This is an edited version of an article published by in The Ismaili-UK in March 2006.
“(This light is found) in houses which Allah has allowed to be raised so that His name is remembered there, where He is glorified in the mornings and in the evenings.” (Qur’an, 24:36)
Differentiating space and attributing it with special meaning is a universal feature of human cultures and societies, Spaces of gathering and worship play an important role in the social, cultural, intellectual and spiritual life of the members of a community or tradition. This is particularly true in the case of the role played by such spaces in Muslim history, religious life and identity, the following essay explores the nature and features of spaces of gathering in the Muslim context. It will highlight the evolution of form and function of these diverse institutional spaces as they emerged and developed in Muslim civilisations.