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“Al Mihrab: “the place of war” (literal translation in arabic); also the place where an Imam (Muslim Religious Leader) leads the prayer; an architectural element of a masjid (arabic for mosque).”

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  • http://www.islamicate.com islamoyankee

    Salaam brother, but I have to correct you on two points in this post.

    1. “mihrab” does not mean “place of war.” The locative participle is “mim-fatah,” not “mim-kasrah.” Although sharing the same root as “war, “ḥ-r-b,” the word itself relates to kingship.

    2. The “minbar” is where the imam preaches from. The “mihrab” indicates the direction of prayer.

    • irydhan

      Salaams
      Thanks for your comment.
      Actually there are several different translations – as you are aware from Arabic (a complex language) to English. I have heard from several sources – including an Imam who teaches Arabic that “al mihrab” does literally mean “the place of war”. Prayer of the muslim can be considered a type of battle or war, between our nafs and doing the right thing (prayers, fasting, etc.). Although in most cases the mihrab refers to the place of prayer or a private room. The mihrab in architecture is actually the niche in the Qibla wall, and it is where the Imam leads the prayers, since it was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (S) to do so.
      You are correct about the mimbar, which is the place where the Imam gives the Khutbah or sermon from. I didnt mention the mimbar earlier, because I was discussing the mihrab only. I also did not say the Imam gives the sermon from the mihrab – only leads the prayer there, which is correct.
      The point of choosing that name “Al Mihrab” for my blog is because, besides Architecture, I am interested in Media Activism for Muslims. The Media is a powerful tool, where people are battling for the “hearts and minds” of people. It is like an actual war – of words, images and ideas to persuade the public to think in one way or another.
      Anyways thanks again for your comment!

  • http://www.islamicate.com islamoyankee

    Apologies. RE: point 2, you are correct. I misread the post and the error is mine.

    I am still unconvinced regarding the “mihrab” having a locative meaning. Interpretatively, it makes sense as the imam you mentioned discusses, but in a mystical reading of the word. If you are still in communication with this imam, would it possible to ask for a lughat where this definition occurs?


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