Does the architectural style typical of most traditional Mosques represent the five pillars of Islam? Prime example, the four towers in corners and a central point? I don't literally mean "pillars", but symbolic.

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1 Answer 1


No there's no connection between the five pillars and the architecture of traditional mosques unless we interpret into it.

Honestly speaking الاركان الخمسة (which is usually translated the five pillars) can also be translated the five corners which is in clear opposition to your description. See for example:

Nafi' reported on the authority of 'Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) that Allah's Messenger (way peace be upon him) did not touch but the Stone and the Yamani corner.
عَنْ نَافِعٍ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، ذَكَرَ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ لاَ يَسْتَلِمُ إِلاَّ الْحَجَرَ والرُّكْنَ الْيَمَانِيَ. (Sahih Muslim)

Nevertheless رُكن (singular of الاركان) also means pillar as it is defined as what ever corner/border/wall that supports something (see for example 11:80):

He said, "If only I had against you some power or could take refuge in a strong support."
قَالَ لَوْ أَنَّ لِى بِكُمْ قُوَّةً أَوْ آوِى إِلَى رُكْنٍ شَدِيد

Beside the usual mosque has only one tower only the Mamluks and Othman's started to add additional towers (up to seven in the al-Masjid al-Haraam). Which partly are not meant to be used for the prayer call, which is rejected by some scholars.

See also the oldest mosques in WIkipedia.

  • Well darn, I thought I was on to something haha. Good to know. Thanks for your detailed reply!
    – Atomiklan
    May 31, 2018 at 5:10

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