Minbar

Islamic worshippers listen to the Imam preach from the Minbar in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Islamic worshippers listen to the Imam preach from the Minbar during Friday Muslim prayers in the Great Mosque in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Definition: A raised platform in the front area of a mosque, from which sermons or speeches are given. The minbar is located to the right of the mihrab, which marks the direction of the qiblah for prayer. The minbar is usually made of carved wood, stone, or brick. The minbar includes a short staircase leading to the top platform, which is sometimes covered by a small dome. At the bottom of the staircase there may be a gate or doorway. The speaker walks up the steps and either sits or stands on the minbar while addressing the congregation.

In addition to making the speaker visible to worshippers, the minbar helps to amplify the voice of the speaker. In modern times, microphones are also used for this purpose. The traditional minbar is a common element of Islamic mosque architecture throughout the world.

Pronunciation: min-bar

Also Known As: pulpit

Common Misspellings: mimbar, mimber

Examples: The imam stands on the minbar while addressing the congregation.