World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000384696
Reproduction Date:

Title: Minbar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Al-Aqsa Mosque, Mosque, Khutbah, Girih, Jumu'ah
Collection: Mosque Architecture, Pulpits
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Minbar of the Molla Çelebi Mosque in Istanbul.
Picture showing the minbar of the Great Mosque of Kairouan (Mosque of Uqba); this pulpit, the oldest in existence, is still in its place of origin (in the prayer hall of the mosque) and it is protected by a glass panel in order to preserve this precious preaching chair, in Kairouan, Tunisia.
Muslim scholar Ammar Nakshawani delivering a lecture from a mimbar in Dar es Salaam's Hussainia as part of the Ramadan ceremonies.
The doors of the Saladin Minbar, early 1900s. The minbar was built on Nur al-Din's orders, but installed by Saladin

A minbar (Arabic: منبر‎, also romanized as mimbar or mimber) is a pulpit in the mosque where the imam (prayer leader) stands to deliver sermons (خطبة, khutbah) or in the Hussainia where the speaker sits and lectures the congregation. The word is a derivative of the Arabic root n-b-r ("to raise, elevate"); the Arabic plural is manābir (Arabic: منابر‎).

While minbars are akin to pulpits, they have a function and position more similar to that of a church lectern, being used instead by the minister of religion, the imam, typically for a wider range of readings and prayers. The minbar, the decoration of which some believe to be part of the sunnah, is usually shaped like a small tower with a pointed roof and stairs leading up to it. In contrast, the prophet Muhammed used only a platform with three steps. There may be a seat at the top. In contrast to most Christian pulpits, the steps up to the minbar are usually in a straight line on the same axis as the seat, as seen in those illustrated here. They also take the preacher higher above the congregation than is typical in churches. The minbar is located to the right of the mihrab, the niche that indicates the direction of prayer (i.e. towards Mecca). The minbar is also a symbol of authority.[1]

In some mosques there is a platform (müezzin mahfili in Turkish) opposite the minbar where the assistant of the Imam, the muezzin, stands during prayer. The muezzin recites the answers to the prayers of the Imam where applicable.

The oldest Islamic pulpit in the world to be preserved intact is the minbar of the Great Mosque of Kairouan (in the city of Kairouan in Tunisia).[2] Dating from the 9th century (at about 862 AD), it is an eleven-step staircase made of carved and sculptured teak wood. Composed of an assembly of over three hundred finely sculpted parts, this minbar is considered to be a jewel of Islamic wooden art.[3]


  1. ^ Andrew Petersen, Dictionary of Islamic architecture, Routledge, 1996, page 191
  2. ^ , UNESCO, 2000, page 345History of humanityMuḥammad ʻAdnān Bakhīt,
  3. ^ Minbar of the Great Mosque of Kairouan (Qantara Mediterranean Heritage)


  • Lynette Singer (ed.): The Minbar of Saladin. Reconstructing a Jewel of Islamic Art (London: Thames & Hudson 2008).
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.