Built by the Ottoman Sultan Mustafa III between the years 1760-1763, the Laleli Mosque now gives its name to the surrounding area. The Laleli Mosque in turn took its name from a local tomb, the Laleli Baba Türbesi, sadly demolished in the 1950’s.
The architect of the mosque was Mehmed Tahir Ağa. Designed in a baroque-style, there are two doors to the mosque and an entrance door to its courtyard. The side of the mosque facing the avenue, the site of its long demolished hamam, is currently occupied by stores. The tomb of Mustafa III and the grave of his son, Selim III, are located next to the mosque.
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.