A minaret is a tall, slim tower on a mosque. Traditionally, a minaret is used to call Muslims to prayer five times each day.
Originally built as ventilation systems in hot climates, modern minarets are usually outfitted with speakers, so the call to prayer can be broadcast from the tower. Minarets are also visual cues to Muslims, marking a mosque's location much like the spire on a church does. Minaret is a French word that comes from the Arabic manarah or manarat, meaning "lamp, lighthouse, or minaret."