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Islamic Art, Architecture & Literature

Explain how artistic expression reflects the basic tenets of the islamic faith in the following examples.

1) Architecture
a) Mosque
b) Minarets

2) Persian poetry
a) relationship of lost lovers
b) celebration of spring

3) Music and dance
a) Turkish whirling dervishes
b) sufi dancing

Thank you so much for your help!!

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OTA 105878

A quick insight

When we talk about periodic art, we also refer to the people that constructed it - who they are, what they believe in, and their views on the world and on life. Islamic art is no different from art that was influenced by any other religion for example The Christian Faith influencing much of Europe's Way of life (art, culture, governance) since the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine; Buddhism & Hinduism influencing ancient Khmer art - dances, music, architecture, cuisine; Confucianism ruling much of Chinese political philosophies, literature, music & architecture, so on and so forth.

Remember that Islam stemmed from Judaism, just like Christianity. The Qur'an, the Islamic Holy Book is considered by the Muslims to be the final revelations of God to Mohammed, their Holy Prophet. Surprisingly, the oldest part of the Qur'an reveals very similar philosophies to the most orthodox & fundamental of the Judaist Torah. There is a very simple explanation for this; The Holy Prophet Mohammed in his youth was a faithful rabbi to the Jewish faith, just like Christ was. Disagreement with the Rabbinate in Jerusalem excommunicated him which led him to find inspiration in establishing Islam - enlightenment. The Old Testament of the Christian Bible shares similar ideas to the first books of the Torah. In a way, the Christian God of the Old Testament is the very same God that the Jews worship just as The Holy Prophet did. The Qur'an consists of 114 chapters, varying in length. The oldest of the writings are written with rhythm & rhyme in mind, with repeating messages that deliver "the truth it wants to impart" over & over in its structure.

The Holiness of the Quran is in the claim that it is the literal word of God delivered under special circumstances to Mohammed, just like the Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God made Man to save mankind via a divine mystery. Incidentally, Jesus Christ appears as a prophet within the Quranic text. The Muslims hold on to the divinity of the Qur'an, such is faith. Like the Christian Bible, it informs pretty much their way of life. Therefore from it's very early days to the present, Islam manifests itself in the manner in which the Muslims as a religious people express their love of life & their appreciation of beauty be it in abstract or in form & even in the presentation of the food they consume.

Muslim Architecture


Since the establishment of Islam in the Middle East, it has influenced the manner in which buildings are designed & erected, much like the worship of the Bull & a Pantheon of Gods influenced ancient Sumerian, Babylonian & Assyrian way of life. The tenets of Islam in its dictates via Hadiths on manners of worship, socialization, public relations & household characteristics seeped into architectural design which we can see in the buildings in Islamic lands. The Taj Mahal of India is an Islamic Structure - Shah Jahan was a devout Muslim. The Alhambra in Granada, the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, the Great Mosque of Damascus - they share that universal Islamic Style of building: post & beam structures fused with stone to create stylistic curves, ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides a brief background on the influences & 'tenets' of Islamic Art & literature. It goes on to discuss architecture through the Minarets & Mosques that are a common attribute with Islamic religious buildings; Literature through the attributes of lost love & the celebration of Spring in Islamic poetry; and lastly, Music & dance is discussed through Sufi Dancing & its relation to the Islamic Mysticism that is prevalent among the Turkish whirling dervishes. The solution provides a brief historic background on the development of islamic faith & how this faith is expressed in Islamic Arts & Literature.