What is Islamic Art?
o Introduction to Islamic Civilization
o What is Islamic Art?
Problems of Definition
The case of calligraphy
o 1. Problems of Definition
Where does the term Islamic art come from?
Possible meanings based on use and interpretation
o Examples from the Abbasid, Umayyad, Ottoman and Mughal Empires
o Elements of Islamic Style
Islamic architecture may be identified with the following design elements,
which were inherited from the first mosque built by Muhammad in
o The Arabic meaning of Islam is submission to God/Allah; the creator of the
o Islam provides a comprehensive concept to humanitys eternal question:
who are we?
o Islam is a comprehensive and balanced system of life encompassing the
Why did Islam spread so easily?
o Muslims surrendered to God
o During a turbulent time Islam brought unity.
o Islam created social justice for all people.
o 9.3 Quran and Sunnah
o What is the Quran?
Quran is Islams sacred book and is considered the word
Islam submission & peace
Similar to Christianity and Judaism
Muhammad ibn Abdallah
Born 570 AD in Mecca and died June 8, 632 in Medina
First vision from the Angel Gabriel about Allah in 610 AD
Most recent and greatest prophet of Go
o By 600, Byzantium and the Sasanids had been fighting for four centuries
Their power broken by Arabs in the seventh century
Nomadic Bedouin population
Small kingdoms some client to Byzantines
Some pagan, Christian, Jewish
o Mecca ce
The Abbasid Era
o From Arab to Islamic Empire: The Early Abbasid Era
Abbasids slowly eliminate all enemies, become more righteous about
their defense of Sunni Islam, and less tolerant of Shia sects. This leads to
the building of a centralized, absolutis
o The concepts of
Sharia (the divine will as law)
and fiqh (jurisprudence),
the bases and practice of these;
Sunni and Shii versions.
o Islam is often called a religion of law
Islam means submission/obedience to God
That is, knowing Go
Sunni Vs. Shi'a
Religion: < Latin religio ("fidelity"); religare ("to bind fast, adhere to");
thus, "faithfulness and adherence to someone (a god) or something (a
Islam: submission, self-surrender; monotheistic world religion clo
o Islam Today: Demographics
There are an estimated 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide
Approximately 1/5th of the world's population
Growth without missionary efforts
Where Do Muslims Live?
Only 18% of Muslims live in the Arab world
o 1. Definition and the problem of essentially contested terms
Examples: Liberal; justice; freedom (see George Lakoff, Whose
Freedom? The Battle over America's Most Important Idea)
Different perspectives on Sufism: foreign & non-Islamic, or the
Periodization of the Prophets Life
o Preparation for Prophecy:
Childhood: preparation for prophecy
Merchant career and marriage:
o Meccan Revelations and Persecution:
Early revelations in Mecca
Building up early network of followers
Persecution by M
How Does the Islamic Calendar Really Work in Different Parts of the World?
Challenges when talking about calendars
Most historians of science are not interested in calendars
Many Western scholars dont realize how important non-Western
Science, technology and design in Medieval Islam
o What is Islam?
A religion that began with the prophet Muhammad in the 7th century
Muhammad believed he was a messenger sent by God
Muslims follow the teachings of the holy book, the Quran
Gender and Scripture in Islam: Some Thorny Issues
o Why do sacred texts on gender become troublesome?
Orientalist criticism of Islam, particularly role of women
Secular modernists and feminists adopt radical critique of religious
patriarchy (Nawal Saad