The Büyük Piyale Paşa Mosque was commissioned in 1573 by Piyale Paşa, the chief admiral of the Ottoman fleet, and was designed and built by the architect Sinan. Located in the north of Kasımpaşa, on a site which at the the time was on the shores of the Golden Horn, it was designed as part of a greater mosque complex (Turkish: külliye), which also included a madrassa, a dervish lodge, a primary school, a secondary school and a market; however none of these remain today.
Built in a large court, the mosque has six domes and together with the courtyard is spread out over 22,500 square meters. During prayer times the mosque normally attracts 100-150 persons, but up to 3,000 worshipers attend Friday prayers.
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.