1. Place of prostration

There are over 2.5 million Muslims in the UK and over 1,500 mosques. The mosque is a place to gather for prayers, to study and to celebrate festivals such as Ramadan. It can also be used to house schools and community centres.

The Arabic word for mosque, “masjid”, means “place of prostration”. The first mosque was the Prophet Muhammad's home in Medina, Saudi Arabia, a 7th-Century house with a large courtyard surrounded by long rooms.

The simplest mosque would be a prayer room with a wall marked with a “mihrab” – a niche indicating the direction of Mecca, which Muslims should face when praying. A typical mosque also includes a minaret, a dome and a place to wash before prayers. Each feature has its own significance.

2. CLICKABLE: The mosque revealed

Click on the image below to explore the different features of a mosque.

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3. Mosques from across the globe

Click below to find out more about some of Islam's most important mosques.

Masjid al-Haram

Mecca

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Masjid al-Haram

The largest and most sacred, this mosque in Saudi Arabia surrounds the Kaaba - the holiest site in Islam and primary destination of Hajj pilgrimages.

Al-Masjid an-Nabawi

Medina

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Al-Masjid an-Nabawi

Often called the Prophet’s Mosque, this mosque in Saudi Arabia was the first one built by the Prophet Muhammad.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Jerusalem

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Al-Aqsa Mosque

One of the holiest sites in Islam is located in Haram al-Sharif, or Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. Muhammad is said to have travelled here from Mecca in one night.

Baitul Futuh Mosque

London

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Baitul Futuh Mosque, London

This is the biggest mosque in the UK. It can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers. This mosque belongs to the Ahmadiyya movement.