The architecture of the Islamic world throughout history was strengthened by its spiritual foundation, the Qur’an.
Urban areas in Islamic cities evolved over long periods of time with generations of craftsmen whose experience added variety to the environment.
The traditional city linked the architecture of Islamic schools, the market place, the palace and the home together with the mosque at the centre, to create beauty throughout our towns.
The mosques and palaces became, with leaps in architecture, more elaborate in decoration and design. The development of the dome allowed a large open prayer area and the calligraphic inscriptions glorified Allah.
One common theme is the general absence of human and animal form in architecture.
You will find that beautification instead centres on the words, text and script, praising Allah through the use of calligraphy.
A typical Islamic house would have certain features such as hidden courtyards to protect the family life from people outside and the harsh environment. The outside of the house is often very plain with the decorative concentration on the inside of the house.
Over time, the house would be extended to accommodate the needs of a growing family – often with separate houses being built within one compound for the extended family.
Author : Abdullah Bin Zaid Al-Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Center, Qatar
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