What Is Islamic Art?
Most religions have great art pieces like the walls of St. Peter's Basilica in The Vatican, and The leaning Buddha in Thailand, but when it comes to Islam, there is little to none that we may know off.
Although Islam is a culture full of glorious stories and history, there isn't much art related to those great stories by the prophet Muhammad.
Let's look into this more, and understand Islamic art and its role in the Muslim religion.
What is Islamic Art?
Islamic art is the visual expression of Islam. It is a form of religious expression, and the main objective of Islamic art is to create beauty, which comes from the combination of aesthetics and function.
Islamic art tends to be more decorative than other forms of Islamic architecture due to its focus on calligraphy and geometrical patterns, as well as color and shape.
Islamic art can include objects such as buildings or books, but it also refers to things like paintings, drawings, sculptures (like this), calligraphy (like this), and more!
If you do a quick Google Image search on Islamic art, what would come up most are patterns, these vibrant and intricate patterns are likened to a Mandala.
Although the Mandala can be traced back to Buddhism, the art form is in a way practiced as Islamic art.
Most of these patterns can be seen in Islamic Architecture, the walls of great Mosques, and other Islamic landmarks.
They can also be seen in other objects such as pottery, on plates, a vase, and other vessels.
A reason why Islamic art is full of patterns is that, unlike Catholicism, there are no deities in Islam, they do not worship any statues and symbols, hence the art in Islam is related to these patterns, as well as Calligraphy.
Why is there a lot of calligraphy in Islamic Art?
Calligraphy is an important part of Islamic art because it is a way to express the beauty of the Arabic language.
It has been used since ancient times to decorate buildings and objects, or simply as a form of decoration. Calligraphy can be found in mosques, tombs and mausoleums, palaces, libraries, and private homes throughout the world. The use of calligraphy in Islamic Art began during the Umayyad period (661-750 CE).
The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters which were derived from Nabatean Aramaic script around 650 CE.
The Calligraphy that we see in Islamic art is actually words from the Quran and is highly venerated by Muslims.
These words serve a purpose to Muslims and use them as decorations at home
Why do Muslims have Islamic art at home?
There are many reasons why Muslims have Islamic art at home. The most important of which is reminding us of the beauty of Allah and his creations. It serves as a constant reminder of our relationship with him and how we should interact with the world around us.
Another reason why Muslims have Islamic art at home is to remind them that they are indebted to Allah, who has blessed them with so much in this life and beyond it if they choose to believe in it. This can be done by giving charity or helping others less fortunate than yourself, but having beautiful artwork will also remind you how lucky you are to have what you do while encouraging you not to take it for granted.
Just as Buddhists have the statue of Buddha at home or how Catholics have a crucifix on their walls, Islamic Calligraphy is a daily reminder of the words of Allah to Muslims. Reminding them of what they believe in and how they should go about with their lives.
As we've seen, Islamic art is an incredibly diverse category of art that spans several different art forms
It encompasses some of the most breathtaking architecture and visual arts in the world, and its importance to Muslim culture is difficult to overstate.
From humble clay vessels to glittering walls of hand-carved tilework, from calligraphy to geometric designs, it has something for everyone.
Whether you are a devout Muslim or just someone who enjoys learning about other cultures' artistic traditions, diving into the world of Islamic art will be enlightening and rewarding.