Music In The Liturgy Of The Mosque


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Music plays an important role in the liturgy of the mosque since the earliest times. In the early 10th century, when the Muslim mystics arranged their Sufis brotherhoods or commands, they accepted music as a support for meditation, as a medium of access to the state of prayer or ecstasy, or just simply as “soulfood”, in other words, something that give new energy to a body and soul tired by the severity of the ascetic life. In Sufism, the “sama” (denoting literally “listening”) means the tradition of listening in spiritual manner to music, singing and airs of various kinds, all ritualized to a greater or lesser degree.

The word “sama” means the spiritual act of listening, without the music or poetry being inevitably religious in content. The main preoccupation of the Muslim mystics is to give the ecstasy a veritable content and the music a proper meaning.

This paper briefly reviewed the development of Islamic art and confirmed that the mosque is the most sacred place in Islamic culture. Research has shown that music in the liturgy of the mosque is essential since the earliest times. Masjid al-Haram, the “Great Mosque", situated in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the most famous monument and the holiest place in Islam.

References. 1. Blair and Bloom (1994), “The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250-1800" Yale University Press, p. 233.

2. Richard Ettinghausen and Oleg Grabar (1987), “The Art and Architecture of Islam 650-1250", Yale University Press.

3. Titus Burckhardt (1992), “Art of Islam Language and Meaning" Plate 142, p.150.

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