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The Minaret: Between the Constancy of the Element and the Change of Use

It is widely accepted that the presence of the minaret as an element of the mosque is associated with two initial purposes: vocal and visual. The vocal hosts the call to prayer, and the visual symbolizes the presence of Islam. However, the increasing existence of this tower and the diversification of its forms and sizes are due to its various and different functions and uses. This study goes beyond the two initial purposes of the minaret by considering this mosque tower as a functional entity designed and built around the purpose of function variety, which is determined by practical considerations. Studies related to the uses of the minaret other than the call to prayer and symbolic expression hardly exist and if they do, they deal with the most documented ones and do them separately. This study uses historical and descriptive studies relevant to the minaret to present the many functions of this tower during the three periods of the history of the Islamic world: early, medieval, and late. Derived from various literary interpretations, seventeen uses or functions of the minaret are identified, synthesized, evaluated, and presented. The aim is to emphasize: the status of the minaret as a significant functional entity of the mosque, the functional diversity of the minaret, the constancy of the minaret form as a tower, and the minaret as a necessary symbol of Islam and a tower for the call to prayer. This study considers the multiple uses of the minaret in the form of a constant represented in the symbolic value and the call to prayer, and in the form of a variable that includes many of the functions identified and evaluated during this research.

Minaret, Functional Entity, Change of Use, Constancy of Form, History of the Islamic World

APA Style

Salima Amrane, Boudjemaa Khalfallah. (2023). The Minaret: Between the Constancy of the Element and the Change of Use. International Journal of Architecture, Arts and Applications, 9(3), 93-104.

ACS Style

Salima Amrane; Boudjemaa Khalfallah. The Minaret: Between the Constancy of the Element and the Change of Use. Int. J. Archit. Arts Appl. 2023, 9(3), 93-104. doi: 10.11648/j.ijaaa.20230903.14

AMA Style

Salima Amrane, Boudjemaa Khalfallah. The Minaret: Between the Constancy of the Element and the Change of Use. Int J Archit Arts Appl. 2023;9(3):93-104. doi: 10.11648/j.ijaaa.20230903.14

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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