Pilgrimage, or "hajj", there at least once in their lives. Muslims pray five times a day facing the Kaaba in Mecca, and if they are able, they will make a Pilgrimage
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- Muslims pray five times a day facing the Kaaba in Mecca, and if they are able, they will make a Pilgrimage
- For Christians, in addition to the Old Testament Jewish associations, the Temple Mount was revered because of its place in the life and ministries of Jesus Christ.
- Islamic belief in Aniconism and the doctrine of unity (al-twahid) demanded a rich vocabulary of abstract, geometric forms that translated into the architecture of mosques.
- Artists reiterated these forms in complex decoration that covered the surface of every work of art from large buildings, to rugs, paintings and small sacred objects.
- They provided light by means of a wick placed in a container of oil within the lamp.
- Muhammad is the true and greatest prophet of Allah and recognition of Muhammad as the Prophet of God is required. It was through Muhammad that Allah conveyed the last and final revelation.
- Fasting (Saum)
- Alms-giving or charity (Zakat)
- Pilgrimage (Hajj)
- Metal Work – inherited skills of the Roman and Byzantine craftsmen
Muslims pray five times a day facing the Kaaba in Mecca, and if they are able, they will make a Pilgrimage, or "hajj", there at least once in their lives.
This is the oldest Muslim building which has survived basically intact in its original form. It was built by the Caliph Abd al-Malik and completed in 691 CE. The building encloses a huge rock located at its center, from which, according to tradition, the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven at the end of his Night Journey. In the Jewish tradition this is the Foundation Stone, the symbolic foundation upon which the world was created, and the place of the Binding of Isaac. The Caliph Omar is said to have cleared the waste which had accumulated on the rock during the Byzantine period. The structure is octagonal and the dome is borne by a double system of pillars and columns. The walls, ceiling, arches, and vaults are decorated with floral images. The dome, on the inside, is covered with colored and gilded stucco.
The plot of land on the elevated stone platform known as Haram Ash-Sharif on Temple Mount upon which sits the Dome of the Rock is sacred to three of the world's major monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Islamic belief in Aniconism and the doctrine of unity (al-twahid) demanded a rich vocabulary of abstract, geometric forms that translated into the architecture of mosques.
The most complete documentation of Samanid art is to be found in its ceramics, and during the 9th century, the wares of Transoxiana were very popular throughout the eastern provinces of Persia. The best-known and most refined pottery of this Samarkand type is that bearing large inscriptions in Kufic (the earliest version of Arabic script used in the Koran, named after the city Kufa in Iraq) painted in black on a white background.
Throughout the Islamic world, mosques and other religious structures were frequently illuminated with oil lamps suspended from the rafters or ceiling. During the fourteenth century, hundreds of such lamps were commissioned by the powerful Mamluk ruler and patron of the arts, Sultan Hasan (reigned 1344–51 and 1354–61), for his vast religious complex in Cairo.
These mosque lamps were elaborately decorated with paint, gilt, and enamel, and often included the sultan's name as symbolic representations of a specific Koranic verse (sura 24, verse 35), known as the Light verse, which encircles the tall neck of the lamp.
The lamps are also decorated with a bold inscription frieze containing the name and titles of Sayf al-Din Shaykhu al-Nasiri, an important patron of art and architecture in Cairo. His heraldic device incorporating a red cup appears in the centre of the roundels on the neck and the underside of the lamp.
Mihrab - A mihrab is a niche in the wall which points the worshipers toward Mecca.
The Five Pillars of Islam are core beliefs that shape Muslim thought, deed, and society. A Muslim who fulfills the Five Pillars of Islam, remains in the faith of Islam, and sincerely repents of his sins, will make it to Jannah (paradise). If he performs the Five Pillars but does not remain in the faith, he will not be saved.
Alms-giving or charity (Zakat)
Metal Work – inherited skills of the Roman and Byzantine craftsmen
Muslim metalworkers produced large numbers of pen boxes, many of which were richly decorated with inlays of gold, silver, and copper. A typical medieval Islamic calligrapher's pen box is an elongated rectangular object with rounded corners, about ten inches long, three inches wide, and two inches tall. In its simple construction, it is composed of a main body and a lid with two hinges along one of the long sides and a clasp on the opposite side. The interior includes a receptacle to hold the inkwell in one corner while the remaining space is reserved for a variety of reed pens and penknives.
Roses, hyacinths, narcissi, campanula, irises, carnations, and lilies are among the many types of flowers that blossom in the field and borders of this carpet, which is generally attributed to the seventeenth-century production of Kirman, Iran. The flora are arranged symmetrically in pattern and color around a central octagonal medallion and four quarter medallions in the corners. The art of illumination, especially that of book covers, might have provided the inspiration for the central and corner medallion design, which was woven into so many Persian carpets. The decorative theme of the medallion has Central Asian roots and was known in the Timurid period, but its popularity greatly increased during the rule of the Safavids and beyond.
Making knotted carpets were surely regarded as a tradition in ancient Persia like in today. The oldest piece of rug in the world is an Iranian knotted one called Pazyrik (named after an area where it has been discovered in a frozen tomb in Southern Siberia). It dates back to 400-300 B.C.
Iranian carpets consist of warp, weft, silk pile, wool, cotton or fuzz knotted with weft forming the flesh of carpets. In different parts of Iran, carpet makers created their own styles and schools. Techniques were sometimes different from tribe to tribe or city to city.
Plain flat-weave or kilim weave implies a tapestry-like flat woven structure. The coloured woollen threads forming the motifs are interwoven across the warps, not from edge to edge, but only where the pattern and colour make it necessary. The result is a thinner, soft yet hardy reversible tapestry-like weave.
Calligraphy is the most highly regarded and most fundamental element of Islamic art. It is significant that the Qur’an, the book of God's revelations to the Prophet Muhammad, was transmitted in Arabic, and that inherent within the Arabic script is the potential for developing a variety of ornamental forms. The employment of calligraphy as ornament had a definite aesthetic appeal but often also included an underlying talismanic component. While most works of art had legible inscriptions, not all Muslims would have been able to read them. One should always keep in mind, however, that calligraphy is principally a means to transmit a text, albeit in a decorative form.
Objects from different periods and regions vary in the use of calligraphy in their overall design, demonstrating the creative possibilities of calligraphy as ornament. In some cases, calligraphy is the dominant element in the decoration. In these examples, the artist exploits the inherent possibilities of the Arabic script to create writing as ornament. An entire word can give the impression of random brushstrokes, or a single letter can develop into a decorative knot. In other cases, highly esteemed calligraphic works on paper are themselves ornamented and enhanced by their decorative frames or backgrounds. Calligraphy can also become part of an overall ornamental program, clearly separated from the rest of the decoration. In some examples, calligraphy can be combined with vegetal scrolls on the same surface though often on different levels, creating an interplay of decorative elements.
Consisting of, or generated from, such simple forms as the circle and the square, geometric patterns were combined, duplicated, interlaced, and arranged in intricate combinations, thus becoming one of the most distinguishing features of Islamic art. However, these complex patterns seem to embody a refusal to adhere strictly to the rules of geometry. As a matter of fact, geometric ornamentation in Islamic art suggests a remarkable amount of freedom; in its repetition and complexity, it offers the possibility of infinite growth and can accommodate the incorporation of other types of ornamentation as well. In terms of their abstractness, repetitive motifs, and symmetry, geometric patterns have much in common with the so-called arabesque style seen in many vegetal designs. Calligraphic ornamentation also appears in conjunction with geometric patterns.
The four basic shapes, or "repeat units," from which the more complicated patterns are constructed are: circles and interlaced circles; squares or four-sided polygons; the ubiquitous star pattern, ultimately derived from squares and triangles inscribed in a circle; and multisided polygons. It is clear, however, that the complex patterns found on many objects include a number of different shapes and arrangements, allowing them to fit into more than one category
This illuminated page originally formed the right half of a double-page opening to a section of a Qur’an. It combines the three main Islamic types of nonfigural decoration: calligraphy, vegetal patterns, and geometric patterns. The vegetal patterns here are the classical scrolls utilized as the background to the calligraphy, within the compartments of the geometric interlace, and in the text frame and margin medallion. Two ground colors are used to introduce additional patterning.
The empire they built was the largest and most influential of the Muslim empires of the modern period, and their culture and military expansion crossed over into Europe. Not since the expansion of Islam into Spain in the eighth century had Islam seemed poised to establish a European presence as it did in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Like that earlier expansion, the Ottomans established an empire over European territory and established Islamic traditions and culture that last to the current day (the Muslims in Bosnia are the last descendants of the Ottoman presence in Europe).
The Ottoman empire lasted until the twentieth century. While historians like to talk about empires in terms of growth and decline, the Ottomans were a force to be reckoned with, militarily and culturally, right up until the break-up of the empire in the first decades of this century. The real end to the Ottoman culture came with the secularization of Turkey after World War II along European models of government. The transition to a secular state was not an easy one and its repercussions are still being felt in Turkish society today; nevertheless, secularization represents the real break with the Ottoman tradition and heritage.
Prolific and brilliant master-architect of the Ottoman Empire, holding responsibilities for an enormous range of public works. One of his greatest buildings was the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul (1550–7) which shows how much he had absorbed of Byzantine forms and construction, especially those of the Church of Hagia Sophia, but Sinan improved and rationalized the system of buttressing for the central dome, and clarified the subsidiary elements.
A peculiarly Ottoman Turkish phenomenon is the calligraphic "tughra" (handsign), unique to each sultan, which gives his name and titles and appears at the head of every firman (royal edict). The spectacularly bold calligraphy contrasts with the dense yet delicate flowering plants, arabesques, and floral scrolls.
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