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Islamic Architecture
 
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Hey guys,

I personally like the very precise proportions of Islamic architecture,
and I like that fashion.

But a question: is there anybody who can tell me, from which sources are the principles of Islamic architecture taken, what influences did Islamic architecture develop from and build upon?
Waleed Akef
Responses
 
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
difficult.
Dushyant Nathwani
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Ciao Waleed,

What I know is that the Islamic architecture has taken a lot from Spanish arts, and it was influenced by the baroque style. But, some scholars say that Arabic peninsula was semi-isolated, especially Al-Hejaz where no imperialist tried to capture it. In my opinion, I believe that this point of view is totally wrong because Arabic peninsula was surrounded by many architectural resources belong to ancient civilizations such as ancient Egyptian architecture, as well as Parisian, Sasanian, Gothic, and classical Hellenistic of Greek and Roman civilizations.

Furthermore, we have to consider the original civilization in certain country. I mean that the term (Islamic Architecture) becomes incapable to express the entire essence of its sense when it ignores the real origins. The historical phases, the political situation, and the social life are different from one Islamic country to another, and these differences generate different aspects of architecture. In this case, it would be better to name it as Islamic architecture of Egypt, Islamic architecture of Iraq, of Andalusia... etc.

Moreover, we can not step over the truth that the Islamic civilization arose suddenly from nothing and without any architectural and artistic background, so it was bounded to seek the help of outer experiences. It is well known that Muslims of that period depended on Christian architects to build their earlier mosques. Another point which is worth to be mentioned, many mosques were built on the debris of churches. For example, the very first mosque in Damascus was built on an existing church after manipulating it.

Best regards,
Rami Youness
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Thanks a lot Ramy,

I am really impressed.
Waleed Akef
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Waleed,

I was in the hanging church last week and the guide made a very interesting comment on the designs of the wall of the church, that are very similiar to the geometrical pattern of the islamic designs. He said that the Christian workers at the time of "fath masr" were obliged to convert to Islam obviously as they couldn't pay the gezia so the work of early Islam was very much influenced by the Coptic designs, which in turn are an evolution of the Byzantine era..

Another opinion states that all arts developed from their immediate previous civilizations and we can trace them all back to the ancient Egyptians.

I'm in process of researching this topic.
Sagui Hamed
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Waleed, I think you will find that many religions followed the concept of sacred geometry, probably from their astronomical observations of the night sky and their attempts to recreate sacred geometrical forms on earth.

An interesting book for me is the Sufi based "A Sense of Unity" MIT published, by Ardalan and Bakhtiar of Iran. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Waleed,

Look up past ArchNet forums that deal with this topic. There have been plenty and this subject has been debated widely. Look under the topic category "Islamic Architecture" in the ArchNet Discussion Forum for a listing of topics. You may want to also consult a publication in the Digital Library entitled "Islamic Architecture: A Debate in Seven Parts"
Shiraz Allibhai
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Thanks to all responses you made but I'd like to shed some light on some issues.

Hamed, you said that the Christians had to convert their creed at the first years of the "fateh" or Islamic conquest. I want to tell you without prejudice that, although it is indisputible that the Arabs used the Christian (Coptic) workers to finish their structures or buildings, that doesn't mean that the Arabs obliged the Christians to convert to their religion. If you were taught Arab history you would know that the Muslim Arabs always gave three options to the Christians: 1) Become a Muslim and take all the rights, duties, etc as we will take, 2) pay the tribute "jeziah", 3) fighting. That's the terms of each of every treaties and letters Arabs were sending to a country's governor before starting conquest.

And special thanks to Shiraz.
Waleed Akef
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Waleed,

What Hamed said was that these people couldn't afford to pay the gezia, and so they chose to convert rather than fight. Fighting (and possibly dying) is not really a choice, so I don't think he's wrong to say that they were obliged to convert.
deleted user
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Bameen,

You are totally right but I just wanted to shed some lights on some points.
Thanks for interest,
Waleed Akef
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Hello Waleed,

I suggest you try and get hold of a copy of K.A.C. Creswell's Early Muslim Architecture, as he gives a very comprehensive account of the development of Islamic architecture. It is fascinating reading and helps you understand the early influences and practicalities of development linked to early Islamic progression. I'm sure you'll find it helpful.

Best wishes,

Cherry Solon

Cherry Solon
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
I do not intend to butt in, however I am new to this forum. My question is along the same lines, where would the influence of the sacred geometry have come from i.e. religious sects, or mathematics? Was the development of algebra and other maths taking place around the time of the first mosques.
Also would these have influenced the muqarnas?
Jeremy Baker
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
This link shows a pic of architecture from the Parthian Origin.

http://www.stantours.com/gallery/tm_gal_her_ab_palace_m.html


Empires that rules Persia are:

2.1 Achaemenid Empire (550 BC��330 BC)
2.2 Hellenistic Persia (330 BC��250 BC )
2.3 Parthian Empire (250 BC��AD 226)
2.4 Sassanid Empire (226��651)
2.5 Islam and Persia (650��1037)
2.6 Turkic rule (1037��1219)
2.7 Mongols and their successors (1219��1500)
Santokh Singh
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Let us call it Muslim architecture rather than Islamic one. Style of building varies from place to place for environmental and other reasons e.g. buliding materials, taste of the people. For this reason we find various kinds of Islamic architectural style. So the architecture which flourished under Muslim rule can be defined as Muslim architecture. Among the old monuments we find Turkish, Persian, architecture Central Asian elements for the sole reason that they have been built by the Mulsims rulers who came from these places.
Rizwanur Rahman
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Hi Waleed
Two years ago, I bought in Al-Minia (Midlle Egypt) a book about proportion and measures of mosques. It is in arabic and english language. I will look for it and as soon as possible I will give you the reference.
My email is pradodemello@hotmail.com
Claudio Prado de Mello
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
hygeine ....
Sher Saddozai
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
hello,
i would like to add some of my thoughts to this question. everyone has got solid reasons and in some way or the other they are right. Islamic architecture is a type of architecture based from different cultures, communities, countries and societies. it gained alot of its inspirations and ideas from different backgrounds but they went forward to explore more deep with the ideas they saw and they managed to create their won sort of unique art. why Islamic architecture is really flying high is because Islamic architecture had harmony, peace and unity within it. One example can be mosques. the idea of the minaret, domes and other features of mosques came from other countries and the main reason was because when the Islamic people took over other countries, they changed churches into mosques.
you should read about Islamic architecture History on the net.it would be a real help and it will also inspire you alot. hope i am of use of some kind.thanks
Muslim Janoowala
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Hello everyone. I'm not a historian, and my observation could be inaccurate. But from the discussions above, there appears to be developmental elements in Islamic architecture throughout history, and I'm wondering: is there a correlation between the progression in Islamic architectural design vis-a-vis Islamic doctrine?
Jofer Magsi
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Hi Waleed
The name of the publication is:
Structural Design of Mosques, by Khalil Ibrahim Waked. Scientific Book House, 1992 and 1997. ISBN 977-287-035-5

I will read something and look for a answer for you!
Claudio Prado de Mello
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Salams Waleed,
Here is my take on 'the Sources from which the principles of Islamic Architecture are taken'. If you mark with intrest then there are a few common elements in any Islamic architecture or design around the world you will agree, for example one can often see the most common 'Eight Cornered Star' i.e. a perfect square,and another perfect square superimposed on the first square by a rotation of 45 degrees. Having said that we can conclude that this is the easiest of forms in a geometrical design. To add to it the magic was when the Moselem world played with such 'balanced geomectrical' forms to perfection by arranging these 'beautiful' & 'perfect' basic desin by repeating them in liner fashion which on a distant view gave a very soothing effect to the eye, surprisingly again that is a very basic thing to do. To add attaraction to the whole design colours in the shades of blue and green were 'often' selected on a lighter shade of a background, again a basic thing to do. Finally the Moselems blended the local designs with such basic geometrical forms in the land that they won over, this can be proved when you see the designs of Northern Africa, Sourthern Europe, India, Central Asia the Balkans, South East Asia and the Middle East.
Haseeb Siddique Shaikh
Secrets of "Islamic" architecture
Structural Design of Mosques, by Khalil Ibrahim


Beware the Mosque with 'side entrance'
Sher Saddozai
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