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mashriq al-adhkar

(Arabic: "place where the uttering of the name of God arises at dawn"), temple or house of worship in the Baha'i faith. The mashriq is characterized by a nine-sided construction, in keeping with the Baha'i belief in the mystical properties of the number nine. Free of ritual and clergy, the mashriq is open to adherents of all religions and offers a simple service consisting of readings from the sacred Baha'i writings and the holy books of other faiths. The Baha'i faithful envision a mashriq in every sizeable community, serving as the focal point of a social centre that would include a hospital, orphanage, dispensary, and school.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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