Art

Jonathan Jue-Wong: The Word Expressed – Islamic Art & its Theological Underpinnings

Jonathan Jue-Wong: The Word Expressed – Islamic Art & its Theological Underpinnings

In addition to its prodigious aesthetic beauty, Islamic artwork is distinguished by several unique features. A major characteristic of Islamic art is the importance of calligraphy. Arabic calligraphy is a fine art itself, but is also interwoven into virtually all forms of Islamic arts. Many consider calligraphy to be the foundation of Islamic art itself(…)

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Claire Kotarski: Islamic Art

Claire Kotarski: Islamic Art

Overall, Islamic art enforces divine unity. It is serene, and not smothered by raw emotion. The pieces in Rice have primarily decorative purposes, but some pieces (such as the prayer beads) have practical use. Even the rings on display, which carry verses of Quran, are worn by Muslims for blessing and protection. The majority of(…)

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Gabe Brown: Art and the Divine

Gabe Brown: Art and the Divine

Islamic art draws on several important principles to create beauty that is evocative of the divine. The concept of ishan is inseparable from Islamic art; seeking beauty serves as a way of seeking and drawing closer to God. Titus Burckhardt remarks that beauty “is like a bridge that goes from the tangible world toward God,”(…)

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Josh Clemson, The Most Sacred Art

Josh Clemson, The Most Sacred Art

The Most Sacred Art   Qur’ans may be the epitome of Islamic art, the calligraphy and poetic text originating from the birth of Islam. The Qur’an displayed in the Oberlin religion department exemplifies this art style, a replica of an antique dating to the 17th century. Contained inside is poetry, calligraphy, visual art and music,(…)

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Islamic Art by Zoë Reinstein

Islamic Art by Zoë Reinstein

Islamic art has impacted art around the world for centuries. The importance that it has in, and the information it can tell us about Islamic culture are also very significant. The two most important Islamic art forms are calligraphy and painting. The rise of these two art forms and their remaining cultural importance say a(…)

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Evelyn Wagaman: Beauty and Meaning as Islamic Art

Evelyn Wagaman: Beauty and Meaning as Islamic Art

According to hadith literature, Muhammad once said, “God is beautiful and loves beauty” (qtd. in Siddiqui). What we today call Islamic art is representative of centuries of attempts to create beauty. Indeed, Islamic art is both beautiful and distinctive, consisting of complex patterns, arabesques, and calligraphy, while expressing important religious messages. The arabesque is one(…)

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Maya Howard Watts: Islamic Art

Maya Howard Watts: Islamic Art

Although Muslims believe that God cannot be represented through art, they do believe that art is a form in which he can be worshiped.  Therefore depictions of living creatures are not seen in religious Islamic art (which is not necessarily true for secular Islamic art).  Because of this religious Islamic art is commonly seen in(…)

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Islamic Art: Many Forms, One Medium – James Fleming

Islamic Art: Many Forms, One Medium – James Fleming

The first piece that attracted my attention was the traditional book on teaching the faith. I thought it was peculiar because although it is a book of formal instruction, there is a great amount of creativity taken in the slanted presentation of the text, where the writing assumes certain shapes and is even sideways or(…)

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Anika Lindsey: Islamic Art

Anika Lindsey: Islamic Art

As with many parts of Islamic culture, Islamic art is incredibly purposeful, each detail playing a specific role, full of intent and meaning. And like other aspects of Islam, art is intended to always honor God, point towards God, and draw the attentions of its viewers toward God. Nowhere is this more obvious than in(…)

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Gabriel Weiland: Islamic Art (focus on Safavi/Sufi art)

Gabriel Weiland: Islamic Art (focus on Safavi/Sufi art)

In many cases, Islamic art serves to highlight the importance of dissolution of the self, which is tantamount to the Muslim principle of surrender. The artists themselves are often effaced within their own artistic expression. They become lost as a result of the geometric perfection of their works, which present themselves in opposition to iconic(…)

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Elijah Lawrence: The Three Empires of Early Islamic Civilization

Elijah Lawrence: The Three Empires of Early Islamic Civilization

There were three empires that defined Islam in the earliest days of its existence: the Safavids, the Mughals, and the Ottomans. These three empires created what we think of today as the basis for Islamic civilization. The Safavid Empire began with Shaykh Safi al-Din (1242-1334), who was the head of the Zehediyya Sufi order. Under(…)

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Elizabeth Foster: Islamic Art

Elizabeth Foster: Islamic Art

Using mosques, specifically the Ka’bah that is described in depth in the writing by Titus Burkhardt, as a basis upon which one judges Islamic art, there are both huge discrepancies and huge similarities. Mosques, supremely the Ka’bah, are defined by their material void, for despite the often intricate exterior, inside there is little to nothing(…)

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Jamila Jamal: Mosque Visit

Jamila Jamal: Mosque Visit

When we visited the Islamic Center of Cleveland, I found that the mosque function and design reflect concepts of Islam based in the Qur’an. From the outside, the simple colors of the mosque display the idea that during time of prayer, everyone is equal regardless of social class and it invalidates material desires. When entering(…)

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Jamila Jamal: Islamic Spirituality and Art

Jamila Jamal: Islamic Spirituality and Art

Islamic art directly reflects Islamic spirituality through many everyday functional and utilitarian objects in addition to decorative pieces, which adorned with verses of the Qur’an, geometric designs, and abstract beauty. Titus Burckhardt posits “Art to the Muslim is a “proof of the Divine Existence” only to the extent that it is beautiful without showing the(…)

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Rachel Sacks: The Ceramic Plate: Connection Between Art and Spirituality and Islamic Cosmology

Rachel Sacks: The Ceramic Plate: Connection Between Art and Spirituality and Islamic Cosmology

Artwork: Blue ceramic plate with the ninety-nine names for Allah all around it. In the middle is the phrase, “In the name of Allah, the compassionate, and the merciful.”          This plate exhibits two important concepts: the immense importance and omnipotence of Allah, as well as Allah’s approach to the concepts of(…)

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Art and Spirituality in Islamic Cosmology

Art and Spirituality in Islamic Cosmology

Art and spirituality are closely tied when it comes to Islamic culture.  Indeed, some interpret Islamic art as a pure expression of God’s truths.  Often times Islamic art pieces feature Quranic verses as a part of their nature, both figuratively and literally.   The art piece I am writing about, a replica of an Ottoman sultan’s(…)

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