Thursday, June 3, 2010

Notes: Islamic Art & Architecture - 1

Central Governing Idea or Spirit of Islam: Every traditional civilisation[1] revolves around a central governing idea – which is determined by the manner in which the Divine has revealed itself to that civilization. In Islam this governing principle is the Oneness of God. This is the Doctrine of Unity called Tauheed. This principle of Tauheed is found at the base of all aspects of Islamic civilization. In art also the first principle is that of Unity i.e. art tries to reflect unity just as traditional Islamic science tries to find the underlying unity in nature. [Image:" He God is One ...." (Quran 112). Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore, 17th C. Photo: G.R.Mughal]

[1] The word Tradition signifies such cultures whose foundations are based on Principles and Truths of Divine Origin, which are then applied over time to various domains from metaphysics and cosmology to art and science. Cf. Nasr, S.H., Foreword to, Bakhtiar, L and Ardalan, N,- The Sense of Unity The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture , Chicago 1973, p. xi.

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