The Role of Climate and Culture on the Formation of Courtyards in Mosques

Document Type : Original Article


Associate Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


The process regarding the formation of different mosque gardens and the elements that contribute to the respective process is the from the foci point of this paper. The significance of the topic lies in the fact that certain scholars have associated the courtyard in mosques with the concept of garden, and have not taken into account the elements that contribute to the development of various types of mosque courtyards. The theoretical findings of the research indicate that the conditions and instructions regarding the Jemaah [collective] prayers on one hand and the notion of exterior performance of the worshiping rites as a recommended religious precept paired with the cultural, environmental and natural factors on the other hand have had their share of founding the courtyards. This study employs the historical analytical approach since the samples are not contemporary. The dependant variables are culture and climate while the form of courtyard in the jame [congregational] mosque is the dependent variable. The statistical population includes the jame mosques from all over the Islamic world and the samples are picked selectively from among the population. The findings have demonstrated that the presence of courtyard is in part due to the nature of the prayers that are recommended to say in an open air, and in part because this is also favoured by the weather in most instances and on most days. The area covered by the courtyard and its features were mainly determined by the climate and culture of the given area, and this is what originates the variety of mosque courtyards across the Islamic territory.


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