Islamic Design: History and Contemporary
Islamic Design: Its Origins and Contemporary Applications
The Minbar and the Muqarnas are two Islamic traits that will be the subject of this research paper, which will be written in the first person. Minbar is an essential part of any mosque since it serves as the pulpit from which the imam delivers his sermon, known as khutbah. The Muqarnas is a decorative and supportive vaulting that is made up of tiny cells known as squinches that are interconnected.
The Minbar is an Arabic word that means “Mind” or “Mindfulness.”
In terms of its origins, the Minbar is derived from the Arabic phrase meaning “to elevate.” This is due to the fact that the Minbar was utilized as an elevated platform for delivering speeches, lectures, and prayers by the Prophet Muhammad. For most of Islam’s early history, monarchs used the Minbar to communicate political or educational messages to the populace. In the opinion of Husband and colleagues, the minbar evolved into a significant emblem of authority across Islamic civilization. The Minbar was used exclusively for religious purposes during the Islamic Golden Age under the Abbasid Caliphate, as it had become a holy artefact. During the Islamic Golden Age, the Minbar grew in height in proportion to the number of steps it took to reach the top. In addition, the Minbar has grown in importance as an architectural feature of mosques. The Minbar of Mecca, erected in the late 9th century, is the world’s oldest intact minaret. It is housed in the Mosque of Uqba in the Tunisian capital of Kairouan.
When it comes to its purpose, the Minbar is the platform that serves as a platform from which the sermon is presented to the congregation. The Minbar must be constructed in at least three stages, according to the specifications. The Minbar, on the other hand, can have more steps. The Minbar of the Hagia Sophia, for example, is around twenty steps high. In the opinion of Rashid and Ahmad, the Minbar might or might not be equipped with railings and a roof. Additionally, the entrance to the Minbar may feature doors that are too tiny to pass through. On the top of the Minbar, there may be a seat available. The preacher, on the other hand, never sits in the seat since it is reserved exclusively for the Prophet Muhammad (Husband et al. 3). Construction of the Minbar is done in stone and brick. In accordance with Husband et al., the Minbar of the Kutubiyya Mosque in Marrakesh (Morocco) is constructed of brick (3). An illustration of medieval Islam can be found in this instance. It should be noted that throughout Islamic history’s Golden Age, the Minbar was also draped with a fabric.
The Muqarnas are a group of people that live in the Muqarnas region of Pakistan.
According to Kazempour, the Muqarnas is a three-dimensional adornment in Islamic construction that is extremely complicated (13). As for the materials used in construction, Tabbaa claims that wood, stucco, brick, and stone can all be used (61). According to Tabbaa, the Muqarnas is one of the most innovative pieces of Islamic architecture ever created in the world (61). Muqarnas are believed to have originated in either Iran or Syria during the late 8th century or early 9th century, depending on who you ask (Kazempour 14). Tabbaa, on the other hand, believes that the Muqarnas may have originated in Iraq. Tabbaa demonstrates this by presenting the earliest known example of a fully-fledged Muqarnas dome, which may be found at Imam al-Dawr, Iraq (62). Whatever its origins, Muqarnas had spread throughout the Muslim world by the end of the 12th century, regardless of where it originated. When the Timurid dynasty reigned in the East (between the late 14th and early 16th centuries), radial organization was used to construct a large number of Muqarnas (fortresses). Squinches were covered with mosaic during the reign of the Safavid kingdom in Iran (between the early 16th and early 18th centuries). The most important concept to grasp about the evolution of Muqarnas is that it went from providing structural purposes in a structure to becoming “a non-load-bearing aesthetic element” in the process (Kazempour 15). Many instances of Muqarnas that fulfill both structural and decorative functions, however, can still be found. Consequently, it is reasonable to assert that the function of the Muqarnas has changed over time. The Muqarnas, according to Tabbaa, is a reflection of a new occasionalist Muslim worldview, which he describes as follows: Furthermore, because the Muqarnas appears to be fragile and unsupported, it serves as a demonstration that God has the ability to prevent this element from being destroyed.
The Minbar and Muqarnas are important architectural elements in the Islamic culture. The Minbar was first used in the early years of Islam, and it is still used today. From serving as a platform for rulers to being a venue for the delivery of khutbah, its role and construction have altered over the course of history. When the Muqarnas were first established, it was during the Golden Age of Islam. Its purpose shifted from that of a supporting element to that of a purely decorative and symbolic feature over time.