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Minbar

Pulpit in the mosque

Minbar

A minbar (Arabic: منبر; sometimes romanized as mimber) is a pulpit in a mosque where the imam (leader of prayers) stands to deliver sermons (خطبة, khutbah). It is also used in other similar contexts, such as in a Hussainiya where the speaker sits and lectures the congregation.

Etymology

The word is a derivative of the Arabic root ن ب ر n-b-r ("to raise, elevate"); the Arabic plural is manābir (Arabic: مَنابِر).[1]

Function and form

The minbar is symbolically the seat of the imam who leads prayers in the mosque and delivers sermons. In the early years of Islam this seat was reserved for the Islamic prophet Muhammad and later for the caliphs who followed him, each of whom was officially the imam of the whole Muslim community, but it eventually became standard for all Friday mosques and was used by the local imam. Nonetheless, the minbar retained its significance as a symbol of authority.[2][3]

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