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Wednesday, 30 September 2020









Ø There are over I billion Muslims living in the world in presently, who speak different language, belong to different nation.

Ø But the Islamic community has its roots in a unified past which unfolded 1400 years ago.

Ø Between 7th to 15th century almost all the lands of the eastern Roman Empire (centred on Constantinople) taken over by the Arab empire.

Ø It was created by the followers of the Prophet Muhammad (who founded the faith of Islam in the seventh century) and centred on Damascus – or by its successors (who ruled from Baghdad initially).

Ø There was a close interaction between Greek and Islamic traditions in the region.

The Dome of the Rock, built over a rocky mound by Abd al- Malik, is the earliest major work of Islamic architecture. Created as a monument to the Muslim presence in the city of Jerusalem

Ø The term Islamic is used here not only in its purely religious sense but for the overall society and culture historically associated with Islam.

Ø In this lesson we will know about the political, social and economic changes during 7TH to 15TH centuries in the middle east which affect all world.


Ø Historical work like chronicles or Tawarikh, Semi-historical works, such as biographies(sira) records of the sayings and doings of the Prophet (hadith) and commentaries on the Quran (tafsir) are available. Most of these are in Arabic.

Ø Large collection of eyewitness reports (akhbar) transmitted over a period of time either orally or on paper. The authenticity of each report was tested by a critical method called isnad.

Ø Christian chronicles, written in Syriac are fewer but they throw interesting light on the history of early Islam.

Ø Besides chronicles, we have legal texts, geographies, travelogues and literary works, such as stories and poems.



Ø The Arabs were divided in to tribes (qabila).

Ø Each one was led by a chief which was chosen on the basis of his personal courage, wisdom and generosity (murawwa).

Ø Mostly Arab tribes were nomadic (Bedouins), moving from dry to green areas (oases) of the desert in search of food.

Ø Some settled in cities and practised trade or agriculture.

Ø Each tribe had its own god or goddess, who was worshipped as an idol (sanam) in a shrine.


Ø Muhammad was born into the most powerful tribe in Mecca, the Quraish, around 570 A.D. They were successful merchants.

Ø He was a deeply spiritual man, and often spent time in meditation on Mount Hira.


Ø According to Qur'an when he was meditating in a cave in 610 AD, he was visited by an angel Jibreel who ordered him to recite.

Ø In Islamic cosmology, angels are one of the three intelligent forms of life in the Universe. The other two are humans and jinns.

Ø Muhammad began to recite words which he came to believe were the words of God.

Ø Around 612, Muhammad declared himself to be the messenger (rasul) of God.


Ø Mecca was located on the crossroad of a trade route between Yemen and Syria which added to the importance of the city.


Ø The main shrine of Mecca was called as Kaba, a cube like structure.

Ø Tribes outside Mecca also considered the Kaba holy, and placed their idols in it and annual pilgrimage (hajj) there.

Ø In this city violence was forbidden and protection given to all visitors.


Ø Muhammad declared himself to be a messenger of God (rasul) in 612 and commanded to preach that Allah alone should be worshipped.

Ø Muhammad's message was as follows:

Ø He was the messenger (rasul) of God who had been commanded to preach that Allah alone should be worshipped.

Ø The worship included daily prayers (salat), and moral principles such as distributing alms and (shahada) to the existence of the religion before abstaining from theft.

Ø Muhammad was to found a community of believers (umma) bound by a common set of religious beliefs.

Ø The community would bear witness God as well as before members of other religious communities.


Ø The Muslims soon faced considerable opposition from affluent Meccans.

Ø They found the new religion as a threat to the status and prosperity of Mecca.

Ø So, in 622 AD , Muhammad was forced to migrate with his followers to Medina.

Ø Muhammad’s journey from Mecca (hijra) was a turning point in the history of Islam, with the year of his arrival in Medina marking the beginning of the Muslim calendar.


Ø Muhammad know that for the survival we have to establish the political institution to consolidate their followers internally and protected from external dangers.

Ø In Medina, under the political leadership of Muhammad umma was converted into a wider community by including polytheists and the Jews of Medina.

Ø He consolidated the faith for his followers by adding and refining rituals (such as fasting) and ethical principles.

Ø The community survived on agriculture and trade, as well as an alms tax (zakat). In addition, the Muslims organised expeditionary raids on Meccan caravans and nearby oases.

Ø These raids provoked reactions from the Meccans and caused a breach with the Jews of Medina.

Ø After a series of battles, Mecca was conquered and Muhammad’s reputation as a religious preacher and political leader spread far and wide.

Ø His achievements attracted many tribes, mostly Bedouins, joined the community by converting to Islam. Muhammad’s alliances began to spread until they embraced the whole of Arabia.

Ø Medina became the administrative capital of the emerging Islamic state with Mecca as its religious centre.

Ø The Kaba was cleansed of idols as Muslims were required to face the shrine when offering prayers.

Ø In a short space of time, Muhammad was able to unite a large part of Arabia under a new faith, community and state.


Ø The Hijri era was established during the caliphate of Umar, with the first year falling in 622 CE.

Ø The Hijri year is a lunar year of 354 days, 12 months (Muharram to Dhul Hijja) of 29 or 30 days.

Ø To calculate the rough equivalents between the Islamic (H) and Gregorian Christian (C) established in by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 CE) with the following formulae:

§  (H × 32 / 33) + 622 = C

§  (C – 622) × 33 / 32 = H


Ø After the death of Muhammad in 632 AD, no one remained there to succeed him as prophet.

Ø There was also no rule of succession, So, his authority was transferred to umma. It created the conflicts as many tribes established their own prophets.

Ø But, it led to the formation of the institution of Caliphate in which the leader of the community (amir al-muminin) became the deputy (khalifa) of the prophet.

Ø First four Caliphas justified their power on the basis of close relation with Prophet and work according his principle.

Ø Their main objectives were as-

§  To retain control over the tribes

§  To raise resources for the state.


Ø ABU BAKR (632-634)

§  Abu Bakr was the first caliph.

§  He put down the rebellions by Arabs tribes after Muhammad died and established the Caliphate as the ruling force in the region.

Ø UMAR (634-44)

§  The second caliph was Umar. He shaped the umma's policy of expansion.

§  Calipha know that to maintain the Umma we have to obtained rich booty (ganima) by raids to nearby empire. At that time two empires Byzantinein the west promoted Christianity and in the east Sasanian empire supported Zoroastrianism.

§  On the eve of Arab Invasion these empires had declined. By three successful campaign during 637-642 Arabs brought Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt under the control of Madina.

Ø UTHMAN (644-56)

§  The third caliph was Uthman.

§  He packed the administration with his own tribes, Quraysh. It led to conflict with other tribes in Medina, Egypt and Iraq.

§  At last he was killed in 656.

Ø ALI (656-661)

§   The fourth caliph Ali was son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad.

§  But in his time the rift between two groups of Muslims become more acute.

§  He established himself in Kufa and fought two wars. In First war (Battle of the Camel-657) he defeated an army led by Muhammad’s wife, Aisha. But he could not defeat the army of Muawiya, a kinsman of Uthman and the governor of Syria in Iraq.

§  This war divided his followers into two groups. Those who become against him were called as Kharjis. Finally, he was killed by a Kharjis in Kufa in 661.

§  After that his followers make his son, Hussain as Khalipha but Muawiya made himself the next caliph in 661 and founded Umayyad dynasty.

§  It was in his time that Muslims broke in to shias and Sunnis.


Ø Calipha imposed new administrative structure in conquered areas under governors (amirs) and tribal chieftains (ashraf).

Ø The central treasury(bait-al-mal) obtained its revenue from taxes paid by Muslims as well as its share of booty from raids.

Ø The caliph’s soldiers, mostly Bedouins, settled in camp cities at the edge of the desert, such as Kufa and Basra.

Ø The ruling class and soldiers received shares from booty and monthly payment(ata).

Ø The non-muslim population retained their rights on property and religious practices on payment of taxes, as kharaj and jiziya.

Ø Jews and Christians were declared as protected subjects of the state (dammis) and were given a measure of autonomy in the conduct of their communal affairs.


Ø Muawiya was the first Umayyad caliph. He had made himself the caliph and established the imperial power after the death of Ali, in 661 C.E. They were the clan of Qurayshi tribe.

Ø They implemented a series of political measures to consolidate the power

§  Established their leadership within umma.

§  Muawiya, first Umayyad caliph moved his capital to Damascus.

§  He also adopted the court ceremonies and administrative institutions of Byzantine Empire.

§  He also introduced hereditary succession and persuaded the leading Muslims to accept his son as his heir.

§  Although there were Christian and Zoroastrian in the administration but Islam religion legitimacy their rule.

§  They were not based directly on Islam but on statecraft and army of Syria. They appealed for unity and suppressed rebellions in the name of Islam.


Ø It was in his time that Arab and Islamic identity was emphasized.

Ø Arabic was adapted as language and administration and Islamic coinage was introduced.

Ø He built the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem which is an Arab-Islamic identity.


Other coins

Islamic coins

Gold Dinar and silver Dirham were in circulation in the Caliphate.

Gold Dinar coins were introduced.

They had symbols of crosses

and fire altars

These symbols were removed. These carries the kalima.

Greek and Pahlavi (the language of Iran) inscription on them

Islamic coins have Arabic inscriptions.



Ø The Umayyads were replaced in 750 AD by Abbasids, another family of Mecca through a movement called dawa.

Ø They portrayed Umayyad regime as evil and promised to restore the original Islam of prophet. They claim that that they were the descendants of Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle.

Ø This movement was started in Khurasan, where Arab-Iranian disliked the Umayyad regime for not completing the promises of tax concessions and privileges.


Ø Their army was led by an Iranian slave, Abu Muslim, who defeated the last Umayyad caliph, Marwan, in a battle at the river Zab.


Ø Under the Abbasid's rule the influence of Arabs declined and the importance of Iranian culture increased.

Ø The Abbasids established their capital at Baghdad.

Ø The army and bureaucracy were reorganized on a non-tribal basis to ensure greater participation by Iraq and Khurasan.

Ø The religious status and the functions of the caliphate were strengthened under their rule.

Ø They patronised Islamic institutions and scholars.

Ø They retained the centralized nature of state.

Ø They maintained the splendid imperial architecture and elaborate court ceremonials of the Umayyads.


Ø A number of causes were responsible for the decline of the Abbasid state.

§  It was very difficult to control the distant places from Baghdad.

§  Conflicts between pro-Arab and pro-Iranian also led to the decline.

§  In 810, a civil war broke out between the supporters of Amin and Mamun, the sons of Harun-al-Rashid which led to the creation of a new power block of Turkish slave officers.

§  All these incidents led to creation of number of dynasties and Abbasid power limited to central Iraq and western Iran.




Ø Tahirids and Samanids in Khurasan and Transoxiana (Turan or lands beyond the Oxus).

Ø In Egypt and Syria Tulunids established their power.

Ø In 945 the Buyids, a Shiite clan captured Baghdad and adopted Iranian title shahanshah. They also kept Abbasid caliph as the symbolic head for their sunni subjects.

Ø Another Ismaili shiite origin was Fatimids which conquered Egypt in 945 and had established new capital at Qahira (Cairo). They claimed that they belong to the descendants of Fatima, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad and hence rightful rulers of Islam.

Ø The Turks were nomadic tribes from the Central Asian steppes who gradually converted to Islam. They were skilled riders and warriors and entered in the Abbasid, Samanid and Buyid administrations as slaves and soldiers, rising to high positions on account of their loyalty and military abilities.


Ø Though during this time Islamic land divided politically but it was united by common economic and cultural patterns.

Ø Unity was maintained by the separation between state and society.

Ø Persian language was developed for Islamic high culture.

Ø Scholars, artists and merchants moved freely within the central Islamic lands and assured the circulation of ideas and manners.

Ø The Muslim population also increased enormously due to conversion.

Ø The identity of Islam as a religion and a cultural system separate from other religions became much sharper.


Ø The Ghaznavid sultanate was established by Alptegin (961). It was consolidated by Mahmud of Ghazni.

Ø Ghaznavids were a military dynasty with a professional army of Turks and Indians.

Ø Mahmud was eager to receive the title of Sultan from the caliph.The caliph also willing to support the Sunni Ghaznavid as a counterweight to Shiite power.

Ø The Saljuq Turks entered Turan as soldiers. They later established themselves as a powerful group under the leadership of two brothers, Tughril and Chaghri Beg.

Ø After the death of Mahmud, they conquered Khurasan and made Nishapur their Capital.

Ø Then they moved to western Persia and Iraq and restored Baghdad to sunni rule (1055).

Ø The caliph, al-Qaim, conferred on Tughril Beg the title of Sultan. The two Saljuq brothers ruled together.

Ø During 1th to 13th century there were large conflict between European Christians and Arabas states.


Ø Crusades were the wars fought by Christians against Muslims to free the Holy Land of Palestine.

Ø Though the Holy land of Palestine was captured by Arabs in 638 but it for Christian it was the place of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. It makes the Muslims as their enemy.

Ø The conflict among them increased by 11th century. When aggressive

tendencies of feudal society away from the Christian world and towards the ‘enemies’ of God by the peace movement.

Ø After the death of Malik Shah, Saljuq sultan of Baghdad Pope Urban II with Byzantine Emperor Alexius I declare war to control Asia minor.

Ø Several wars were fought between western Christians and Muslim cities (between 1095 and 1291) on the coastal plains of the eastern Mediterranean. These wars were later known as Crusades.

v CRUSADES -I (1098-99)

Ø In the first crusade (1098-99), soldiers of France and Italy captured Antioch in Syria, and claimed Jerusalem.

Ø Their victory was accompanied by the slaughter of Muslims and Jews in the city.

Ø The Franks quickly established four crusader states in the region of Syria-Palestine. Collectively, these territories were known as Outremer (crusader states)

v CRUSADES -II (1145-49)

Ø Second crusade (1145-49) started when Turks captured Edessa in 1144.

Ø A combined German and French army made an attempt to capture Damascus but they were defeated.

Ø After this, there was a gradual erosion of the strength of crusader states.

v CRUSADES -III (1189)

Ø In 1187 when Arab ruler Salah al-Din (Saladin) declare jihad or holy war against the Christians and defeated them in 1187. He regained Jerusalem, nearly a century after the first crusade.

Ø It led the third crusade in 1189. But the crusaders gained little victory in Palestine and got free access to Jerusalem for Christian pilgrims.

Ø The Mamluks, the rulers of Egypt, finally expelled the crusading Christians from all of Palestine in1291.


Ø The Muslim state adopted a harsher attitude towards its Christian subjects.

Ø There is requirement of security where there were mixed populations.

Ø There was increased in the influence of Italian mercantile communities in the trade between the East and the West.



Ø Agriculture was the main occupation of Islamic land.

Ø The state had complete control of agricultural land.

Ø Land revenue was the main source of income.

Ø The land which was conquered by the Arabs tax(kharaj) was imposed which varied from half to fifth of produce.

Ø The Muslims paid one tenth (ushr)of produce as tax. Since the Muslims had to pay less tax, the non-Muslims started converting to Islam, which resulted in short fall.

Ø In order to overcome this problem a uniform policy of taxation was adopted.

Ø After 10th century the state authorised its officials to claim their salaries from agricultural revenues from territories, called iqtas (revenue assignments).


Ø To increase agricultural production, the state supported irrigation systems such as construction of dams, canals and wells.

Ø They also gave tax concessions to people who brought land under cultivation to increase the cultivation land.

Ø Crops like cotton, oranges, bananas, spinach and brinjals were grown and exported to Europe.


Ø Islamic civilisation flourished with the growth of a number of cities.

Ø Many new cities were established to settle the Arab soldiers like Kufa and Basra in Iraq and Fustst and Cairo in Egypt. Older cities like Damascus, Isfahan and Samarqand also developed.

Ø These cities become the hub of manufacturing and trading.

Ø Structure of the cities

§  At the heart of the city were two building: the congregational mosque and central market place with shops in a row, merchants' lodging and office of the money changers.

§  The administrators, scholars and merchants lived close to the centre.

§  Ordinary citizens and soldiers lived in the outer circle each with its own mosque, church or a synagogue, subsidiary market and public bath.

§  At the outskirts were houses for urban poor, a market for vegetables and fruits, caravan stations, and unclean shops that is those dealing with tanning and butchering.

§  Beyond the city walls were inns for people to rest.



Ø The Muslim world was spread between Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean. Its location help for trading.

Ø The Arabs and Iranians monopolised the maritime trade between China, India and Europe for five centuries.

Ø The two major trading routes were the Red sea and the Persian Gulf.

Ø  High value goods suitable for long distance trade like spices, textile, porcelain and gun powder were supplied to the port of Aden and Aydhab in Red sea and Siraf and Basra in the Persian Gulf.

Ø From here the goods were taken by land routes for local consumption and to the Mediterranean end of these trade routes for onwards export to Europe.

Ø The export to Europe was handled by Jewish merchants. some of whom were in direct touch with their Indian counterparts.

Ø With the rise of Cairo as centre of power and commerce in the 10th century, Red sea route became important.

Ø In the eastern end the Iranian merchants set out from Baghdad along the Silk route to china via Bukhara and Samarkand to bring Central Asian and Chinese goods which included paper from China.

Ø Samarqand (Transoxiana) was an important link in the trade, which extended north to Russia and Scandinavia, for exchange of European goods, mainly fur and Slavic captives.Islamic coins were used in this trade.

Ø Male and female slaves were also purchased here for the courts of caliphs and sultans


Ø The fiscal system and market exchange increased the importance of money in the Central Islamic lands.

Ø Coins of gold, silver and copper were minted and circulated to pay for the goods and services. Gold came from Africa (Sudan) and silver from Central Asia (Zarafshan valley)

Ø They developed a sophisticated method of payment and business organisation by introducing Letter of credit (sakk)-cheque and bill of exchange (suftaja)-draft. It is one of the greatest contributions.

Ø It freed the merchants from the need to carry cash everywhere and made their journey safer. Even the caliph used these letters of credit to pay the salaries or reward to poets and musicians.

Ø Islam did not stop people from making money but some prohibition were imposed as-

§  Interest bearing transactions were unlawful.

§  Money obtained by illegal means should not be kept.





Ø Quran and model behaviour of Prophet (sunna) was an important source of knowledge for religious scholars(ulama)

Ø They devoted themselves to writing tafsir and documenting Muhammad's authentic hadith. Some started to prepare a body of laws or sharia.

§  Sharia is a law which governs the relationship of Muslims with God through rituals and with rest of the humanity through social affairs. They also used reasoning (qiyas) to form sharia.

§  It provided guidance on all possible legal issues within Sunni society, though it was more precise on questions of personal status such as marriage, divorce and inheritance than on commercial matters or penal and constitutional issues.

§  Though sharia included the laws of different areas and the state . But local traditions were continues and only selected cases were sent to the qazi (judge).

§  The qazi, appointed by the state in each city or locality, often acted as an arbitrator in disputes, rather than as a strict enforcer of the sharia.

Ø In 8th and 9th century due to different interpretation of the sources and methods of philosophy led to the formation of four schools of law (Mazhab) on the names of leading legal expert (faqih).

§  Maliki

§  Hanafi,

§  Shafii

§  Hanbali (Most Conservative)


Ø Sufis were a group of religious minded people in medieval Islam. They sought a deeper and more personal knowledge of God through asceticism and mysticism.

Ø Sufis sought to renounce the world and believe in only God (tawakkul).

Ø Sufis used musical concerts (sama) to induce ecstasy and stimulate emotions of love and passion.

Ø Bayazid Bistami an Iranian Sufi was the first to teach the importance of fana (submerging the self)in God.

Ø Rabia of Basra ,a woman saint preached that unity with God can be achieved through an intense love for God.

Ø Sufism is open to all irrespective of religion, status and gender and posed a challenge to orthodox Islam.


Ø In the schools of Alexandria, Syria and Mesopotamia Greek philosophy, mathematics and medicine were taught along with other subjects.

Ø Translation of Greek and Syriac books in to Arabic by Christian scholars began under the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs. Translation became a well organised activity under Al-Mamun.

Ø A huge library cum Institute of science (Bayt-al-Hikma) was set up in Baghdad where the scholars worked.

Ø The works of Aristotle, the Elements of Euclid and Ptolemy's Almagest were brought to the attention of the Arabic reading scholars.

Ø During the same period, the Indian works on the medicine, astronomy and mathematics were also translated. When, they reached Europe they aroused the interests in philosophy and science.

Ø The study of new subjects promoted critical inquiry and had a profound influence on Islamic intellectual life.

Ø Scholars and Philosophers posed wider questions on Islam and provided fresh answers.


Ø Ibn Sina was a Philosopher a doctor by profession. Ibn Sina’s medical writings were widely read.

Ø The book Al-Qanun fil Tibb(Canon of Medicine) is written by Ibn Sina. It is a million words manuscripts which include a list of 760 drugs sold by the pharmacists of his times and note of his own experiments which were conducted in the hospitals.

Ø This book points to the importance of healing through dietary regulation and influence of climate and environment on health and the contagious nature of some diseases.

Ø This book was used a textbook in Europe where the author was known as Avicenna. It is believed that Umar Khayyam, a well known poet and scientist, had read this book just before his death.

Ø In medieval Islamic societies, fine language and a creative imagination were among the most appreciated qualities in a person. Adab forms of expressions included poetry and prose which were meant to be memorised and used when the occasion arose.

Ø New Persian literary

§  Abu Nuwas, who was of Persian origin, broke new ground by composing classical poetry on new themes such as wine and male love with the intention of celebrating pleasures forbidden by Islam.

§  By the time the Arabs conquered Iran, Pahlavi, was in decay. A version of Pahlavi, known as New Persian, with a huge Arabic vocabulary, soon developed.

§  Rudaki was considered the father of New Persian poetry, which included new forms such as the short. Lyrical poem (ghazal) and the quatrain (rubai).

§  The rubai is a four-line stanza in which the first two lines set the stage, the third is finely poised, and the fourth delivers the point. The subject matter of the rubai is unrestricted.

§  The rubai reached its zenith in the hands of Umar Khayyam, During 11th century,Ghazni became the centre of Persian literary life.

§  Mahmud of Ghazni gathered around him a group of poets who composed anthologies and epic poetry. The most outstanding was Firdausi's, Shahnama (Book of Kings)

Ø Shahnama

§  Shahnama is an epic of 50,000couplets. He took 30 years to complete this work.

§  It is a collection of traditions and legends which poetically depicts Iran from Creation to the Arab conquest. It has become a masterpiece of Islamic literature.

Ø The catalogue(Kitab al-fihrist)

§  The catalogue of Ibn Nadim describes a large number of works written in prose for the moral education and amusement of readers. The oldest of these is a collection of animal fables called Kalila wa Dimna which is the Arabic translation of the Panchtantra. The most widespread and lasting literary works are the stories of hero-adventurers such as Alexander and Sindbad, or those of unhappy lovers known as Majnun or the Madman.

§  The Thousand and One Nights is another collection of stories told by a single narrator,Shahrzad, to her husband night after night. The collection was originally in Ind-Persian and was translated into Arabic in Baghdad in the eighth century.

§  From the ninth century onwards, the scope of writing books was expanded to include biographies, manuals of ethics, history and geography. For rulers and officials, history provided a good record of the glories and achievements of a dynasty as well as examples of the techniques of administration.

§  Alberuni’s famous Tahqiq ma lil-Hind (History of India) was the greatest attempt by an eleventh-century Muslim writer to look beyond the world of Islam.


Ø Religious buildings were the greatest external symbols of Islamic world. Mosques, shrines and tombs from Spain to Central Asia showed the same basic design – arches, domes, minarets and open courtyards.

Ø Design of a Mosque

§  In the first Islamic century the mosques acquired a distinctive architecture from roof supported by pillars which transcended regional variations.

§   The mosque had an open courtyard with a fountain or pond.

§  The courtyard led to a vaulted hall which could accommodate long lines or worshippers an Imam, the prayer leader.

 The Great Mosque of al-Mutawwakil in Samarra (the second Abbasid capital) built in 850. The minar is 50 metres high, and is made of brick.

Two special features were located inside the hall -a 'mihrab' in the wall which indicated the direction of mecca and a pulpit from where sermons were delivered during noon prayers on Friday.

§  A minaret was attached to the building, it was a tower used to call to the faithful to prayer at the appointed time and to symbolize the presences of the new faiths.

§  The time was marked in the cities and villages by the five daily calls for prayers and weekly sermons.

§  The same pattern of construction was also appeared in caravan serais, hospitals and palaces.

§  The Umayyads built ‘desert palaces’ in oases and decorated with sculptures, mosaics and paintings.


§  The rejection of representing living beings in the religious art of Islam promoted two art forms:

·      Calligraphy(the art of beautiful writing) and

·      Arabesque (geometric and vegetal designs)

§  Small and big inscriptions, usually of religious quotations, were used to decorate architecture

§  Calligraphic art has been best preserved in manuscripts of the Quran dating from the eighth and ninth centuries. Literary works were illustrated with miniature paintings.

§  Plant and floral designs, based on the idea of the garden, were used in buildings and book illustrations.



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