Islamic art encompasses the visual arts produced in the Islamic world. Islamic art is difficult to characterize because it covers a wide range of lands and genres, including Islamic architecture, Islamic calligraphy, Islamic miniature, Islamic glass, Islamic pottery, textile arts such as carpets and embroidery. Islamic art comprises both religious and secular art forms. Religious art is represented by calligraphy and furnishings of religious buildings, such as mosque fittings and carpets. Secular artistic production flourished in the Islamic world, although some of its elements were criticized by religious scholars. Early development of Islamic art was influenced by Roman art, Early Christian art, Sassanian art, with influences from Central Asian nomadic traditions. Chinese art had a formative influence on Islamic painting and textiles. Though the concept of "Islamic art" has been criticised by some modern art historians as an illusory Eurocentric construct, the similarities between art produced at different times and places in the Islamic world in the Islamic Golden Age, have been sufficient to keep the term in wide use by scholars.
Islamic art is characterized by recurrent motifs, such as the use of geometrical floral or vegetal designs in a repetition known as the arabesque. The arabesque in Islamic art is used to symbolize the transcendent and infinite nature of God. Mistakes in repetitions may be intentionally introduced as a show of humility by artists who believe only God can produce perfection, although this theory is disputed; some interpretations of Islam include a ban of depiction of animate beings known as aniconism. Islamic aniconism stems in part from the prohibition of idolatry and in part from the belief that creation of living forms is God's prerogative. Muslims have interpreted these prohibitions in different ways in different places. Religious Islamic art has been characterized by the absence of figures and extensive use of calligraphic and abstract floral patterns. However, representations of Islamic religious figures are found in some manuscripts from Persianate cultures, including Ottoman Turkey and Mughal India.
These pictures were meant to illustrate the story and not to infringe on the Islamic prohibition of idolatry, but many Muslims regard such images as forbidden. In secular art of the Muslim world, representations of human and animal forms flourished in nearly all Islamic cultures, although because of opposing religious sentiments, figures in paintings were stylized, giving rise to a variety of decorative figural designs. Calligraphic design is omnipresent in Islamic art, where, as in Europe in the Middle Ages, religious exhortations, including Qur'anic verses, may be included in secular objects coins and metalwork, most painted miniatures include some script, as do many buildings. Use of Islamic calligraphy in architecture extended outside of Islamic territories. Other inscriptions include verses of poetry, inscriptions recording ownership or donation. Two of the main scripts involved are the symbolic kufic and naskh scripts, which can be found adorning and enhancing the visual appeal of the walls and domes of buildings, the sides of minbars, metalwork.
Islamic calligraphy in the form of painting or sculptures are sometimes referred to as quranic art. East Persian pottery from the 9th to 11th centuries decorated only with stylised inscriptions, called "epigraphic ware", has been described as "probably the most refined and sensitive of all Persian pottery". Large inscriptions made from tiles, sometimes with the letters raised in relief, or the background cut away, are found on the interiors and exteriors of many important buildings. Complex carved calligraphy decorates buildings. For most of the Islamic period the majority of coins only showed lettering, which are very elegant despite their small size and nature of production; the tughra or monogram of an Ottoman sultan was used extensively on official documents, with elaborate decoration for important ones. Other single sheets of calligraphy, designed for albums, might contain short poems, Qur'anic verses, or other texts; the main languages, all using Arabic script, are Arabic, always used for Qur'anic verses, Persian in the Persianate world for poetry, Turkish, with Urdu appearing in centuries.
Calligraphers had a higher status than other artists. Although there has been a tradition of wall-paintings in the Persianate world, the best-surviving and highest developed form of painting in the Islamic world is the miniature in illuminated manuscripts, or as a single page for inclusion in a muraqqa or bound album of miniatures and calligraphy; the tradition of the Persian miniature has been dominant since about the 13th century influencing the Ottoman miniature of Turkey and the Mughal miniature in India. Miniatures were an art of the court, because they were not seen in public, it has been argued that constraints on the depiction of the human figure were much more relaxed, indeed miniatures contain great numbers of small figures, from the 16th century portraits of single ones. Although surviving early examples are now uncommon, human figurative art was a continuous tradition in Islamic lands in secular contexts, notably several of the Umayyad Desert Castles, during the Abbasid Caliphate.
The largest commissions of illustrated books were classics of Persian poetry such a
Pakistani architecture is intertwined with the architecture of the broader Indian subcontinent. With the beginning of the Indus civilization around the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, for the first time in the area which encompasses today's Pakistan an advanced urban culture developed with large structural facilities, some of which survive to this day; this was followed by the Gandhara style of Buddhist architecture that borrowed elements from Ancient Greece. These remnants are visible in the Gandhara capital of Taxila. Indo-Islamic architecture emerged during the medieval period, which combined Indian and Islamic elements; the Mughal Empire ruled bewteen the 16th and 18th centuries, saw the rise of Mughal architecture, most prevalent in Lahore. During the British Colonial period, European styles such as the baroque and neoclassical became prevalent; the British, like the Mughals, built elaborate buildings to project their power. The Indo-Saracenic style, a fusion of British and Indo-Islamic elements developed.
After Independence, modern architectural styles like the international style became popular. Archaeologists excavated numerous ancient cities, among them Mohenjo Daro and Kot Diji, which have a uniform, appropriate structure with broad roads as well as well thought out sanitary and drainage facilities; the majority of the discovered brick constructions are public buildings such as bath houses and workshops. Wood and loam served as construction materials. Large scale temples, such as those found in other ancient cities are missing. With the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization the architecture suffered considerable damage. View of Mohenjo-Daro towards the Great Bath. Little is known about this civilization called Harappan because it disappeared about 1700 BC for reasons unknown and because its language remains undeciphered. Surviving evidence indicates a sophisticated civilization. Cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro had populations of some 35,000, they were laid out according to grid system.
Inhabitants lived in windowless baked brick houses built around a central courtyard. These cities had a citadel, where the public and religious buildings were located, large pools for ritual bathing, granaries for the storage of food, a complex system of covered drains and sewers; the latter rivaled the engineering skill of the Romans some 2,000 years later. With the rise of Buddhism outstanding architectural monuments were again developed, which have lasted into the present. In addition, the Persian and Greek influence led to the development of the Greco-Buddhist style, starting from the 1st century AD; the high point of this era was reached with the culmination of the Gandhara style. Important remnants of Buddhist construction are stupas and other buildings with recognizable Greek statues and style elements like support columns which, beside ruins from other epochs, are found in the Gandhara capital Taxila in the extreme north of the Punjab. A beautiful example of Buddhist architecture is the ruins of the Buddhist monastery Takht-i-Bahi in the northwest province.
The Amb Temples and Sharada Peeth and Nagarparkar Jain Temples are other examples. The forts of Derawar and Umerkot were built by Rajput clans during the medieval era, are examples of early Rajput architecture; the arrival of Islam in today's Pakistan - first in Sindh - during the 8th century CE meant a sudden end of Buddhist architecture. However, a smooth transition to predominantly pictureless Islamic architecture occurred; the way early mosques were built with decorations oriented them to the Arab style. The earliest example of a mosque from the days of infancy of Islam in South Asia is the Mihrablose mosque of Banbhore, from the year 727, the first Muslim place of worship in South Asia. Under the Delhi Sultan the Persian-centralasiatic style ascended over Arab influences. Most important characteristic of this style is the Iwan, walled on three sides, with one end open. Further characteristics are wide prayer halls, round domes with mosaics and geometrical samples and the use of painted tiles.
The most important of the few discovered buildings of Persian style is the tomb of the Shah Rukn-i-Alam in Multan. The Makli Necropolis at Thatta, which includes tombs of various rulers and Sufi saints was built between the 14th and 18th centuries, it showcases a wide variety of architecture, including Indo-Islamic, Persian and Rajput and Gujarati influences. The Chaukhandi Tombs near Karachi are similar in style. Other examples include the Rohtas Fort built by Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century, the Tombs of the Talpur Mirs. Mughal Architecture emerged in the medieval period during the reign of the Mughal Empire in the 15th to 17th centuries. Mughal buildings have a uniform pattern of structure and character, including large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways and delicate ornamentation surrounded by gardens on all four sides; the buildings are constructed out of red sandstone and white marble, make use of decorative work such as pachin kari and jali-latticed screens.
The earliest example in Pakistan is the Lahore Fort, which had existed at least since the 11th century, but was rebuilt by various Mughal Emperors. The Tomb of Anarkali, Hiran Minar and Begum Shahi Mosque date back to this period; the Tomb of Jahangir, the fourth Mughal Emperor, was completed in 1637 during the reign of his son and successor Shah Jahan. The Emperor had forbade construction of a dome over his tomb, thus the roof is simple and free of any embellishme
Mughal Architecture is the type of Indo-Islamic architecture developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries throughout the ever-changing extent of their empire in the Indian subcontinent. It developed the styles of earlier Muslim dynasties in India as an amalgam of Islamic, Persian and Indian architecture. Mughal buildings have a uniform pattern of structure and character, including large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways, delicate ornamentation. Examples of the style can be found in modern-day India, Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Mughal dynasty was established after the victory of Babur at Panipat in 1526. During his five-year reign, Babur took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived, his grandson Akbar built and the style developed vigorously during his reign. Among his accomplishments were Agra Fort, the fort-city of Fatehpur Sikri, the Buland Darwaza. Akbar's son Jahangir commissioned the Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir.
Mughal architecture reached its zenith during the reign of Shah Jahan, who constructed the Taj Mahal, the Jama Masjid, the Red Fort, the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore. The end of his reign corresponded with the decline of Mughal architecture and the Empire itself. Mughal Architecture incorporates Indian elements with Islamic elements; some features common to many buildings are: Large bulbous onion domes, sometimes surrounded by four smaller domes. Use of white marble and red sandstone. Use of delicate ornamentation work, including jali-latticed screens. Monumental buildings surrounded by gardens on all four sides. Mosques with large courtyards. Persian and Arabic calligraphic inscriptions, including verses from the Quran. Large gateways leading up to the main building. Iwans on two or four sides. Use of decorative chattris. Mughal Architecture has influenced Indian architectural styles, including the Indo-Saracenic style of the British Raj, the Rajput style and the Sikh style. Agra fort is a UNESCO world heritage site in Uttar Pradesh.
The major part of Agra fort was built by Akbar The Great from 1565 to 1574. The architecture of the fort indicates the free adoption of the Rajput planning and construction; some of the important buildings in the fort are Jahangiri Mahal built for Jahangir and his family, the Moti Masjid, Mena Bazaars. The Jahangir Mahal is an impressive structure and has a courtyard surrounded by double-storeyed halls and rooms. Humayun's tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in India; the tomb was commissioned by Humayun's first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum, in 1569-70, designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and his son, Sayyid Muhammad, Persian architects chosen by her. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, it is regarded as the first mature example of Mughal architecture. Akbar’s greatest architectural achievement was the construction of Fatehpur Sikri, his capital city near Agra at a trade and Jain pilgrimage; the construction of the walled city was started in 1569 and completed in 1574.
It contained some of the most beautiful buildings – both religious and secular which testify to the Emperor’s aim of achieving social and religious integration. The main religious buildings were the huge Jama Masjid and small tomb of Salim Chisti; the tomb, built in 1571 in the corner of the mosque compound, is a square marble chamber with a verandah. The cenotaph has an exquisitely designed lattice screen around it. Buland Darwaza known as the Gate of Magnificence, was built by Akbar in 1576 to commemorate his victory over Gujarat and the Deccan, it is 40 metres high and 50 metres from the ground. The total height of the structure is about 54 metres from ground level... The Haramsara, the royal seraglio in Fatehpur Sikri was an area; the opening to the Haramsara is from the Khwabgah side separated by a row of cloisters. According to Abul Fazl, in Ain-i-Akbari, the inside of Harem was guarded by senior and active women, outside the enclosure the eunuchs were placed, at a proper distance there were faithful Rajput guards.
This is the largest palace in the Fatehpur Sikri seraglio, connected to the minor haramsara quarters. The main entrance is double storied, projecting out of the facade to create a kind of porch leading into a recessed entrance with a balcony. Inside there is a quadrangle surrounded by rooms; the columns of rooms are ornamented with a variety of Hindu sculptural motifs. The glazed tiles on the roofs from Multan have an eye-catching shade of turquoise; the mosque was built in mother of Jahangir and wife of Akbar. Her Mughal name was Mariyam Zamani Begum and this being the reason that the mosque was built in her honor in Lahore’s walled city. Jahangir built his mother Mariyam Zamani Begum’s mosque and is just 1 km away from the tomb of Akbar near Agra at a place called Sikandra. Buland Darwaza dominates the landscape. Historian `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni writes that it was the highest gateway in Hindustan at that time until today. A chronogram is inscribed on the central archway composed by Ashraf Khan, one of Akbar's principal secretaries that reads: In the reign of King of the world Akbar, To whom is due the order in the country.
The Sheikh-ul-Islam adorned the mosque. Which for its elegance deserves as much reverence as the Ka'ba; the year of the completion of this magnificent edifice. Is found in the words: duplicate of the Masjidi'l-Haram; the Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti is famed as one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India, built during the years 1580 and 1581, along with the imperial complex at Situated near Zen
Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif is the observance of the birthday of Islamic prophet Muhammad, commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. 12th Rabi' al-awwal is the accepted date among most of the Sunni scholars, while Shi'a scholars regard 17th Rabi' al-awwal as the accepted date. The history of this celebration goes back to the early days of Islam when some of the Tabi‘un began to hold sessions in which poetry and songs composed to honour Muhammad were recited and sung to the crowds; the Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588. The term Mawlid is used in some parts of the world, such as Egypt, as a generic term for the birthday celebrations of other historical religious figures such as Sufi saints. Most denominations of Islam approve of the commemoration of Muhammad's birthday. Mawlid is recognized as a national holiday in most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world except Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are Wahhabi/Salafi. Mawlid is derived from the Arabic root word, meaning to give birth, bear a child, descendant.
In contemporary usage, Mawlid refers to the observance of the birthday of Muhammad. Along with being referred to as the celebration of the birth of Muhammad, the term Mawlid refers to the'text composed for and recited at Muhammad's nativity celebration' or "a text recited or sung on that day"; the date of Muhammad's birth is a matter of contention since the exact date is unknown and is not definitively recorded in the Islamic traditions. The issue of the correct date of the Mawlid is recorded by Ibn Khallikan as constituting the first proven disagreement concerning the celebration. Among the most recognisable dates, Sunni Muslims believe the date to have been on the twelfth of Rabi' al-awwal, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe the date to have been on the seventeenth. Since the Islamic calendar came into existence after Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Yathrib the date of death is known but the date of birth is not known. In early days of Islam, observation of Muhammad's birth as a holy day was arranged and was an increased number of visitors to the Mawlid house, open for the whole day for this celebration.
This celebration was introduced into the city Sabta by Abu'l'Abbas al-Azafi as a way of strengthening the Muslim community and to counteract Christian festivals. The early celebrations, included elements of Sufic influence, with animal sacrifices and torchlight processions along with public sermons and a feast; the celebrations occurred during the day, in contrast to modern day observances, with the ruler playing a key role in the ceremonies. Emphasis was given to the Ahl al-Bayt with presentation of recitations of the Qur ` an. According to the hypothesis of Nico Kaptein of Leiden University, the Mawlid was initiated by the Fatimids, with Marion Holmes Katz adding "The idea that the celebration of the mawlid originated with the Fatimid dynasty has today been universally accepted among both religious polemicists and secular scholars." This Shia origin is noted by those Sunnis who oppose Mawlid. Among Sunnis, the Mawlid celebration emerged in the 12th century, the first detailed description of a Sunni Mawlid celebration was of one sponsored by emir Gökböri.
Among Muslim scholars, the legality of Mawlid "has been the subject of intense debate" and has been described as "perhaps one of the most polemical discussions in Islamic law". Traditionally, most Sunni and nearly all of the Shia scholars have approved of the celebration of Mawlid, while Wahhabi and Ahmadiyya scholars oppose the celebration. Examples of historic Sunni scholars who permitted the Mawlid include the Shafi'i scholar Al-Suyuti who stated that:My answer is that the legal status of the observance of the Mawlid – as long as it just consists of a meeting together by the people, a recitation of apposite parts of the Qur'an, the recounting of transmitted accounts of the beginning of the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – and the wonders that took place during his birth, all of, followed by a banquet, served to them and from which they eat-is a good innovation, for which one is rewarded because of the esteem shown for the position of the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace –, implicit in it, because of the expression of joy and happiness on his – may God bless him and grant him peace – noble birth.
The Shafi'i scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani too approved of the Mawlid and states that:As for what is performed on the day of the Mawlid, one should limit oneself to what expresses thanks to God, such as the things that have been mentioned: recitation, serving food, alms-giving, recitation of praise about the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – and asceticism which motivate people to perform good deeds and act in view of the next world. The Damascene Shafi'i scholar Abu Shama supports the celebration of the Mawlid as does the Maliki scholar Ibn al-Hajj who spoke positively of the observance of the Mawlid in his book al-Madhkal; the Shafi'i Egyptian scholar Ibn Hajar al-Haytami was an avid supporter of the Mawlid and wro
The agal spelled iqal, egal or igal, is an accessory worn by Arab men. It is a black cord, worn doubled, used to keep a ghutrah in place on the wearer's head, it is traditionally made of goat hair. It is worn in the Arabian Peninsula and southwestern Iran by Ahwazi Arabs and the Hola people, as well as in communities of the Levant (western Syria, Palestine & Jordan and some parts of Yemen. There are several types of Agal that worn based on occasions and social status Black Agal, made of goat fleece White Agal az-Zari Agal, worn at national occasions and celebrations al-Waber Agal, made of camel hair al-Muqassab Agal worn by the dignitaries and princes al-Shatfah Agal Was a common Agal in Levant adopted by Arabs of the Arabian peninsula It's similar to al-Muqassab agal The use of the agal and keffiyah based on antiquities including bas-reliefs and statues goes back to the ancient times. Agal's use is traced in Semitic and Middle Eastern civilizations like old Babylon, Elam artifacts such as Elamite coins and figures and in ancient Arabia kingdoms, Phd.
Ernst Herzfeld The well known German archaeologist and Elamologist in his book "Iran In The Ancient East", in referring to the Susa bas-reliefs points to the unique head wear of Elamites that distinguished them from other nations, an ancient Arab aqal: Phd. Ernst Herzfeld: "These are the Susian regiments They are distinguieshed from the Median guards by their uniform, from the Persians by their different head dress, a Kind of Arab'aqal". In his turn Walther Hinz the other German archeologist and Elamologist points to these dark skinned Elamites of Susa basrelief who wear Agal, he describes them in his book " The Lost World of Elam": "These must be Elamites from the hinterland Even today dark-skinned men, in no way negroid, are to be seen in Khuzistan, they consider themselves for the most part as Arabs, speak Arabic among themselves. It seems that the population of Ancient Elam was a mixed one, consisting of dark-skinned aboriginals of uncertain race and of Semites, who had infiltrated from Mesopotamia in repeated incursions since the Akkad period" Keffiya Thawb Bisht Litham Izar Sirwal Taqiyah
Ottoman architecture is the architecture of the Ottoman Empire which emerged in Bursa and Edirne in 14th and 15th centuries. The architecture of the empire developed from the earlier Seljuk architecture and was influenced by the Byzantine architecture, Armenian architecture, Iranian as well as Islamic Mamluk traditions after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans. For 400 years Byzantine architectural artifacts such as the church of Hagia Sophia served as models for many of the Ottoman mosques. Overall, Ottoman architecture has been described as Byzantine influenced architecture synthesized with architectural traditions of Central Asia and the Middle East; the Ottomans achieved the highest level architecture in their lands since. They mastered the technique of building vast inner spaces confined by weightless yet massive domes, achieving perfect harmony between inner and outer spaces, as well as articulated light and shadow. Islamic religious architecture which until consisted of simple buildings with extensive decorations, was transformed by the Ottomans through a dynamic architectural vocabulary of vaults, semi domes and columns.
The mosque was transformed from being a cramped and dark chamber with arabesque-covered walls into a sanctuary of aesthetic and technical balance, refined elegance and a hint of heavenly transcendence. Today, one finds remnants of Ottoman architecture in certain parts of its former territories under decay. With the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, the years 1300–1453 constitute the early or first Ottoman period, when Ottoman art was in search of new ideas; this period witnessed three types of mosques: single-domed and subline-angled mosques. The Hacı Özbek Mosque in İznik, the first important center of Ottoman art, is the first example of an Ottoman single-domed mosque; the domed architectural style evolved from Edirne. The Holy Mosque in Bursa was the first Seljuk mosque to be converted into a domed one. Edirne was the last Ottoman capital before Istanbul, it is here that we witness the final stages in the architectural development that culminated in the construction of the great mosques of Istanbul.
Some of the buildings constructed in Istanbul during the period between the capture of the city and the construction of the Istanbul Bayezid II Mosque are considered late works of the early period, blending Classical Period work with the influences of the Bursa Period. Among these are the Fatih Mosque, Mahmutpaşa Mosque, the Tiled Kiosk and the Topkapı Palace; the Ottomans integrated mosques into the community and added soup kitchens, theological schools, Turkish baths and tombs. The Classical period of Ottoman architecture is to a large degree a development of the prior approaches as they evolved over the 15th and early 16th centuries and the start of the Classical period is associated with the works of Mimar Sinan. In this period, Ottoman architecture with the works, under the influence, of Sinan, saw a new unification and harmonization of the various architectural parts and influences that Ottoman architecture had absorbed but which had not yet been harmonized into a collective whole. Taking from the Byzantine tradition, in particular the influence of the Hagia Sophia, Classical Ottoman architecture was, as before a syncretic blend of numerous influences and adaptations for Ottoman needs.
In what may be the most emblematic of the structures of this period, the classical mosques designed by Sinan and those after him used a dome-based structure, similar to that of Hagia Sophia, but among other things changed the proportions, opened the interior of the structure and freed it from the colonnades and other structural elements that broke up the inside of Hagia Sophia and other Byzantine churches, added more light, with greater emphasis on the use of lighting and shadow with a huge volume of windows. These developments were themselves both a mixture of influence from Hagia Sophia and similar Byzantine structures, as well as the result of the developments of Ottoman architecture from 1400 on, which, in the words of Godfrey Goodwin, had "achieved that poetic interplay of shaded and sunlit interiors which pleased Le Corbusier."During the classical period, mosque plans changed to include inner and outer courtyards. The inner courtyard and the mosque were inseparable; the master architect of the classical period, Mimar Sinan, was born in 1489/1490 in Kayseri and died in Istanbul in the year 1588.
Sinan started a new era in world architecture. Mimar Sinan's first important work was the Şehzade Mosque completed in 1548, his second significant work was the Süleymaniye Mosque and the surrounding complex, built for Suleiman the Magnificent. The Selimiye Mosque in Edirne was built during the years 1568–74, when Sinan was in his prime as an architect; the Rüstempaşa, Mihrimah Sultan, Hadim Ibrahim Pasha Mosques and the Şehzade, Kanuni Sultan Süleyman and Selim II mausoleums are among Sinan's most renowned works. Most classical period design used the Byzantine architecture of the neighboring Balkans as its base, from there, ethnic elements were added creating a different architectural style. Examples of Ottoman architecture of the classical period, aside from Turkey, can be seen in the Balkans, Egypt and Algiers, where mosques, bridges and schools were built. During the reign of Ahmed III and under the impetus of his grand vizier İbrahim Paşa, a period of peace ensued. Due to its relations with France, Ottoman architecture began to be influenced by the Baroque and Rococo styles that were popular in Europe.
The Baroque style is noted as first being developed by Seljuk Turks, according to a numbe