Islamic Architecture
Geomancy in Islamic architecture
We all know about Chinese geomancy, feng shui and everything like it, applied to design (especially in Malaysia).

Did (does) geomancy influence Islamic architecture or Muslim life?
Rapinawati Iberam
Geomancy in Islamic architecture
Dear Rapinawati,
I do have a certain opinion concerning your question; I believe that the geometrical patterns used in Islamic architecture have meanings (we can't call it one of the features of Islamic architecture and the reason for that is the use of these patterns in churches and other religious buildings, and the reason for the existence of such patterns is due to the influence and the existence of these patterns many years before Islam).

However, sometimes the use of these geometrical patterns is related to certain beliefs in Islam which people themselves tried to figure out and found many things which they linked to their beliefs. For example, the octagonal shape which became one of the geometrical patterns which is found in Islamic art. People tried to link this shape with a verse in the Quran that mentions that God's throne is carried by 8 angels... so this shape was repeated many times because of this idea.

Hope that I made things clear :)
Hend Ismail
Geomancy in Islamic architecture
dear Rapinawati,

I saw your question and the first reply. I agree with the opinion that Islamic ideas have been realised into Islamic architecture, in the same way as in southwest Asia or in China.

In Europe we had a kind of Feng Shui until the era of Christianity. My friends from Arabic-speaking countries told me that these geomantic practices are known widely.

What I am talking about? For example, the location of a house in space and the contribution of rooms inside can be determined by dogs or cats (cats especially, due to their ability to feel bio- and geo- energy of some specific place. The other one practice is the location of water to the courtyards or near houses, homesteads, palaces etc.

Why? Not only because it is so rare in most Islamic countries, but also because it is used as some kind of protection against "another world - evils from the desert," and as an instrument of recovery or as a strong purification instrument.

I know that these pre-Islamic habits are accepted with strong displeasure, but they did exist, and you can find these "residues" in Islamic architecture up to these days.

In many dwellings of Muslims special signs "sand geomancy" can be also found. You can find these geomantic practics in the decoration of ex- and interiors - geomancy of astronomical origin. Read an article about it on!

I guess you will see that geomancy has affected not only East Asia but also at least west Eurasia.

with regards,


Daniel Ersdel
Geomancy in Islamic architecture
Checking thru parts of
1) Keith Critchlow's -
an Analytical & Cosmological Approach ISBN# 0-89281-803-4 &
2) Seyyed Hossein Nasr - Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines (cambridge Mass - 1964) might be helpful.
Eileen Webb
Geomancy in Islamic architecture

Very clearly, sand geomancy (use defined vis-a-vis Wikipedia) is very much connected with Carl Jung's concept of synchronicity, very parallel to the I Ching in the Asian traditions. So what we are looking at is a very real perspective on the interrelatedness of global (as in physical planetary) energies and an observed or 'alleged' correlation with human life.

Not a new concept, certainly - not unimportant, not necessarily Islamic either. As we enter the investigation of influence of 'geomancy' on traditional Islamic art, perhaps it would be a good idea to note, discuss as necessary how, if and whether 'divination' actually is treated within Islam. To do this takes a healthy respect for all derivations of Islamic thought within the global ulema as Muslims.

It is not merely talking about artistic 'designs' or their presence or absense in motifs, but very intrinsic views held throughout the Muslim world about 'divination' in general - very problematic especially if taken in terms of 'associating' oneself with Allah (a sin), who requires no equals or 'partners.' There is no negative issue associated with discussing researching and understanding further such implications - only that we proceed with great respect. Much that maybe be discussed differs widely from group to group, culture to culture and, truly we will find actual historic examples of motifs, etcetera, which may support (or not) arguments presented. Certainly there is much held in common, and much not - what is important is the final respect and understanding to which all rational persons may aspire.

In of itself, the work is most often beautiful - the mathematics alone are awe-inspiring. Certainly, in identifying aspects of 'Islamic' character in architecture, graphics, etcetera, there is a viable, impressive value to motifs found through the study of 'geomancy.'

It is truly one of the great attributes of Islamic perspective, the mathematical scientific appreciation - the logic of the Universe if you will - that attracts and validates the most humane and positive aspects of Islam (Allah, ever turning toward forgiveness).

So, I look forward to and yet feel a little trepidation at entering this field. Know that this discussion ocurs across the board, all cultures, all spiritual beliefs: it may be that this is one of those 'gateways' through which people of good intent seamlessly traverse good belief systems, I don't know. Bismallah!

ma salemah!
Anthony Stewart
Geomancy in Islamic architecture
Thank you for all the opinions.

In my opinion Islamic Geomancy is a location influenced by surrounding place. The earth have the ability to make a harmoniuos place or position from the other planet. The earth's power generate the magnetic waves, which is this will influenced human spritiual, emotions, mental and psycical.

In Malaysia or any South East Asian contries, the geomancy is more directly from China which is Feng Shui.

The 9 influenced to the place in the Islamic context.
1. Location
2. Colours
3. Arrangement
4. Similarity
5. Pattern
6. Form
7. Partners/ couple
8. Angle
9. Materials

Some of the islamic geomancy example which is more to Feng Sui,

1. Wind and Sun is very important, so the big main door will be in the right side to be able received more sun to get more energy.

2. The roof will focus to sunrise.

3. The kitchen door will be at left side and small because of the good energy have to keep in house.

The things to avoid :
1. Not many doors
2. Main door not in line with kitchen door
3. Kitchen have to be closed
4. Avoid the pool or fountain from main door.
Rapinawati Iberam


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