Beylerbeyi/Hamid-i Evvel Camiisi (Beylerbeyi/Hamid-i Evvel Mosque)
Hamid-i Evvel Cami, Üsküdar, 34676 Beylerbeyi/İstanbul
Daily, except prayer times.
Muslims pray five times each day. The precise timing of prayers often vary by a few minutes each day, therefore throughout a year there is a wide range of prayer times. The reason is that Islamic prayer times were traditionally set according to the movement of the sun.
Actually Islamic prayers are fixed at the same "time" period each day -- before dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Because of the rotation of the earth, the latitudes of the earth’s locations, daylight savings time, etc. -- the "times" (according to the clock) for these prayers change depending on time of day and location.
Also known as the the Hamid-i Evvel Mosque, the Beylerbeyi Mosque is located in the district of the same name. Its construction began in 1777 and finished the following year. The mosque was commissioned by Abdülhamid I in the memory of his mother Rabia Sermi Sultan and its architect was Mehmed Tahir Ağa.
The mosque is in the baroque style and its support walls were built of cut stone. Its octagonal base is emphasized by its domed mihrab and the half-dome ceiling directly above it. The mosque is noted for the calligraphy and Ottoman and European tiles which decorate its interior which is illuminated by 55 windows.
Between 1810-1811 the mosque’s congregation changed and its minaret was torn down and two more were built in its place at the request of Mahmud II. It last underwent serious restoration work in 1969.
Mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. It comes from the Arabic word 'masjid' which literally means "a place for prostration". Mosques are also places where Muslims come together for different purposes such as education, social gatherings, public meetings, exhibitions, lectures etc. Although there is no specific requirement for mosques in terms of their architecture, one can see some common features inside and outside of many mosques such as minarets, domes, ablution areas, prayer niche (mihrab), pulpit (minbar) and so on.
Muslims are obliged to perform the ritual worship 5 times a day. They are not required to attend a mosque for each of these prayers however in order to interact with the community they are encouraged to pray in congregation. Friday noon is the only time in a week when Muslims must definitely join the congregational prayer in a mosque after which they can continue their work, education or other commitments.
Azan or the call for prayer is a vocal announcement that one can hear from minarets 5 times a day. The call to prayer is made live -even early in the morning- by a person called 'muazzin'. The muazzins are usually chosen from people with loud and beautiful voices and trained over years to make this announcement beautifully and invite people to worship.