Friday, July 4, 2014

7 Principles of Islamic Architecture

Architecture as Tawhid (Unity & Uniquity of Allah)

"All authentic Islamic art must reflect Divine Unity. There are consequences for that. First is that you must always have an integration of the form. There is a centre to it. Islamic art is always a centered art. It has a centre from which it speaks – whether architecture, calligraphy, miniature, carpet weaving etc.-and that is a reflection of tawhid. " --Seyyed Hossein Nasr--

“There is no god but The God/Allah and Mohammad is his Messenger / Prophet” --translated from the Shahada--
-Shahada : Islamic Dogmas - exist as organic & mutually complementing. 
-An Islamic building should focus on strengthening the bond between Muslims within conformity toGod’s will.
Architecture of Ihtiram (Respect)
-An Islamic building should represent Muslims respect and obedience to Allah through these aspects:
1) Shahada
2) 5 pillars
3) Muhammad pbuh
4) Al Quran
5) Self-conscious acts
6) Muslim Architect
7) Islamic Architecture Symbolism
8) Respect Essence of Islam & Humanity
a) Space construct – absence of Human imaginary & idols
b) Art NOT consist images but sublime silence
Architecture with Ikhlas: Sincerity

Architectural expression of submitting all of our everything at will/in the way of God:
-sincerity and purity through design motivation
-to build within conformity to God’s will
Architecture as Pursuit of Ilm: Knowledge
An Islamic building celebrates knowledge through calligraphy of religious Inscriptions and uses light as an expression of knowledge. 
Knowledge is the light of truth
1) Architecture of Inscriptions :– Calligraphy-

2) Architecture of light as expression, illuminating effects of sun rays
& moon light-

3) Architecture as pursuit of Knowledge- practiced calligraphy
Architecture for Iqtisad: Balance
-an Islamic building should have harmony between functional and spiritual elements
-essence of Islamic architecture is to delicate balance between functional and spiritual elements .

“the best way is the middle good deeds properly, 
sincerely and moderately...and always adopt a middle, moderate 
regular course whereby you will reach
your target (paradise)." -anonymous-

1) moderation and balance - nature of aesthetics & have a profound impact on architecture

2) Notion of “Heart” - anonymous external facades of Islamic buildings:

3) lslamic composition for aesthetics: ÷ ta’Iif (composition), i’tidaI (harmony) and nizam (order)
Architecture of Haya’: Modesty
An Islamic building should be discreet and preserve the dignity of its owner or users.
Preservation of dignity:

• Tawado (humility)
• Ih’tesham (decency)
• Istehyah (awareness)
Architecture as Dikr: Remembrance
An Islamic building should be an aid to remembrance of Allah.
1) Architecture of monotony- building pillar upon pillar, arcade upon arcade
2) rhythmic precision mirrored in the contemplative chanting of God’s innumerable attributes
3) manifestation of contemplation maintains a sense of unity

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