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Early Islamic Art. Islam means “Surrender to God “ Founded in Early Middle Ages. Mosque Features. Sahn : enclosed courtyard Quibla : prayer wall oriented toward Mecca Mihrab : niche set into the prayer wall Minbar : a pulpit from which the imam (teacher) leads the faithful. Muhammed.

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Early Islamic Art

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Early islamic art

Early Islamic Art

Islam means “Surrender to God “

Founded in Early Middle Ages

Mosque features

Mosque Features

  • Sahn: enclosed courtyard

  • Quibla: prayer wall oriented toward Mecca

  • Mihrab: niche set into the prayer wall

  • Minbar: a pulpit from which the imam (teacher) leads the faithful



  • Born 570 ACE in Mecca

  • Fled to Medina in 622 ACE

  • Returned to Mecca to turn the Qa’aba from a pagan shrine to an Islamic one.

  • Religious monotheism Islam ( submission to God). Rejected the Trinity of Christianity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost)

Five pillars of islam

Five Pillars of Islam

  • Recitation of the Muslim act of faith that there is one God and that Muhammad is God’s messenger

  • The obligation to pray five times a day in a direction that points to the Qa’aba in Mecca. Added obligation to participate in Friday prayers as a community and hear a sermon

  • To donate a portion of the surplus of one’s wealth to charity

  • To fast during the holy month of Ramadan- total abstinence of all food and drink from sunrise to sunset.

  • To make a pilgrimage to Mecca (called the Haj) at least once in a lifetime.

Qur an


  • Qur’an ( Arabic for “recitation”)

  • Written Arabic text of the recitations of Muhammad’s teachings put together a generation after his death

  • It is as long as the New Testament of the Bible

  • Authoritative commentators on the Qur’an and the explication of certain oral traditions about the Prophet and the early Islamic community constitute a body of literature called Hadith. Developed a legal code that is used for adopting Islamic for its government.

Early islamic art

Earliest Sanctuary, Dome of the Rock

Early islamic art

Great Mosque at Samarra

Early islamic art

Arches that enabled the roof to

Cover the most floor space at the


The dome in front of the Mihrab

Early islamic art

Mihrab was reserved for the Caliph.

Early islamic art

Hall of the Two Sisters, Alhambra, 1354-1391, Granada, Spain.

Early islamic art

Sinan, Mosque of Selim II, 1568-1575, Edirne, Turkey

Early islamic art

Mosque dome of Selim II

Early islamic art

Mosque of Suleyman by Sinan the

Great 1550

Islamic calligraphy

Islamic Calligraphy

  • Writing is the most honored art in Islam

  • Adorns books, buildings, ceramics, textiles, and metal works.

  • Kufic style was abstract linear rhythms.

Early islamic art

Sultan tugra

Islamic calligraphy

Early islamic art

Tile work with calligraphy from a mosque in Tunisia

Early islamic art

1602 -1616 ac

Luftallah Mosque


Early islamic art

Translation of text woven into carpet:'Except for thy threshold, there is no refuge for me in all the world.Except for this door there is no resting-place for my head.The work of the slave of the portal, Maqsud Kashani.'

Oldest known carpet



  • Arabesque Calligraphy

  • Jali Koran

  • Mecca, Medina Mihrab

  • Minaret Minbar

  • Mosque Muhammad(570-632)

  • Muqarnas Qiblah

  • Tessellation

Multiple choice

Multiple choice

  • Persian manuscripts are unusual in Islamic art because they

  • Have great emotional range

  • Resist the ban on images

  • Incorporate arabesques into their work

  • Use a painterly brushstroke

Early islamic art

2. Minarets are used to

  • Balance architectural members

  • Display calligraphy

  • Direct people’s attention to Mecca

  • Call people to prayer

Early islamic art

3. The Dome of the Rock marks the site where

  • Jesus was born

  • The Koran was written

  • Muhammad was born

  • Muhammad ascended to heaven

Early islamic art

  • 4. This building is located in

  • Jerusalem

  • Cordoba

  • Granada

  • Turkey

Early islamic art

  • 5. Like some other Islamic mosques this building

  • Has many windows

  • Has a wooden dome

  • Is centrally planned

  • Has a hypostyle hall

Early islamic art

  • Although it cannot be seem in this photo, this mosque must have

  • A mihrab

  • Mythical beasts

  • A bell tower

  • A frieze

Early islamic art

7. The highest calling for an Islamic artist is to be

  • A calligrapher

  • A painter

  • A sculptor

  • An architect

Early islamic art

8. The Mosque of Selim II was inspired by

  • Santa Constanza

  • The Hagia Sophia

  • San Vitale

  • The Dome of the Rock

Early islamic art

9. The Alhambra was a

  • Mosque

  • Palace

  • Shrine

  • frieze

Early islamic art

10. Arabesques are based on

  • Calligraphy

  • Geometric patterns

  • Animal motifs

  • Floral designs

Short essay 10 minutes

Short Essay (10 minutes)

This is an Islamic work of art. Where in the Islamic world does this painting come from? What characteristics place it within this culture?

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