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Definition of MIHRAB
: a niche or chamber in a mosque indicating the direction of Mecca
Origin of MIHRAB
First Known Use: 1673
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.