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Mihrab

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Men line up for prayers in front of the mihrab (prayer niche).

Men line up for prayers in front of the mihrab (prayer niche).

David Silverman / Getty Images
Definition: An ornamental indentation in the wall of a mosque, which marks the direction of the qiblah. Mihrabs vary in size and color, but are usually shaped like a doorway and decorated with tiles and calligraphy to make it stand out. In addition to marking the qiblah, the niche helped to amplify the voice of the Imam during congregational prayer. In modern times, microphones are usually used for this purpose. The traditional mihrab is a common element of Islamic mosque architecture throughout the world.
Pronunciation: mih-rab
Also Known As: prayer niche
Alternate Spellings: mehrab
Examples:
The worshippers in the mosque stand facing the mihrab, which points out the direction of Mecca.
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