Throughout history and in many parts of the world mosques have stood at the center of an enormous range of activities. In Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and India, for example, mosque complexes have combined educational facilities of various levels, libraries, medical schools and hospitals, social service facilities, funerary facilities, and religious residences. Many of the monumental complexes depended on the sort of equally monumental royal patronage that is rare these days. But plans for somewhat less ambitious projects are afoot now in various parts of the United States. As local communities grow, mosque complexes will become increasingly visible. Meeting and social spaces are just the first of many needs beyond the basic requirement of a place for communal ritual prayer.