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Tunisia Home of the minaret
May 27, 2018
A minaret is a tower located next to a mosque, from which the call to prayer is traditionally delivered. Mosques can have one or several minarets and their various shapes are influenced by local taste.
The oldest standing minaret in the world is in the grand mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia. Its shape was inspired by the famous lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt, and it became a prototype copied all over the Muslim world. (Note: the English word minaret derives from manara, or “light tower” in Arabic.)
Tunisians may not immediately come to mind as the greatest inventors, but this small country of 11 million has generated many other lasting concepts— from the word “trinity” (coined by Tertullian in Carthage around AD200), to a theological reinterpretation of Muslim tradition to abolish polygamy in law and fact (spearheaded by Tahar Haddad around 1930).
Politically, when Tunisians showed in 2011 that autocrats could be ousted peacefully, the Arab, Kurdish and Turkish world orders were tossed upside down by this concept. Tunisia offered the unlikely example that a somewhat secular democracy could be wrestled back from political Islamists without a coup (the 2015 Nobel Prize rewarded this “proof of concept”).
Spiritually, some 21st- century Tunisian scholars have collaborated or publicly endorsed Bible translation efforts, which has had a great impact in many nations, encouraging Muslims to engage with the Bible.
Pray for them
- Pray for Tunisia to continue as a leading example of peace, freedom, and prosperity in the region.
- Pray that Tunisians would overcome social pressures and that interest in Jesus would become common.
- Pray for Christ-followers who are trying to understand how to follow Jesus in the culture they belong to.
Visit pray4tunisia.com for more info, stories and prayer ideas for all of Tunisia’s unreached peoples.
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These pages are made available every day during the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World for those who cannot afford to purchase, or do not have access to the booklet.
You can purchase the full PDF guide here: