SHAFAQNA – “Islamic architecture covers a broad range of mosques, tombs, palaces and forts around the world, especially in countries that were conquered by the Muslims in the 7th century. This type of architecture encompasses various architectural styles, including the Persian and Byzantine style, Ottoman style, Indo-Islamic style, Sino-Islamic style, Indonesian-Malay style, Sahelian-Islamic style and Somali-Islamic style. Its influence began to manifest in Abbasid buildings, T-type mosques and central-dome mosques during the Umayyad Dynasty which relatively featured minarets, four iwan plan, domes and cupolas,” said Professor Francois Esteban with les Beaux Arts de Paris.
He added, “Islam has inspired artists in the most fascinating and exquisite manner. At a time when Europe wrestled with hunger and violence in the Middle Ages, the Islamic world experienced its most brilliant advances in the fields of art, mathematics, sciences and of course architecture. The richness of the Islamic Art is still very much unknown, tainted by prejudice. We have much to learn from beauty. Beauty and arts transcend religion, politics and races.”
Built by Architect Mimar Sinan, this Ottoman mosque located in Edrine, Turkey is considered as one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture. It stands at the center of a kulliye and features an octagonal support system through eight pillars incised in a square shell of walls. It also has four domes and arches springing from the pillars.
More commonly known as the Shait Gambuj Mosque or Saith Gunbad Masjid, the Sixty Dome Mosque is often recognized as the most impressive Muslim monument in the whole Indian continent. It has walls of unusually thick and tapered bricks and a hit-shaped roofline. It is known for its 77 squat domes with four-sided pitched Bengali domes in the middle row.
Also known as the Allah-Verdi Khan Bridge, Siosepol or Siose Bridge is ranked as one of the most famous examples of Safavid bridge design. This bridge consists of 33 arches and crosses the Sayandeh River. At the start of this bridge is a larger base plank.
The Dome of the Rock is located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. Completed at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abdal-Malik during the Second Fitna, this dome has a plan structure that resembles that of the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Its interior is lavishly decorated with mosaic, faience and marble, while its exterior is covered with tiles.
Also known as the Umayyad Mosque, the Great Mosque of Damascus is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world and is considered the fourth holiest place in Islam. Its ground plan is rectangular in shape and its courtyard is enclosed with four exterior walls. Since its completion, this mosque has served as a model for congregational mosque architecture in Syria.
The Great Mosque of Samarra is a 9th century mosque that was completed by Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil. Its most remarkable feature is its minaret, the Malwiya Tower, which is a vast spiraling cone 52 meters high and 33 meters wide. This mosque has 17 aisles and its walls are paneled with mosaics of dark blue glass.
A mausoleum built by Jahangir, the Tomb of Jahangir is basically made of red stone, marble and bricks. It has two massive gateways of stone and masonry opposite each other as well as a platform with a tall, octagonal tower and a projecting entrance in the middle of each side. The ground floor of this tomb also has a square shape.