Towards a Contemporary Mosque: Rethinking the Prophet-Mosque in Medina via Applying Socio-Semiotics

By Ossama Hegazy.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 3, 2014 $US5.00

The mosque seizes a crucial importance in the built environment of Muslim culture. The mosque’s urban-architectural and socio-political magnitudes derive from conveying not only religious significations, but also nonreligious ones. Thus, the mosque enjoys a positive coherence emerging from positively merging the mundane with the sacred. However, this overlapping generates negative impacts, as the mosque’s mundane dimension has undertaken a sacred veil, which has consequently hampered the development of the objective mosque. This paper tries to deconstruct this sacred-profane articulation. For this reason the Prophet-Mosque in Medina, the prototype model of all mosques, will be historically and architecturally rethought. Thanks to adhering to socio-semiotics, the Prophet-Mosque will be analyzed as a sign to discover its expression and content; that is, by unveiling not only its signifying material objects and morphological elements, but also its signified codified and non-codified conveyed ideologies. The aim is to reinterpret the Prophet-Medina-Mosque and develop a concept for a mosque which effectively interacts with the needs and conditions of Muslims and their surrounding societies. It is to propose the notion of the contemporary mosque.

Keywords: Islam, The Mosque, Socio-Semiotics, Meaning

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 4, Issue 1, June 2014, pp.17-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 3, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 331.972KB)).

Ossama Hegazy

Doctoral Candidate, Institute Urban Sociology, Department of Architecture, Bauhaus University Weimar, Weimar, Thuringia, Germany

Since 2009: PhD-student at the Bauhaus University Weimar. 2007-2009: Master of Arts in “Interior Architectural Design” – FH-Stuttgart. 2004-2006: Diploma in “Environmental Architecture” – AASTMT - Alexandria. 1998-2003: Bachelor of Architecture – Faculty of Fine Arts Alexandria. Continuous participation in international conferences, colloquiums and workshops such as in: Edinburgh (UK), Lahti (Finland), Lure (France), St. Petersburg (Russia), Weimar, Dresden, Bonn and Berlin (Germany), Istanbul (Turkey), Dubai (U.A.E) and Alexandria & Cairo (Egypt). Additional work experience mainly in Egypt, Germany, UK, U.A.E, and Saudi-Arabia