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Creswell and the Origins of the Minaret
This is a discussion responding to this publication in the ArchNet Digital Library: Bloom, Jonathan M. 1991. Creswell and the Origins of the Minaret. In Muqarnas VIII: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture. Oleg Grabar (ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill.
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Creswell and the Origins of the Minaret
COMMENT ON Jonathan Bloom (1991), ��Creswell and the Origins of the Minaret��, in Muqarnas, Vol.VII, An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture, E.J. Brill, Leiden [Archhnet] Since Islam came about in 622 CE throughout the arid zones of Africa and the Middle East Mosques were built. Masjid Nabi, initially the Prophet��s House in al-Madinah was the first Mosque of Islam as his house and court were used as a Mosque as we understand it to day. According to Creswell (1958: 5) the Prophet��s House had no manaraat confirmed by Bloom (1991: Archnet) by stating: The earliest Mosques lacked minarets first. The Prophet��s House was rebuilt as Masjid Nabi in 707 CE under Khalif al-Waleed (Creswell, 1958: 43) with four sawami (Bloom, 1986: 39 and 1991: Archnet). Ignoring philology, in to-day��s language sawami is manaraat. Egypt��s first Mosque, the ��Amr Masjid , was built in Fustat (��Amr Ibn al-As�� tent), a new military encampment near Cairo in 641-42. It had no manaraat then. The same applies to the earliest Mosques of Kufa and Basrah, which initially were also military encampments. The ��Amr Masjid according to Creswell (1958: 13 and Bloom, 1989: 39 and 1991: Archnet) was rebuilt in 673 / 674 CE with four sawami placed on the roof of the Mosque. Some architects would refer to this as 'attached architecture'. This must have happened under the regime of Ummayad Khalif Mu��awiya who reigned from 661-680 CE. Both Mosques locate in an arid climate zone, which are areas with high day and cool night temperatures. Those are areas where the larger open courts of the older Mosques are subjected to c 800W/m2/h of beam solar radiation resulting in conditions that represent a heat sink. After having experienced these courts as such an intelligent community decided that ventilation of the courts and its associated covered areas was necessary. This was made possible by providing ventilation stacks attached / not attached to the structure. Initially they were short ventilation stacks and not the minarets that evolved into the aesthetic manarah of to day. Bloom in 1983: Fig.17 (Fig.1) depicted these manaraat as square towers for the re-built Masjid Nabi. However, in proportion to the Building they are short stacks. Hillebrand (1994: 72) elaborated on this image. The manaraat were depicted somewhat taller. Nevertheless they also remain short stacks in relation to the depicted Building. Further, whilst Bloom correctly incorporates the trapezoid shape of the Building in an axonometric drawing, the trapezoid is not evident in Hillenbrand��s axonometric drawing. Both Bloom and Creswell maintain that the idea of square towers or sawami originated with the Damascus temenos / temple, now the Great Mosque of Damascus. There is no evidence whether those sawami were short or tall. The Damascus Mosque was started in 705 CE and finished 715 CE (Creswell 1958: 58,72,103). To reinforce the argument on the square form of the sawami the same authors draw-in as examples the square cells used by Syrian monks. The Damascus temple sawami and the square cells are thought to have influenced the development of the sawami of both the re-built ��Amr Masjied of 673 CE and re-built Masjid Nabi of 707 CE. The same authors but also Hillebrand assign a number of functions to the sawami such a light house, a fire alarm tower and a tower for direction finding supported by photographs and graphics. Although Hillebrand refers a number of times to ventilation of the older Mosques the sawami as a ventilation stack is not discussed. Thus the re-built ��Amr Masjid of 673 CE and the re-built Masjid Nabi of 707 CE had each four short and square sawami, one on each corner of their buildings / open courts that themselves were surrounded with walls of natural stones. Large open courts in arid zones tend to become heat sinks that need to be ventilated. Sawami could do that they were short ventilation stacks to become the aesthetic manaraat of to-day. Looking at both dates, it is clear that besides the existing square towers of the Damascus temple the ��Amr Masjid in Fustat in Egypt was the first Mosque to be equipped with sawami followed by al-Waleed��s Masjid Nabi in al-Madinah. In this Creswell was correct. Images The image the top right hand corner contains an axonometric drawing by Bloom, (1983: Fig.17) and below it in the same image is an axonomtric drawing by Hillebrand (1994: 72). Both drawings are of the re-built Masjid Nabi in al-Madinah with sawami for the first time, one sawami on each corner. The re-built took place under Ummayad Khalif al-Waleed Ibn Abdul Malik in 707-709 CE. The sawami are more or less in the nature of short stacks. References Bloom, Jonathan (1989), Minaret, Symbol of Islam; Oxford Studies in Islamic Art, Oxford: The Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Bloom, Jonathan (1991), ��Creswell and the Origins of the Minaret��, in Muqarnas, Vol.VII, An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture, E.J. Brill, Leiden [Archhnet]. Creswell, K.A.C. (1958), A Short Account of Early Muslim Architecture, Harmondsworth, and Middelsex: Penguin Books. Hillenbrand, Robert (1994), Islamic Architecture; Form, Function and Meaning, New York: Columbia University Press.
Kamaruddin Schwarz
Creswell and the Origins of the Minaret
COMMENT ON Jonathan Bloom (1991), ��Creswell and the Origins of the Minaret��, in Muqarnas, Vol.VII, An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture, E.J. Brill, Leiden [Archhnet] Since Islam came about in 622 CE throughout the arid zones of Africa and the Middle East Mosques were built. Masjid Nabi, initially the Prophet��s House in al-Madinah was the first Mosque of Islam as his house and court were used as a Mosque as we understand it to day. According to Creswell (1958: 5) the Prophet��s House had no manaraat confirmed by Bloom (1991: Archnet) by stating: The earliest Mosques lacked minarets first. The Prophet��s House was rebuilt as Masjid Nabi in 707 CE under Khalif al-Waleed (Creswell, 1958: 43) with four sawami (Bloom, 1986: 39 and 1991: Archnet). Ignoring philology, in to-day��s language sawami is manaraat. Egypt��s first Mosque, the ��Amr Masjid , was built in Fustat (��Amr Ibn al-As�� tent), a new military encampment near Cairo in 641-42. It had no manaraat then. The same applies to the earliest Mosques of Kufa and Basrah, which initially were also military encampments. The ��Amr Masjid according to Creswell (1958: 13 and Bloom, 1989: 39 and 1991: Archnet) was rebuilt in 673 / 674 CE with four sawami placed on the roof of the Mosque. Some architects would refer to this as 'attached architecture'. This must have happened under the regime of Ummayad Khalif Mu��awiya who reigned from 661-680 CE. Both Mosques locate in an arid climate zone, which are areas with high day and cool night temperatures. Those are areas where the larger open courts of the older Mosques are subjected to c 800W/m2/h of beam solar radiation resulting in conditions that represent a heat sink. After having experienced these courts as such an intelligent community decided that ventilation of the courts and its associated covered areas was necessary. This was made possible by providing ventilation stacks attached / not attached to the structure. Initially they were short ventilation stacks and not the minarets that evolved into the aesthetic manarah of to day. Bloom in 1983: Fig.17 (Fig.1) depicted these manaraat as square towers for the re-built Masjid Nabi. However, in proportion to the Building they are short stacks. Hillebrand (1994: 72) elaborated on this image. The manaraat were depicted somewhat taller. Nevertheless they also remain short stacks in relation to the depicted Building. Further, whilst Bloom correctly incorporates the trapezoid shape of the Building in an axonometric drawing, the trapezoid is not evident in Hillenbrand��s axonometric drawing. Both Bloom and Creswell maintain that the idea of square towers or sawami originated with the Damascus temenos / temple, now the Great Mosque of Damascus. There is no evidence whether those sawami were short or tall. The Damascus Mosque was started in 705 CE and finished 715 CE (Creswell 1958: 58,72,103). To reinforce the argument on the square form of the sawami the same authors draw-in as examples the square cells used by Syrian monks. The Damascus temple sawami and the square cells are thought to have influenced the development of the sawami of both the re-built ��Amr Masjied of 673 CE and re-built Masjid Nabi of 707 CE. The same authors but also Hillebrand assign a number of functions to the sawami such a light house, a fire alarm tower and a tower for direction finding supported by photographs and graphics. Although Hillebrand refers a number of times to ventilation of the older Mosques the sawami as a ventilation stack is not discussed. Thus the re-built ��Amr Masjid of 673 CE and the re-built Masjid Nabi of 707 CE had each four short and square sawami, one on each corner of their buildings / open courts that themselves were surrounded with walls of natural stones. Large open courts in arid zones tend to become heat sinks that need to be ventilated. Sawami could do that they were short ventilation stacks to become the aesthetic manaraat of to-day. Looking at both dates, it is clear that besides the existing square towers of the Damascus temple the ��Amr Masjid in Fustat in Egypt was the first Mosque to be equipped with sawami followed by al-Waleed��s Masjid Nabi in al-Madinah. In this Creswell was correct. Images The image the top right hand corner contains an axonometric drawing by Bloom, (1983: Fig.17) and below it in the same image is an axonomtric drawing by Hillebrand (1994: 72). Both drawings are of the re-built Masjid Nabi in al-Madinah with sawami for the first time, one sawami on each corner. The re-built took place under Ummayad Khalif al-Waleed Ibn Abdul Malik in 707-709 CE. The sawami are more or less in the nature of short stacks. References Bloom, Jonathan (1989), Minaret, Symbol of Islam; Oxford Studies in Islamic Art, Oxford: The Board of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Bloom, Jonathan (1991), ��Creswell and the Origins of the Minaret��, in Muqarnas, Vol.VII, An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture, E.J. Brill, Leiden [Archhnet]. Creswell, K.A.C. (1958), A Short Account of Early Muslim Architecture, Harmondsworth, and Middelsex: Penguin Books. Hillenbrand, Robert (1994), Islamic Architecture; Form, Function and Meaning, New York: Columbia University Press.
Kamaruddin Schwarz
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