- Minaret: The tall flueted towers from which Muslims are called to prayer
- Kulliye(Complex):Mosque complex which includes medrese, han, hamam, hospital and so on…
- Medrese: Muslim theological academy.
- Han: Caravanserai, where traders can trade their goods.
- Imaret: Kitchen for poors to serve soup
- Arasta: Market near a mosque to support mosque’s expenses with the rents of shops in Market.
Here are basic mosque etiquette;
- Take off your shoes before stepping on the clean area just in front of the mosque. Muslims touch their foreheads to the carpets so it’s better to keep carpets clean.
- You can talk, but not to bother prayers, avoid not to talk loudly. Because of the acoustic design of mosques, everyone may hear you easily.
- Wear modest clothes. Women also should cover hair and arms with a shawl, which you can find in most of touristic mosques to use for free.
- Try not to visit mosques in praying time, there are 5 different praying times which you can notice it with Ezan(call-to-prayer).
- In mosques, you may see couple of people praying even not it praying time, pay attention not to disturb them and avoid walking front of them.
- You can visit mosques anytime, but we suggest you to visit in day time. Also don’t forget that friday is holy day for muslims, so they pray all together in mosques for noon pray. Even we don’t suggest you to visit mosque that time, you may like to watch prayers in Sultanahmet Mosque(Blue Mosque).
We didn’t want to list all Islamic and ottoman glossary, so if you have any further questions feel free to ask…