The Cerrah Mehmet Paşa Mosque was built by Cerrah Mehmet Paşa, who for some time served as Grand Vizier during the reign of Mehmed III. It is located in the district – Cerrahpaşa – to which it now gives its name. According to the mosque’s inscription it was built between 1593-1594. It suffered two major fires, was repaired numerous times throughout its history and saw major damage during an earthquake in 1894. At the beginning of the 20th century its minaret was rebuilt in a different style, and the mosque reached its current state as a result of repairs in 1982.
Originally it was built as part of a mosque complex (Turkish: kulliye), which also included a madrassa, a hamam, a tomb and a public fountain. Today however the madrassa has been separated from the other buildings by the Aksaray-Kocamustafapaşa Road.
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.