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(Arabic: school) Islamic theological seminary and law school attached to a mosque. The residential madrasah was a newer building form than the mosque, flourishing in most Muslim cities by the end of the 12th century. The Syrian madrasahs in Damascus tended to follow a standardized plan: An elaborate facade led into a domed hallway and then into a courtyard where instruction took place, with at least one eyvan (vaulted hall) opening onto it. The madrasah at the Qalaun Mosque in Cairo (1283–85) has a unique cruciform eyvan on the richly carved qibla (wall facing Mecca) side and a smaller eyvan opposite. Residential cells for scholars occupy the other two sides.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on madrasah, visit Britannica.com.