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The Friday Mosque in the City

Liminality, Ritual, and Politics

This edited volume explores the dynamic relationship between the Friday mosque and the Islamic city, addressing the traditional topics through a fresh new lens and offering a critical examination of each case study in its own spatial, urban, and socio-cultural context. While these two well-known themes—concepts that once defined the field—have been widely studied by historians of Islamic architecture and urbanism, this compilation specifically addresses the functional and spatial ambiguity or liminality between these spaces. 

Instead of addressing the Friday mosque as the central signifier of the Islamic city, this collection provides evidence that there was (and continues to be) variety in the way architectural borders became fluid in and around Friday mosques across the Islamic world, from Cordoba to Jerusalem and from London to Lahore. By historicizing different cases and exploring the way human agency, through ritual and politics, shaped the physical and social fabric of the city, this volume challenges the generalizing and reductionist tendencies in earlier scholarship.


336 pages | 101 halftones | 6 3/4 x 9

Architecture: Middle Eastern, African, and Asian Architecture


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements A Note on Transliteration Introduction A. Hilâl Ugurlu and Suzan Yalman Section I: Spatial Liminalities: Walls, Enclosures, and Beyond Liminal Spaces in the Great Mosque of Cordoba: Urban Meaning and Politico-Liturgical Practices Susana Calvo Capilla Lahore’s Badshahi Masjid: Spatial Interactions of the Sacred and the Secular Mehreen Chida-Razvi City as Liminal Space: Islamic Pilgrimage and Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem during the Mamluk Period Fadi Ragheb Section II: Creating New Destinations, Constructing New Sacreds Sanctifying Konya: The Thirteenth-Century Transformation of the Seljuk Friday Mosque into a ‘House of God’ Suzan Yalman Inviolable Thresholds, Blessed Palaces, and Holy Friday Mosques: The Sacred Topography of Safavid Isfahan Farshid Emami From the Kutubiyya to Tinmal: The Sacred Direction in Mu’minid Performance Abbey Stockstill Section III: Liminality and Negotiating Modernity Perform Your Prayers in Mosques!: Changing Spatial and Political Relations in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Istanbul A. Hilâl Ugurlu Urban Morphology and Sacred Space: The Mashhad Shrine during the Late Qajar and Pahlavi Periods May Farhat Towards a New Typology of Modern and Contemporary Mosque in Europe, Including Russia and Turkey Nebahat Avcioglu Author Biographies

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