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  • 1. IslamicArt & Architecture
  • 2. Muhammad• Muhammad (the Prophet) founder of religion – born c. 570 inMecca. Died in 632.• At age 40, receives calling as a prophet of a new religion.• In 622, Muhammad and his followers, escaping persecution,emigrated from Mecca to a city eventually called Medina (“Cityof the Prophet”). This emigration is known as the Hejira(emigration). The Hejira marks the beginning of the Muslimcalendar.• In 630, Muhammad returned to Mecca with 10,000 soldiers. Hetook control of the city, converted the population to Islam, anddestroyed all the idols.• Muhammad recognized Christians, Jews, and Arabs asdescendants of Abraham and recognized Jesus, but not as divine.• Only Muhammad’s teachings preserve Allah’s true message• Muhammad was not divine himself – seen as the Final Prophetin the line including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Islamic Expansion
  • 3. Spread of Islam• Islam spread rapidly.• By the 8th Century, conquered North Africa and Spain(785 CE)• Constantinople fell in 1453 CE• Islam (through the work of the caliphs) established newsocial order in regions and took complete charge oftemporal as well as spiritual affairs• Islam sponsored advanced scholarship and the translationof Greco-Roman texts from all areas of learning.• The Koran, the Islamic holy book (The Word of God),is acollection of moral laws as revealed to Muhammad by thearchangel Gabriel and written down after Mohammad’sdeath by the caliph Uthman (644-656)• The Koran is supplemented by the Sunna (moral sayingsof Muhammad and anecdotes of his exemplary deeds). Islamic Expansion• Caliphs (Muslim leaders) are seen as descendants offamilies of the Prophet.
  • 4. Islamic Beliefs and Ritual • Islamic rituals centered around daily prayer and pilgrimage, without other rituals or a hierarchical spiritually privileged priesthood. • Mohammad did not set up any priesthood or church, but the Koran’s “Five Pillars” became a guide for the duties for all life’s endeavors. • The Five Pillars of Islam are: 1. Reciting the creed: “There is no god but the One God (Allah), Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” 2. Daily prayer (3-5 times) facing Mecca and Fridays in a Mosque. 3. Abstinence of food, drink, and sexual activity during the daylight hours of Ramadan.Praying at the Taj Mahal, 4. The duty of almsgiving Uttar Pradesh, India 5. Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once before death. • The reward for observing the above is Paradise.
  • 5. Islamic Mosques • Mosques are places of daily prayer. • The faithful would be called to prayer from a crier called a muezzin in the mosque’s minaret (tower), enter an enclosed courtyard, engage in ritual washing, enter mosque and begin individual prayer on their knees, facing Mecca. • The direction of Mecca was marked by a sacred niche, or mihrab mihrab, in the qibla wall (opposite to the entrance). In front of the mihrab was an elaborately decorated dome marking minaret the exclusive enclosure for the caliph, called a maqsura. • No images of anything living were allowed in Islamic mosques – only elaborate interweaving designs calledarabesque arabesques, and calligraphic passages of text. Surfaces were covered with rich, flat, linear patterns of geometric and organic designs. • The arabesque is a form of artistic decoration consisting of "surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, tendrils" or plain lines.
  • 6. Dome of the Rock • The first great Islamic building was the Dome of the Rock. • Built in Jerusalem to commemorate the winning of Jerusalem from the Byzantine Christians in 638. • The structure rises from a a huge platform known as theDome of the Rock Noble Enclosure, where in ancient times the Hebrews built the Temple of Solomon that the Roman emperor TitusJerusalem, 692 CE destroyed in 70 CE. • The site is also possibly the burial site of Adam, the place where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac, and the place where Muhammad began his miraculous journey to Heaven, and then, in the same night, returned to his home in Mecca. • Central plan, octagonal base with a double-shelled, highly raised dome. • Exterior decorated in tile (which was mostly redone in the 16th century); interior mosaics depict ornate patterns depicting crowns, jewels, and other royal motifs (a reference to the triumph of Islam over the Byzantine and Persian empires). Depictions of humans or animals was forbidden.
  • 7. The Great Mosque in Damascus • The governors of Syria moved their capital from Mecca to Damascus in 661. There, the caliph purchased and demolished a church that was dedicated to John the Baptist (which itself had previously been a temple of Jupiter) and built an imposing new mosque on the site. • The builders incorporated stone blocks, columns, and capitals salvaged from the earlier structures. • The grand prayer hall, taller than the rest of the complex,The Great Mosque of Damascus is on the south side, facing Mecca.Damascus, Syria, c. 700 • The halls façade, with its pediment and arches, recalls Roman and Byzantine models and faces into the courtyard, like a temple in a Roman forum. • The Damascus mosque synthesizes elements received from other cultures into a novel architectural unity. • Glass mosaics once covered the walls. In the sample shown to the left, a shell-shaped niche “supports” an arcaded pavilion with a flowering rooftop. The scene is an image of Paradise.
  • 8. Mosque at Córdova• The Arabs had overthrown the Visigoths in Spain in 711,and converted to Islam in 750 under the leadership of Abdal-Rahman I.• The Mezquita (Great Mosque) was begun in 784 by Abdal-Rahman I (patron), and due to a number of expansions,was not totally completed until the 10th Century.• Instead of an outdoor courtyard, it contains a hugehypostyle prayer hall.• The hypostyle hall includes 514 columns topped withdouble-tiered arches that carried a wooden roof (later Great Mosque at Córdovareplaced by vaults). The lower arches are horseshoe- Cordova, Spain, c. 800-1000shaped, a design that became closely associated withMuslim architecture.
  • 9. Mosque at Córdova• In 961, the new caliph al-Hakam II expanded the prayerhall, added a series of domes, and constructed monumentalgates on the complexes eastern and western facades. Theyalso experimented with a multi-lobed arch.• The dome, built in the 10th century, was located in thearea in front of the mihrab. It rests on an octagonal base ofarcuated squinches.• Crisscrossing ribs form an intricate pattern centered ontwo squares set at 45 degree angles to one another. Great Mosque at Córdova Cordova, Spain, c. 800-1000
  • 10. Mosque of Selim II • The Ottoman Empire was founded in approximately 1300 by Osman I. • The Ottonians developed a new style of mosque that consisted of a dome-covered square prayer hall. • Designed by the most famous Ottonian architect, Sinan “the Great” • Born a Christian around 1491, he converted to Islam, and trained in engineering while in the Ottonian army. • He became the chief court architect for the sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, and worked on many buildings. • Sinan’s greatest building was the Mosque of Selim II, built for Suleyman’s son. Mosque of Selim II • The aim was to surpass the size (width and height) of the Architect: Sinan dome on the Hagia Sophia, which he did accomplish.Edirne, Turkey, c. 1575 • The mihrab is recessed into an apse-like alcove deep enough to permit window illumination from 3 sides. • The dome rests on an octagon, which rests on a square. • Sinan used the simple but effective ratio of 1:2. For example, the forecourt of the building covers an area eual to that of the mosque proper.
  • 11. Maqarnas • An architectural ornamentation reminiscent of stalactites, muqarnas developed around the middle of the 10th century in northeastern Iran. • They take the form of small pointed niches, stacked in tiers which project beyond lower tiers, commonly constructed of brick, stone, stucco, or wood, clad with painted tiles, wood, or plaster, and are typically applied to domes, pendentives, cornices, squinches and the undersides of arches and vaultsEntrance portal of the Imam Mosque,Isfahan, Iran, c. 1630