Allah's House in the Backyard

In Germany, there is a debate going on about building mosques as prestige objects. People lose sight of the fact that there are already mosques everywhere functioning perfectly well. They have been improvisations, often by the faithful themselves, for over fifty years.

A curtain that covers the entry for women in the backyard of a mosque in Hamburg.By Tayyib Cayirli
Man praying in a typical backyard mosque in Hamburg. There are still some remains from a charity bazaar.By Tayyib Cayirli
Silent prayer at the central mosque of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs in Berlin. The carpet provides the orientation towards Mecca.By Tayyib Cayirli
An African congregation in Hamburg awaits the midday prayer. To focus their minds, people are reading the Koran or resting.By Tayyib Cayirli
Out of order: today, a chest of drawers containing prayer caps stands in front of the elevator from a previous use of the building.By Tayyib Cayirli
Entrance to a “backyard-mosque” in Cologne, with a pavilion as a place for meals and shelves as temporary storage for shoes.By Tayyib Cayirli
All mosques boast a display for prayer times, which change according to the position of the sun, a chair for the sermon, a prayer niche, and a pulpit for Friday prayers (from left to right).By Tayyib Cayirli
A group of man preparing Ifthar, the evening meal when Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. By Tayyib Cayirli
The common room with its small shop for tea and biscuits is a space for social exchange and shared leisure time.By Tayyib Cayirli
Friday prayers in Hamburg: For reasons of ritual purity, shoes must not be worn in the prayer area. Here, it is roped off with barricade tape. By Tayyib Cayirli

See Also

zenith Photo Award 2014

The third edition of the zenith Photo Award called upon professional and amateur photographers alike to pick up their cameras and take part in the debate on what Islam in Germany looks like.