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Cordoba (Spain), Prayer hall of the Great Mosque

Al-Andalus: The Orient in the West

In 711 the Arabs (in the Iberian Peninsula, “Arab” and “Muslim” are synonyms) arrived in the western-most territory of Mediterranean Europe. Within a short time, after very few battles and some sieges that were nearly all solved through negotiations, the Arabs provoked the collapse of the Visigothic Kingdom of Toledo, and incorporated what has since then been known as al-Andalus, the political territory under Muslim Arab dominance, into dar al-Islam.

Manuscript of a Sulawesi Qur’an.

The Qur’an

As the word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the verses of the Qur’an are canonical and cannot be changed. Because of the centrality of the Qur’an to the religion of Islam, copying all or some of its verses in any medium is considered a pious act. Over time a wide variety of styles of writing Arabic script developed, but not all of these were considered appropriate for copying Qur’ans. Qur’an manuscripts from the first two centuries of Islam were written on parchment in an angular style called Kufic after the Iraqi city of Kufa, an early Muslim capital.

Aga Khan Program in Architecture

Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture

Based at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture (AKPIA) is dedicated to the study of Islamic art and architecture, urbanism, landscape design, and conservation –…

Bhong Mosque, Rahim-Yar Khan, Pakistan

Winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1986. Completed: 1982 Patron: Rais Ghazi Muhammad The Award is made in recognition of a significant attempt by a single individual to create a…

Islamic Arts and Architecture © 2017 All Rights Reserved

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