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Semicircular prayer niche in the qiblah wall (the wall facing Mecca) of a mosque, reserved for the prayer leader (imam). The mihrab originated in the reign of the Umayyad caliph al-Walid I (705–715), when the famous mosques at Medina, Jerusalem, and Damascus were built. It was adapted from the prayer niches common in Coptic Christian monasteries. Mihrabs are usually ornately decorated.
Variants of MIHRAB
mihrab Arabic mihrab
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on mihrab, visit Britannica.com.