Mecca spelled Makkah, is a city in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula, the plain of Tihamah in Saudi Arabia, is the capital and administrative headquarters of the Makkah Region. The city is located 70 km inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m above sea level, 340 kilometres south of Medina, its resident population in 2012 was 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah. As the birthplace of Muḥammad, the site of Muhammad's first revelation of the Quran, Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, by majority description Islam's holiest site, as well as being the direction of Muslim prayer. Mecca was long ruled by Muhammad's descendants, the sharifs, acting either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger polities, it was conquered by Ibn Saud in 1925.
In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure, home to structures such as the Abraj Al Bait known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, the world's fourth tallest building and the building with the third largest amount of floor area. During this expansion, Mecca has lost some historical structures and archaeological sites, such as the Ajyad Fortress. Today, more than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca annually, including several million during the few days of the Hajj; as a result, Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Muslim world, although non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the city. "Mecca" is the familiar form of the English transliteration for the Arabic name of the city, although the official transliteration used by the Saudi government is Makkah, closer to the Arabic pronunciation. The word "Mecca" in English has come to be used to refer to any place that draws large numbers of people, because of this some English speaking Muslims have come to regard the use of this spelling for the city as offensive.
The Saudi government adopted Makkah as the official spelling in the 1980s, but is not universally known or used worldwide. The full official name is Makkah al-Mukarramah or Makkatu l-Mukarramah, which means "Mecca the Honored", but is loosely translated as "The Holy City of Mecca"; the ancient or early name for the site of Mecca is Bakkah. An Arabic language word, its etymology, like that of Mecca, is obscure. Believed to be a synonym for Mecca, it is said to be more the early name for the valley located therein, while Muslim scholars use it to refer to the sacred area of the city that surrounds and includes the Ka‘bah; this form is used for the name Mecca in the Quran in 3:96, while the form Mecca is used in 48:24. In South Arabic, the language in use in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad, the b and m were interchangeable. Other references to Mecca in the Quran call it Umm al-Qurā, meaning "Mother of All Settlements"/"mother of villages". Another name of Mecca is Ṫihāmah.
Another name for Mecca, or the wilderness and mountains surrounding it, according to Arab and Islamic tradition, is Faran or Pharan, referring to the Desert of Paran mentioned in the Old Testament at Genesis 21:21. Arab and Islamic tradition holds that the wilderness of Paran, broadly speaking, is the Tihamah and the site where Ishmael settled was Mecca. Yaqut al-Hamawi, the 12th century Syrian geographer, wrote that Fārān was "an arabized Hebrew word, one of the names of Mecca mentioned in the Torah." Mecca is governed by the Municipality of Mecca, a municipal council of fourteen locally elected members headed by a mayor appointed by the Saudi government. As of May 2015, the mayor of the city was Dr. Osama bin Fadhel Al-Bar. Mecca is the capital of the Makkah Region; the provincial governor was prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from 2000 until his death in 2007. On 16 May 2007, prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud was appointed as the new governor; the early history of Mecca is still disputed, as there are no unambiguous references to it in ancient literature prior to the rise of Islam.
The Roman Empire took control of part of the Hejaz in 106 CE, ruling cities such as Hegra, located to the north of Mecca. Though detailed descriptions were established of Western Arabia by Rome, such as by Procopius, there are no references of a pilgrimage and trading outpost such as Mecca; the first direct mention of Mecca in external literature occurs in 741 CE, in the Byzantine-Arab Chronicle, though here the author places it in Mesopotamia rather than the Hejaz. Given the inhospitable environment and lack of historical references in Roman and Indian sources, historians including Patricia Crone and Tom Holland have cast doubt on the claim that Mecca was a major historical trading outpost; the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus writes about Arabia in his work Bibliotheca historica, describing a holy shrine: "And a temple has been set up there, holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians". Claims have been made. However, the geographic location Diodorus describes is located in northwest Arabia, around the area of Leuke Kome, closer to Petra and within the form
Muqarnas, known in Iranian architecture as Ahoopāy and in Iberian architecture as Mocárabe, is a form of ornamented vaulting in Islamic architecture. It is the archetypal form of Islamic architecture, integral to the vernacular of Islamic buildings; the muqarnas structure originated from the squinch. Sometimes called “honeycomb vaulting or “Stalactite vaulting,” the purpose of muqarnas is to create a smooth, decorative zone of transition in an otherwise bare, structural space; this structure gives the ability to distinguish between the main parts of a building, serve as a transition from the walls of a room into a domed ceiling. Muqarnas is significant in Islamic architecture, because its elaborate form is a symbolic representation of universal creation by God. Muqarnas architecture is featured in domes, half-dome entrances and apses; the two main types of muqarnas are the North African/Middle Eastern style, composed of a series of downward triangular projections, the Iranian style, composed of connecting tiers of segments.
Muqarnas is applied to the undersides of domes, cornices, squinches and vaults and is seen in the mihrab of a mosque. They can be ornamental, or serve as load bearing structures; the earliest forms of muqarnas domes, found in the Mesopotamian region, were structural. Muqarnas grew common and decorative in the beginning of the 12th century. Muqarnas can either be carved into the structural blocks of corbelled vaulting or hung from a structural roof as a purely decorative surface; the most distinctive form of the muqarnas is the honeycomb structure intricate and impossibly fractal-like in its complexity. The individual cells are called alveoles. Muqarnas can range from simplistic to complex blends of architecture and art. Muqarnas are made of brick, stucco, or wood, clad with tiles or plaster; the form and medium vary. Muqarnas structure in the east are built using a standard set of components and guidelines, creating a more uniformed style. Muqarnas found in the west are more intricately creative because they tend to not have a standard set of regulations regarding composition and construction.
In Syria and Turkey, muqarnas are constructed out of stone. In North Africa, they are constructed from plaster and wood, in Iran and Iraq, the muqarnas dome is built with bricks covered in plaster or ceramic clay; the origin of the muqarnas can be traced back to the mid-tenth century in northeastern Iran and central North Africa, as well as the Mesopotamian region. The exact origins of muqarnas are unknown, but it is assumed to have originated in either of these regions and dispersed through trade and pilgrimage. Evidence from 10th century architectural fragments found near Nishapur, tripartite squinches located in the Ata mausoleum at Tim, are some examples of early developmental forms of muqarnas. Qubba Imam al-Dawr in Iraq, completed in 1090, was the first concrete example of a muqarnas dome; the shrine was reported destroyed by ISIS in October of 2014. Given the advanced technical mastery of constructing muqarnas, it is believed that the technique, therefore architectural elements, were imported into Egypt from elsewhere in the empire.
Scholars speculate the outside influence originated from Syria however, there are few Syrian monuments still standing that can support this claim. In Egypt, the Aswan Mausolea is a crucial example for the advancement in the development of the stalactite pendentive. In the mid-eleventh century, prosperous pilgrimage routes along the Red Sea and flourishing trade routes began in Cairo and dispersed throughout the Islamic empire; this allowed for a great exchange of ideas as well as a lucrative economy, capable of funding various architectural projects. The largest example of muqarnas domes can be found in Iraq and the Jazira region of eastern Syria, with a diverse variety of applications in domes, vaults and niches; these domes are dated around the mid-twelfth century, the time of the Mongol invasion–a period of great architectural activity. Prominent examples of their development can be found in the minaret of Badr al-Jamali's mashhad in Cairo, dated by inscription to 1085, a cornice in Cairo's north wall, the Great Mosque of Isfahan, the Almoravid Qubba in Marrakech, the Great Mosque at Tlemcen in Algeria, the Mosque of the Qarawiyyin in Morocco, the Bimaristan of Nur al-Din in Damascus, the Alhambra in Granada, the Abbasid palaces in Baghdad and the mausoleum of Sultan Qaitbay, Egypt.
Large rectangular roofs in wood with muqarnas-style decoration adorn the 12th century Cappella Palatina in Palermo and other important buildings in Norman Sicily. Muqarnas ornament is found in Armenian architecture. Muqarnas ornament is significant in Islamic Architecture because it represents an ornamental form that conveys the vastness and complexity of Islamic ideology; the distinct units of the dome represent the complex creation of the universe, in turn the Creator, himself. The elaborate nature of the stacked domes serve as a representation of heaven. Influenced by the theology of the Greek Atomist Theory, it was believed that every atom composing a muqarnas dome was connected with God; the astonishing ability for the complex and unsupported muqarnas dome was proof of the mysterious existence of the universe. The muqarnas domes were constructed above portals of entry for the purpose of establishing a threshold between two worlds; the celestial connotation of the muqarnas structure represents a passage from “the functions of living,or of a
An architectural style is characterized by the features that make a building or other structure notable or identifiable. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, building materials, regional character. Most architecture can be classified within a chronology of styles which changes over time reflecting changing fashions and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, technology, or materials which make new styles possible. Styles therefore emerge from the history of a society, they are documented in the subject of architectural history. At any time several styles may be fashionable, when a style changes it does so as architects learn and adapt to new ideas; the new style is sometimes only a rebellion against an existing style, such as post-modernism, which has in recent years found its own language and split into a number of styles which have acquired other names. Styles spread to other places, so that the style at its source continues to develop in new ways while other countries follow with their own twist.
For instance, Renaissance ideas emerged in Italy around 1425 and spread to all of Europe over the next 200 years, with the French, German and Spanish Renaissances showing recognisably the same style, but with unique characteristics. A style may spread through colonialism, either by foreign colonies learning from their home country, or by settlers moving to a new land. One example is the Spanish missions in California, brought by Spanish priests in the late 18th century and built in a unique style. After a style has gone out of fashion, revivals and re-interpretations may occur. For instance, classicism found new life as neoclassicism; each time it is revived, it is different. The Spanish mission style was revived 100 years as the Mission Revival, that soon evolved into the Spanish Colonial Revival. Vernacular architecture is listed separately; as vernacular architecture is better understood as suggestive of culture, writ broadly, it technically can encompass every architectural style--or none at all.
In and of itself, vernacular architecture is not a style. Constructing schemes of the period styles of historic art and architecture was a major concern of 19th century scholars in the new and mostly German-speaking field of art history. Important writers on the broad theory of style including Carl Friedrich von Rumohr, Gottfried Semper, Alois Riegl in his Stilfragen of 1893, with Heinrich Wölfflin and Paul Frankl continued the debate into the 20th century. Paul Jacobsthal and Josef Strzygowski are among the art historians who followed Riegl in proposing grand schemes tracing the transmission of elements of styles across great ranges in time and space; this type of art history is known as formalism, or the study of forms or shapes in art. Semper, Wölfflin, Frankl, Ackerman, had backgrounds in the history of architecture, like many other terms for period styles, "Romanesque" and "Gothic" were coined to describe architectural styles, where major changes between styles can be clearer and more easy to define, not least because style in architecture is easier to replicate by following a set of rules than style in figurative art such as painting.
Terms originated to describe architectural periods were subsequently applied to other areas of the visual arts, more still to music and the general culture. In architecture stylistic change follows, is made possible by, the discovery of new techniques or materials, from the Gothic rib vault to modern metal and reinforced concrete construction. A major area of debate in both art history and archaeology has been the extent to which stylistic change in other fields like painting or pottery is a response to new technical possibilities, or has its own impetus to develop, or changes in response to social and economic factors affecting patronage and the conditions of the artist, as current thinking tends to emphasize, using less rigid versions of Marxist art history. Although style was well-established as a central component of art historical analysis, seeing it as the over-riding factor in art history had fallen out of fashion by World War II, as other ways of looking at art were developing, a reaction against the emphasis on style developing.
According to James Elkins "In the 20th century criticisms of style were aimed at further reducing the Hegelian elements of the concept while retaining it in a form that could be more controlled". While many architectural styles explore harmonious ideals, Mannerism wants to take style a step further and explores the aesthetics of hyperbole and exaggeration. Mannerism is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial qualities. Mannerism favours compositional instability rather than balance and clarity; the definition of Mannerism, the phases within it, continues to be the subject of debate among art historians. An example of mannerist architecture is the Villa Farnese at Caprarola in the rugged country side outside of Rome; the proliferation of engravers during the 16th century spread Mannerist styles more than any previous styles. A center of Mannerist design was Antwerp during its 16th-century boom. Through Antwerp and Mannerist styles were introduced in England and northern and eastern Europe in general.
Dense with ornament of "Roman" detailing, the display doorway at Colditz Castle exemplifies this northern style, characteristically applie
Kufic is the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts and consists of a modified form of the old Nabataean script. Kufic developed around the end of the 7th century in Kufa, from which it takes its name, other centres. Kufic was prevalent in manuscripts from the 7th to 10th centuries; until about the 11th century it was the main script used to copy the Qur'an. Professional copyists employed a particular form of kufic for reproducing the earliest surviving copies of the Qur'an, which were written on parchment and date from the 8th to 10th centuries. Kufic is seen on Seljuk coins and monuments and on early Ottoman coins, its decorative character led to its use as a decorative element in several public and domestic buildings constructed prior to the Republican period in Turkey. The current flag of Iraq includes a kufic rendition of the takbir; the flag of Iran has the takbir written in white square kufic script a total of 22 times on the fringe of both the green and red bands. Square or geometric Kufic is a simplified rectangular style of Kufic used for tiling.
In Iran sometimes entire buildings are covered with tiles spelling sacred names like those of God and Ali in square Kufic, a technique known as banna'i."Pseudo-Kufic" "Kufesque", refers to imitations of the Kufic script, made in a non-Arabic context, during the Middle Ages or the Renaissance: "Imitations of Arabic in European art are described as pseudo-Kufic, borrowing the term for an Arabic script that emphasizes straight and angular strokes, is most used in Islamic architectural decoration". Mashq script Hijazi script Ancient South Arabian script Ancient North Arabian script Thuluth Naskh Tawqi Muhaqqaq Rayhan Persian calligraphy Mack, Rosamond E. Bazaar to Piazza: Islamic Trade and Italian Art, 1300–1600, University of California Press, 2001 ISBN 0-520-22131-1 Wolfgang Kosack: Islamische Schriftkunst des Kufischen. Geometrisches Kufi in 593 Schriftbeispielen. Deutsch – Kufi – Arabisch. Christoph Brunner, Basel 2014, ISBN 978-3-906206-10-3. Square Kufic lectures: alphabet, square designs Kufic manuscript alphabet On The Origins Of The Kufic Script Kufic Script Square Kufic Script Square Kufic Square Kufic explained
Abbasid architecture developed in the Abbasid Caliphate between 750 and 945 in its heartland of Mesopotamia. The Abbasids inherited Persian architectural traditions in Mesopotamia, were influenced by Central Asian styles, they evolved distinctive styles of their own in decoration of their buildings. While the Abbasids lost control of large parts of their empire after 850, their architecture continued to be copied by successor states in Iran and North Africa. In 750 the Abbasids seized power from the Umayyad rulers of the Arab empire, who lost all their possessions apart from Spain; the Abbasid caliphs based in what is now Iraq ruled over Iran, Mesopotamia and the lands of the eastern and southern Mediterranean. The period between 750 and 900 has been described as the Islamic Golden Age. Where the Umayyads had reused pre-Islamic buildings in the cities they had conquered, by the Abbasid era many of these structures required replacement; the spread of Muslim beliefs had brought changes in needs.
The Abbasids had to erect mosques and palaces, as well as fortifications, commercial buildings and facilities for racing and polo matches. They upgraded the pilgrim road from Baghdad and Kufa to Mecca, levelled the surface and built walls and ditches in some areas, built stations for the pilgrims with rooms and a mosque in which to pray. In 762 the caliph al-Mansur founded a new capital of Baghdad on the Tigris, which soon grew to one of the largest cities in the world. In 836 the caliph al-Mu'tasim transferred the capital to Samarra; the Abbasids began to lose control over the outlying parts of the empire, with local dynasties gaining effective independence in Khorasan in eastern Iran and Ifriqiya. The caliph al-Mu'tamid, by now the effective ruler only of Iraq, moved his capital back to Baghdad in 889. In 945 the Buyids, followers of Shia Islam, became effective rulers as amirs, while the Abbasid caliphs retained their nominal title. With Caliph al-Nasir the Abbasids once again gained control of Iraq, but the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258 brought the Abbasid caliphate to an end.
Early Abbasid architecture was similar to the architecture of the Sassanid Empire, as exemplified by the Palace of Ukhaidhir. It used the same techniques, the same materials of mud brick, baked brick and rough stone blocks set in mortar, followed Sassanian designs. Stone is rare in the central and southern alluvial plains that formed the heartland of Abbasid territory, so many of the buildings were of mud-brick, faced with plaster and repaired or rebuilt. Sometimes fired brick was used; when the caliph al-Mansur built the round city of Baghdad, called Madinat al-Salam, which contained the caliphal palace and administrative buildings, he may have been following earlier traditions such as the round city of Gur built by Ardashir I at Firuzabad. With the conquest of Central Asia, the influence of Soghdian architecture increased. In Samarra the stucco and wall paintings are similar to that of the palaces of Panjakent in what is now Tajikistan. In the 12th and 13th centuries, architecture in the lands ruled by the Abbasids became dominated by Seljuk architecture.
Abbasid cities were laid out on huge sites. The palaces and mosques of Samarra sprawled along the shores of the Tigris for 40 kilometres. To match the scale of the sites, monumental buildings were erected, such as the huge spiral minarets of the Abu Dulaf Mosque and the Great Mosque of Samarra, which had no counterparts elsewhere; the two-centered pointed arch and vault had appeared before the Abbasids took power, but became standard in Abbasid architecture, with the point becoming more prominent. The first developed example of the four-centered pointed arch was at the Qasr al-'Ashiq, built between 878 and 882. Three new types of stucco decoration were developed in Samarra and became popular elsewhere; the first two styles may be seen as derivative from Late Antique or Umayyad decorative styles, but the third is new. Style C used molds to create repeating patterns of curved lines, notches and other elements; the fluid designs make no use of geometric or animal themes. The stucco work was sometimes colored in red or blue, sometimes incorporated a glass mosaic.
The patterns cut into the stucco surface at an angle. This is the purest example of the arabesque, it may represent a deliberate attempt to make an abstract form of decoration that avoids depiction of living things, this may explain its rapid adoption throughout the Muslim world. Typical features of the more important buildings included massive round piers and smaller engaged columns. 9th century Abbasid architecture had foliate decorations on arches, pendant vaults, muqarnas vaults and polychrome interlaced spandrels that became identified as typical of "Islamic" architecture, although these forms may have their origins in Sassanian architecture. Thus the fronting arch of the Arch of Ctesiphon was once decorated with a lobed molding, a form copied in the palace of al-Ukhaidar; the earliest surviving Abbasid palace, built around 775, is the al-Ukhaidir Fortress. It has a plan derived from earlier Umayyad palaces; the palace lies in the desert about 180 kilometres to the south of Baghdad. It is rectangular in 175 by 169 metres, with four gates.
Three are in half-round towers that protrude from the wall, one in a rectangular recess in the wall. Inside there is a vaulted entrance hall, a central court, an iwan open to the court opposite the entrance hall, residential units. Sasanian techniques persist in the construction of vaults with pointed curves using rubble and mortar faced with b
Naskh is a smaller, round script of Islamic calligraphy. Naskh is one of the first scripts of Islamic calligraphy to develop used in writing administrative documents and for transcribing books, including the Qur’an, because of its easy legibility. Naskh was standardized by Ibn Muqla as one of the six primary scripts of Islamic calligraphy in the 10th century CE. Round scripts became the most popular in the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, due to their use by scribes. Ibn Muqla is credited with standardizing the “Six Pens” of Islamic calligraphy including thuluth, tawqi’, ruq'ah, reyhan; these are known as “the proportioned scripts” or “the six scripts”. Kufic is believed to be predate Naskh, but historians have traced the two scripts as coexisting long before their codification by Ibn Muqla, as the two served different purposes; this was possible because the scripts serve different purposes: kufic was used in decoration, while Naskh served for everyday scribal use. Naskh is a sans-serif script, meaning characters lack “hooks” on the ends of ascending and descending strokes.
For example, the alif is written as a straight stroke. Naskh differentiates various sounds through the use of diacritical points, in the form of 1-3 dots above or below the letter, which makes the script more legible. Naskh uses a horizontal base line. In sixteenth-century Constantinople, Şeyh Hamdullah redesigned the structure of naskh, along with the other "Six Pens," in order to make the script appear more precise and less heavy. Naskh was used in the transcription of books and in administrative courtly documents. Naskh allowed for the development of decorative elements into more supple, rounded designs, away from the common use of squared kufic in decoration. Naskh's use in architecture first began in the tenth century, had been adopted in many Muslim countries by the eleventh century. More fonts, such as Monotype Imaging's Bustani font, have created user-friendly digital manifestations of naskh for use in graphic design and digital typography. Ruqʿah Nastaliq Arabic, other Arabic keyboard layouts National Language Authority taʿlīq script
The Shahada is an Islamic creed, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet. The declaration, in its shortest form, reads: لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱلله lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llāh IPA: There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God. Audio audio In the English translation—"There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God."—the first, lower-case occurrence of "god" is a translation of the Arabic word ilah, while the capitalized second and third occurrences of "God" are translations of the Arabic word Allah. The noun šahāda, from the verbal root šahida meaning "to observe, testify", translates as "testimony" in both the everyday and the legal senses; the Islamic creed is called, in the dual form, šahādatān. The expression al-šahāda is used in Quran as one of the "titles of God". In Sunni Islam, the Shahada has two parts: la ilaha illa'llah, Muhammadun rasul Allah, which are sometimes referred to as the first Shahada and the second Shahada.
The first statement of the Shahada is known as the tahlīl. In Shia Islam, the Shahada has a third part, a phrase concerning Ali, the first Shia Imam and the fourth Rashid caliph of Sunni Islam: وعليٌ وليُّ الله, which translates to "Ali is the wali of God". In the Quran, the first statement of the Shahadah takes the form la ilaha illa'llah twice, allahu la ilaha illa hu much more often, it appears in the shorter form la ilaha illa Hu in many places. It appears in these forms about 30 times in the Quran, never attached with the other parts of the Shahadah in Sunni or Shia Islam or "in conjunction with another name". Islam's monotheistic nature is reflected in the first sentence of the Shahada, which declares belief in the oneness of God and that he is the only entity worthy of worship; the second sentence of the Shahada indicates the means by which God has offered guidance to human beings. The verse reminds Muslims that they accept not only the prophecy of Muhammad but the long line of prophets who preceded him.
While the first part is seen as a cosmic truth, the second is specific to Islam, as it is understood that members of the older Abrahamic religions do not view Muhammad as one of their prophets. The Shahada is a statement of both worship. In a well-known hadith, Muhammad defines Islam as witnessing that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is God's messenger, giving of alms, performing the ritual prayer, fasting during the month of Ramadan, making a pilgrimage to the Kaaba: the Five Pillars of Islam are inherent in this declaration of faith. Recitation of the Shahādah is the most common statement of faith for Muslims. In Sunni Islam, it is counted as the first of the Five Pillars of Islam, while the Shi'i Twelvers and Isma'ilis have the Shahada as among their pillars of faith, it is whispered by the father into the ear of a newborn child, it is whispered into the ear of a dying person. The five canonical daily prayers each include a recitation of the Shahada. Recitation of the Shahada in front of witnesses is the first and only formal step in conversion to Islam.
This occasion attracts more than the two required witnesses and sometimes includes a celebration to welcome the convert into their new faith. In accordance with the central importance played by the notion of intention in Islamic doctrine, the recitation of the Shahada must reflect understanding of its import and heartfelt sincerity. Intention is what differentiates acts of devotion from mundane acts and a simple reading of the Shahada from invoking it as a ritual activity. Though the two statements of the Shahada are both present in the Quran, they are not found there side by side as in the Shahada formula. Versions of both phrases began to appear in coins and monumental architecture in the late seventh century, which suggests that it had not been established as a ritual statement of faith until then. An inscription in the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem reads: "There is no god but God alone. Another variant appears in coins minted after the reign of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, the fifth Umayyad caliph: "Muhammad is the servant of God and His messenger".
Although it is not clear when the Shahada first came into common use among Muslims, it is clear that the sentiments it expresses were part of the Quran and Islamic doctrine from the earliest period. The Shahada has been traditionally recited in the Sufi ceremony of dhikr, a ritual that resembles mantras found in many other religious traditions. During the ceremony, the Shahada may be repeated thousands of times, sometimes in the shortened form of the first phrase where the word Allah is replaced by huwa; the chanting of the Shahada sometimes provides a rhythmic background for singing. The Shahada appears as an architectural element in Islamic buildings around the world, such as those in Jerusalem and Istanbul. Late-medieval and Renaissance European art displays a fascination with Middle Eastern motifs in general and the Arabic script in particular, as indicated by its use, without concern f