In Islamic architectural tradition, the most important element in any mosque, the niche that indicates the direction of Mecca (qiblah). Because it functions as the focal point in prayer ritual, its decoration was and continues to be executed with great skill and devotion.Examples:Iran, Mihrab from the Madrasa Imami in Isfahan, 755 AH / c. 1354 CE, mosaic of monochrome-glaze tiles on composite body set on plaster, 11 feet 3 inches x 7 feet 6 inches (343.1 x 288.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.Egypt, Cairo, Mihrab and Minbar of the Mosque of Sultan Hasan, 1356-1360. This liwan, or niche is the side of the mosque used as a madrasa by the Shafi, one of the four schools of Islamic legal and theological thought. See minbar.

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