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The Torah Ark and the Mihrab

 
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abrahamson



Joined: 01 Mar 2009
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:57 am    Post subject: The Torah Ark and the Mihrab Reply with quote

The Gate of Nicanor in Solomons Temple (the smaller gate in the middle of the picture)



An ancient Torah Ark, where the Torah is kept. From a synagogue in Dura-Europos in 256CE, almost four centuries before Islam. Note that it appears to resemble the Gate of Nicanor illustrated above the Ark.



And the Mihrab of the Prophet (pbuh)



The modern Mihrab, with the Temple connection all but forgotten



See how the Mihrab follows the pattern of the ancient Torah Ark, which follows the pattern of the Gates of Nicanor. There are more examples, but this is one example how the mosque today reminds us of the Temple of Solomon.


Last edited by abrahamson on Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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robert



Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The word محراب "Michrab" is said to be derived from حرب, "to fight" or "lead to war".

However it is possible that it ultimately comes from مغرب "Ma'arab" which means "west". The Synagogue of Dura-Europos and most synagogues in the Trans-Jordan have the Qibla (Jerusalem) to the west. The equivalent marking of the Qibla in western synagogues is called מזרח which means "east", because Jerusalem lays to the east.
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Nazzam



Joined: 08 Feb 2014
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The word mihrab is derived from h-r-b and not gh-r-b.

It could not have derived from gharb (west), cause west is written in hebrew and Syriac with ܥ / ע and not ܓ/ ג.

As we can see, the Hebrew word מערב is مغرب in Arabic and ܡܥܪܒ in Syriac.

The letter 'ayin in both Hebrew and Syriac, transformed into ghayn in Arabic.

The Hebrew equivalent of ح is ח as we can still hear in the Mizrakhi dialects.

So in Arabic, mihraab محراب should have been مخراب in a hypothetical transition to correspond to Hebrew and Syriac, but it doesn't.

If it derived from harb, it could echo Zoroastrian origins (place of fighting satan). This is in concordance with the Zoroastrian atash-bahram, an isolated place where the sacred flame is kept and where priests worshipped in seclusion.

In the quran though, the word means ' (isolated) prayer chamber'. In this case Arabs have not forgotten its etymological roots though. It is identified as being derived from h-r-b.
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