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Religion



     1396-1397. In the land of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Tartars inhabited by Duke Vytautas to this day retain their tykib, whose cornerstone is 'La ilaha illa'llah Muhammadur rasuli'llah' (There is no other god except God, and Muhammad is God's Messenger). The militant Tartars guarded castles and state borders, so their settlements were established around Vilnius, Trakai, on the Samogitian border, near Punia, Grodno and Novgorod. 1631 Revision of the GDR of the Tartar Lords revealed that there were 225 Tatar houses in Trakai, 169 in Vilnius, 135 in Ashmena and 44 in Raiži.


Architectural examples in the construction of the mosques were the home of Prophet Muhammad in Mecca and Medina - small square buildings with a gable roof - this is Traku Lukiškės. Forty mosques of the Tatars, or Raižiai, Lukiškės mosques with a small minaret on top. The wooden Tatar mosques of Lithuania, the only mosque in Kaunas, built in 1933, are made of stone and stand out in their innovative style. At first glance, wooden mosques resemble village churches, only the crescent of Islam with a glimpse of it being a house of worship for the Muslim faith. These are the mosques of Forty Tatars and Nemezh villages. During many years of its existence, wooden mosques have been restored, rebuilt, their facade cladding, windows and roofing changed. Unfortunately, these changes have resulted in sacred buildings losing their authenticity.




Mosque of Kaunas

From the inside, the mosques are divided into men's and women's, and the entrances to the outside are also separate, with worship on the men's side, which is always larger. An important element of the mosque is the mihrab, a niche showing the direction of Mecca. To the right is a special ascent with five steps called a minbar, from which a clergyman (imam) recites prayers or communicates with believers. On the walls of the mosque are the muhirs - calligraphically written prayers from the Qur'an. The floors of the mosque are covered with carpets and small rugs called namazlyk. On the rugs kneeling prayers, paleo walls are a few benches for the elderly faithful.

Each mosque has a shelf on which holy books are placed: chamail (pocket prayer book), tefsir (interpretation of the Qur'an), Tajvid (textbook on reading the Qur'an), other (manuscript of religious and secular content). The Qur'an (in Arabic, meaning 'often read book') is placed above all books.

The history of each mosque is special, has many tragic moments, is closely related to the history of Lithuania and the fates of many people.