Muslim Culture and Islamic Art

How does Muslim culture influence Islamic Art?

All over the world, art reflects the culture and even the beliefs of those who create it.  This is definitely a visible occurrence with Islamic Art as it relates to Muslim culture.  The focus of the Muslim people has always been Allah (God) He is the center of their lives and is present in all they do.  Their belief system is such that everything, good and bad, all come from the Plan of the All Wise.  Nothing is by chance, nothing is random.  There is a very stringent order that there should be nothing that depicts humans or animals in a way that could result in any kind of idol-worship.

Because of this order, Islamic art developed its own unique style incorporating several forms of art including arabesque, floral, calligraphic and geometric.  Many times these different styles are all interwoven, giving Islamic art its own distinctive flavor and look as it relates to Muslim culture.

One of the biggest beliefs of the Muslims is that God wants whatever you to, to be done beautifully.  That belief has been echoed throughout the Islamic art for generations.

All over the Muslim world, which stretches from North Africa all the way to Southeast Asia, Muslim culture varies and so does the Islamic art that has taken many forms; from casual Folk art to the most intricate art from skilled artisans, their dedication to their culture and to beauty is very evident in their creations.

Western style art forms and machine work have done much to diminish the traditional forms of hand crafted arts that were so prevalent in the Islamic art sector, but there are still some that hold fast to tradition and continue to create stunning and intricate handwork that is loved throughout the world.

A still important element in Islamic art is decorating that features Qur’anic calligraphy.  The Holy Qur’an, which is Islam’s sacred scripture, is a language that binds all Muslims all over, no matter where they are, in a single brotherhood.  Because of their love for the Qur’an, calligraphy became an art form used to lovingly embellish and decorate the writings of the Qur’an that were written everywhere from mosques and palaces, to homes and businesses.  They cherish the Qur’an and this beautiful calligraphic decoration was a way to almost put a beautiful framework around words that they believe in with all their heart.

Muslim culture is deep and strong, and many of the Islamic women for generations taught the work of fine crocheting and embroidery to their daughters.  Together, they would work on bed linens, towels, prayer rugs, quilts, rugs and more for the girl to have a full set to have when she married.  She would take this lovingly created set with her to her new home.   While not as commonly done as it used to be, there are parts of the world where this beautiful tradition is still carried out.

Islamic art is rich in culture, rich in spirituality, and rich in history.   Within a culture that truly cherishes where they came from, their religious beliefs and their people, their art is a reflection of their pride in what they believe.   The legacy of Islamic Art is as strong as ever and is evident in the fact that the finest arts, including rugs, come from places such as Turkey, Morocco, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, and India, where tradition is strong, and a dedication to their culture is displayed through the work of their hands.

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