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Islamic Art

Islamic Art

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Islamic Art

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  1. Islamic Art

  2. Islam and Muslims • Islam means “submission” to the will of God. • Muslims are those who submit to the will of God • Believe in same God as Jews and Christians but believe that Jews and Christians have misunderstandings about God

  3. Key Beliefs • “There is one God (Arabic – Allah means God) and His prophet is Muhammad.” • This is called the profession of faith. It is recited every day and is the way someone becomes a Muslim. • Avoid worshipping anything else • Live a life of purity and obedience to Allah

  4. Father Abraham • Abraham and Hagar, his wife Sarah’s concubine, had a son Ishmael • In the Bible, after Sarah and Abraham had Isaac, Sarah pressured Abraham to send away Hagar and Ishmael • Muslims believe that Ishmael not Isaac was the one chosen by God. Jews and Christians believe it was Isaac. • Jews, Christians, and Muslims share a common patriarch in Abraham

  5. John Singer Sargent’s “Bedouins”

  6. Kaaba

  7. The Prophet Muhammad (570-632) • Orphan in Mecca; looked after by uncle • Street smarts and business smarts (becomes financial advisor to older woman Khadija when he’s 25); they had a daughter - Fatima • Interested in religion; liked to go and meditate in the desert and mountains • Began having visions in a cave at age 40; visited by Angel Gabriel, who told him about God • Would have many visions which would become the Quran

  8. Islamic Art • Calligraphy – “beautiful writing” – writing Arabic words of Quran; goal to make the words as pleasing to the eye as possible • Arabesques – intertwining lines, vine-like, to make floral, geometric patterns; eyes follow to consider the omnipotence and infinite qualities of God • Art is abstract so that Muslims could avoid idolatry (making images of people or animals that can be worshipped)

  9. Islamic Art continued • No images of Allah • Images of the Prophet Muhammad must have his face covered • No images of people or animals in holy buildings (avoiding idolatry) • Images in books for narrative purpose allowed (still no images of Allah and rules for depiction of the Prophet)

  10. Kufic • Type of calligraphy that developed in Kufa, Arabia • Earliest type of calligraphy in which the Quran/Koran was written (7th – 9th centuries C.E.) • “When calligraphy was employed in the service of Islam for writing Koran, it entirely got changed and gradually placed in the path of perfection…art and elegance.”

  11. Prayer Five Times a Day • A MUEZZIN (Islamic crier) climbs a minaret of a local mosque five times per day to call out the times to pray • Early in the morning when dawn has become bright but before sunrise • Noon or early afternoon • Late afternoon • Directly after sunset • Night between darkness and dawn usually about two hours after the sunset prayers

  12. Other Islamic Rules • SHARIA – the entirety of Islamic law; some Islamic societies actually have this as their main laws; deals with marriages, relations with non-Muslims, punishment of criminals • A Muslim should marry another Muslim • No stealing, telling the truth • Avoiding the “four deadly sins” • No fornication/adultery (no sexual activity outside before or outside of marriage; thoughts also count) • No eating pork • No gambling • No drinking alcohol/using drugs

  13. Jihad • Holy war to protect the UMMA or community of Islam • Designed to defend Islam and allow its social practice NOT to force individual conversions, which is forbidden by doctrine • Only an absolute pacifist Muslim would not believe in self-defense of some kind • Some Muslims believe jihad is a symbol for spiritual struggle not actually physical conflict

  14. Last Judgment and Afterlife • Belief in heaven and hell for eternity like Christians • Believing in one God and that His Prophet is Muhammad and then living a holy life are the ways to secure a path to heaven • Chances to be forgiven and repent like Christianity • Last Judgment – appear before God and read about all your actions in life and God decides whether you make it into heaven or go to hell • Heaven – verdant, flowing with water, nice weather, peaceful (for men – 40 virgins for their enjoyment) • Hell – hot, burning fires, no water, torment by Satan and demons

  15. Islamic Holy Literature • Quran – visions of the Prophet Muhammad • Hadith – sayings of the Prophet; things which the Prophet did and said, which were believed to be divinely inspired • Quran and Hadith establish orthodox teaching and practice in Islam

  16. Islamic Religious Leaders • Imam – trained Muslim teacher and preacher; in Shi’a Islam, a supernaturally endowed supreme teacher and leader of Islam who is a hereditary successor to the Prophet • Ayatollah – in Shi’ite Islam, a legal and religious teacher regarded as possessing great learning and righteousness

  17. Islamic Holidays • Islamic calendar different from Western calendar • Muharram (1st day of Muharram) – Islamic New Year, begins in the first day of Muharram; began in the year that Muhammad left Mecca for Medina (the Hegira) • Mawlid al-Nabi (12th day of Nabi I) – birth of the Prophet • Ramadan • Eid al-Fitr (last day of Ramadan) breaking the fast, big celebration • Eid al-Adha (10 Dhu’l-Hijjah) – when Abraham was going to sacrifice a Ishmael; also last day of the Hajj – people sacrifice a ram and give meat to poor

  18. Kissing the black stone

  19. Mihrab – Decorative niche in the center of the qibla wall in a mosque; it helps direct believers toward Mecca.

  20. After Muhammad… • The Prophet Muhammad did not designate a successor by the time of his death in 632. • A committee selected his good friend, a devout Muslim named Abu-Bakr. • He took the title CALIPH, which is from the Arabic khalifa meaning “successor” or “representative.” Abu-Bakr was “Khalifa Rasul Allah” or successor to the messenger of God. • Caliph would be the leader of the UMMA, the Islamic community.

  21. The Four Righteous Caliphs • Abu-Bakr (632-634) • Friend and father-in-law of Muhammad; continued expansionist policy • Umar/Omar (634-644) • Appointed by Abu-Bakr on his deathbed • Father-in-law of Muhammad • Assassinated • Uthman (644-656) • Appointed by committee • Married to one of the Prophet’s daughters • Compiled the first official Quran (burned all the others) • Assassinated • Ali (656-661) • Succeeded Uthman after his assassination • Son-in-law of Prophet • Assassinated

  22. What does it mean to be Shiite? • Origins of word: Shi’at Ali – “Followers of Ali; sometimes you will see it or hear it as Shi’a and other times Shi’ite; they are the same • National Public Radio (NPR): Partisans of Ali

  23. What does this map show you about the distribution of Sunni and Shia Muslims?

  24. What countries have the largest Shiite concentrations?

  25. What does it mean to be Sunni? • It means you follow the “practices or habits” of the Prophet. • It means that you do not believe that the rightful leaders of Islam have to be related to the Prophet. • It means that you believe that any qualified leader, who has a close relationship with God and detailed knowledge of Quran, who is selected by the elders (respected, well-known for piety) is an appropriate leader.