The mosque is the space or place wherein Muslims do their prayers. The architectural lineament of the Reference Mosque, designed and built by Prophet Mohammed (PUH) at Medina, summarizes simplicity and direct devotion to function. But after the historical change of Islamic (Khilafa) system to kingship, and after the tremendous geographical expansion of the Islamic world, mosque in itself was introduced within the political and governance system. Mosque became within the city center facilities, and new components like treasury, military and judicial buildings were added to mosque. Then new trends and styles of mosque design came to being, new architectural component were also introduced like minaret, mihrab and ornaments.
The research problem is summarized in tracing and measuring the historical and spatial development of mosque design referred to the Reference Mosque of Medina. A hypothetical question emerges whether mosque is a functional building or a symbolic building. Symbolism allows local culture, traditions and technology to affect the design and form of the mosque, so accepts emergence of local and regional styles, while functionalism is reluctant in accepting alterations to the basics of the mosque. The research adopts critical analysis methodology for vetting the huge data on almost all mosque literature, collected throughout the last three years, trying to measure the so called development of mosque design, that, as a principal research objective.
The research also aims at studying the repercussion of local art, culture and technology in developing local and regional styles of mosque design all over the world. It also aims at tracing the co-existence of heterogeneous styles of mosque design even within the same country or region. Sudan, then, is taken as a cast study.
At the conclusion, the research admits and accepts the locality of mosque design, hence the symbolism approach, but postulating the compatibility with (seven) reference principles. These principles summarizes the sublimate goals behind building the mosque, virtuous sources of finance, honorable acquisition of land, locality, capacity, correct directing to (gibla) and existence of (minbar).
The research recommends the augmentation of the social role of mosque in Sudan, by strengthening the role of maseed and khalwa.