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View Poll Results: Is there Islamic Architecture
Yes 137 74.05%
No 36 19.46%
I don't know! 12 6.49%
Voters: 185. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 27th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #221
Muttie
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I think every argument has been countered. Islamic architecture exists as an umbrella. Whether you like it or not. Again the word Islamic in Islamic architecture has nothing to do with core of the Islamic religion.

Q.E.D.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muttie View Post
I think every argument has been countered. Islamic architecture exists as an umbrella. Whether you like it or not. Again the word Islamic in Islamic architecture has nothing to do with core of the Islamic religion.

Q.E.D.
how can you use a religious term to define a certain style if that style is against the core teachings of that religion?

Q.E.D.

It's like saying that the theory of evolution is christian science because Darwin was from a Christian background.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 10:24 PM   #223
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turknology View Post
how can you use a religious term to define a certain style if that style is against the core teachings of that religion?

Q.E.D.

Islamic is not a religious term. Islamic is a term, but theres nothing religious about it. Second, the teachings "of that religion" you are referring to are explained by people. And people tend to have different views about the teachings of "that religion". Different views means different styles.

Islamic architecture is an umbrella just like Islamic world or Islamic culture.

Q.E.D.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 10:29 PM   #224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muttie View Post
Islamic is not a religious term. Islamic is a term, but theres nothing religious about it. Second, the teachings "of that religion" you are referring to are explained by people. And people tend to have different views about the teachings of "that religion". Different views means different styles.

Islamic architecture is an umbrella just like Islamic world or Islamic culture.

Q.E.D.
when you use the adjective you are placing something within the scope of that religion. There can only be Islamic theology and nothing else.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 10:33 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by Turknology View Post
when you use the adjective you are placing something within the scope of that religion. There can only be Islamic theology and nothing else.
Not really. It could also be referring to the beliefs or culture of the people, theres a lot within the scope of the religion but not touching the Islamic rules itself. Not the touching the theology itself. But I think you and I are not going to convince eachother about the (non) existance of this type of architecture. Luckely we all know Wikipedia is often right.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 10:48 PM   #226
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what has wikipedia got to do with it?
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:21 PM   #227
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Luckily, this book from the Pelican series is excerpted in Amazon.

You can refer to the table of contents there:

http://www.amazon.com/Islamic-Archit...der_0300088698

But more importantly, in the first part covering the Caliphate, it seeks to define what "Islamic" means. Please read this excerpted section for as far as it is given, as it also covers the anticedents of what is termed as "Islamic" art and architecture. Specifically, it makes the reader understand that "Islamic" refers to a culture and not just a religion. And as in the volume on Christian Architecture, the antecedents from pre-Islamic times are touched on. Please read this excerpted section. I would post it in its entirity on this thread if I could.

The book on Christian Architecture is actually one of the BEST books written on the subject for lay people. Note that this book is entirely devoted to ARCHITECTURE. There is a separate volume on Christian Art, but I think this volume is much better written.

It is also excerpted in Amazon, and you can see the table of contents here:

http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Byza...der_0300052944

You can read the section on the beginnings of Christian Architecture to as far as it is excerpted. Unfortunately, the evolution to the post-Constantinian form is not excerpted. It would have given a VERY GOOD picture of the evolution and antecedents of Christian Architecture. The rest that followed can be understood in terms of this initial phase.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jünyus Brütüs View Post
@tpe
Could you please inform me about what is written in the book: Islamic art and architecture 650-1250?

Is that includes the answers of following questions?

1. Which architecture styles were born between those dates?
2. How the religion did influence domestic architecture?
3. Which parts of Quran did effect the styles of ordinary buildings?(I'm simply not talking about temples!)
4. What has been changed in Middle and Near East after Islam widely accepted?( by architectural perspective)
5. How does the Islamic influence effect today's buildings? If we accept the so-called "Islamic style" was born with Islam so all the pre-Islamic style architecture just disappeared?
6. Did people suddenly discover a new trend of architecture or was it just upgraded/blended version of the local styles?

Also the cover of the book highlights some questions in my mind such as;

Is a regional/local art(mostly ancient) must include some verses from Quran to be called as Islamic art or simply same patterns can be called Islamic if it's not include any Quranic verses?

I also want to learn detailed info(more or less same questions) about the book that analyze Early Christian and Byzantine architecture.

Thanks.


All I say is it's stupid to name architecture or art after a religion(with the exception of religious art such as "Islamic caligraphy" or religious buildings like mosques or churches - which is arguable aso.)

Last edited by tpe; December 27th, 2010 at 11:36 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #228
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In the excerpted book on Islamic Art and Architecture that I mentioned in my previous post, I highlight this one especially good statment on the evolution of Islamic Art and Architecture:

"In other words, Islamic art did not slowly evolve from the meeting of a new faith and of a new state with whatever older traditions prevailed in the areas in which the state ruled; it came forth suddenly as the faith and the state, for, whatever influences may have been at work in the building and decoration of early Islamic monuments, their characteristic is that they were built for Muslims, to serve purposes which did not exist in quite the same way before Islam."

- from Islamic Art and Architecture 650-1250, Richard Ettinghausen, Oleg Grabar, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:51 AM   #229
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Does the author consider the title "Islamic architecture" as a collection of various combinations of distinct forms and motives that can be thought to students for designing a building irrespective of its location, time, nationality, ethnicity or function (as the name suggests)? i.e Can I design a Museum such that people would say "This is Islamic! before saying Arabic, Persian, Ottoman, Byzantian, Classic etc or a combo of them? (In which case the answer is probably "No" and the better title to describe the intended set is "Architecture of Islamic Societies" which would encompass architectural styles of various societies that made Islam part of their culture. The answer to that existence would be then probably "Yes".

The question could also be a mere categorization without any established terminological meaning, where the underlying question of its subjective definition can be anything such as:
"Do the Muslims have a distinct style when they design a building? (No)."
"Do Muslims build structures? (Yes)."
"Can a building be related/devoted to Islam irrespective of who builds it? (Yes)."
"Can a common architectural motive/symbol/style (like the cross in Catholicism) that is exclusively shared by all Islamic societies be found? (Don't know)."
"Are there structural elements that are particularly related to Islam by the masses irrespective of shape, geography, ethnicity or nationality? (Yes, Minarets)"
Since a categorization is nothing more than a set. They can intersect or overlap with other categorizations. Nothing stops from an element of a set from belonging to other sets as well.
So the question of "does Islamic Architecture exist" is ill defined. No definition to that name has been provided. If there was a definition, we could have argued if that set is empty or not.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 03:33 AM   #230
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It is not an ill-defined question. It is simply a matter of definition. It is not like a set that is both open and closed at the same time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mantar View Post
Does the author consider the title "Islamic architecture" as a collection of various combinations of distinct forms and motives that can be thought to students for designing a building irrespective of its location, time, nationality, ethnicity or function (as the name suggests)? i.e Can I design a Museum such that people would say "This is Islamic! before saying Arabic, Persian, Ottoman, Byzantian, Classic etc or a combo of them? (In which case the answer is probably "No" and the better title to describe the intended set is "Architecture of Islamic Societies" which would encompass architectural styles of various societies that made Islam part of their culture. The answer to that existence would be then probably "Yes".

The question could also be a mere categorization without any established terminological meaning, where the underlying question of its subjective definition can be anything such as:
"Do the Muslims have a distinct style when they design a building? (No)."
"Do Muslims build structures? (Yes)."
"Can a building be related/devoted to Islam irrespective of who builds it? (Yes)."
"Can a common architectural motive/symbol/style (like the cross in Catholicism) that is exclusively shared by all Islamic societies be found? (Don't know)."
"Are there structural elements that are particularly related to Islam by the masses irrespective of shape, geography, ethnicity or nationality? (Yes, Minarets)"
Since a categorization is nothing more than a set. They can intersect or overlap with other categorizations. Nothing stops from an element of a set from belonging to other sets as well.
So the question of "does Islamic Architecture exist" is ill defined. No definition to that name has been provided. If there was a definition, we could have argued if that set is empty or not.

Last edited by tpe; December 28th, 2010 at 03:39 AM.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 05:31 AM   #231
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let me rephrase "ill-defined" as "not-defined" then )
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Old December 28th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #232
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What should some Muslims do if they don't want their architecture is called Islamic?
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Old December 28th, 2010, 06:32 PM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turknology View Post
Now here is another thing (I didn't want to get into theology but I am trying to prove a point here ). Anything that is not part of the Quran or Sunnah is classified as Biddah according to Islam, thus classified as anti-Islamic, thus Islamic architecture is an oxymoron as structures like domes and minarets are classified as biddah and thus anti-Islamic.

PS: thus why the blue mosque for example would be neo-Byzantine, or neo-Byzantine Ottoman (if you want to narrow it down), just as the 19th century one would be neo-Baroque (or neo baroque Ottoman if you want to narrow it down)
1: Islamic here does not mean Islamic as a religion only. Islamic here implies Islamic cultures. Don't confuse the two please.

2: If Ottoman architecture is only just neo-Byzantine, what the heck are arabesque patterns doing inside? Why do most of those mosques have arcaded courtyards attached to them? Why do they have minarets? Why do they use different decorative themes inside and outside rather than just doing jesus mosaics? why isnt the building laid out in the form of a latin or a greek cross? Why is the interior space more open in plan rather than being a mix of hallways and arcades and niches like the other churches?

Answer: only the inspiration for the massing is Byzantine, however due to the added elements of it, its an entirely separate genre of Ottoman architecture.

And then again, Moroccan architecture and Ottoman architecture from similar periods totally do not look the same. However they have certain elements again which are common to them even though its totally different building layouts. These elements which are the common grounds are the ones which enable their OVERALL grouping as Islamic X architecture (substitute X here which whatever you want to call your architectural style). Dont know how many times the term LOOSE GROUPING can be emphasized here. (please note here, Islamic is used as a CULTURAL term due to the presence of the common elements. Nothing to do with religion again)

Also, architecture is usually classified according to the dominant streams of its influence. Ottoman Islamic again is a very very broad category because even in the Ottoman genre, the Selimiye mosque and the Ortakoy mosque do not fall into the same style. In effect, you can classify the hell out of any architectural style you want however if you use the term Islamic architecture, you do not use it as the base level grouping. You ONLY AND ONLY use it as an UPPER LEVEL grouping.


Also, some people are quoting here absurd examples which makes me seriously doubt their intelligence. I mean neo-classical buildings and pictures of houses in a neighbourhood and trying to label them Islamic is like trying to call a pig a horse. I have never come across such definitions myself and if you have, I would advise you to change which-ever hokey teachers or books it is that you have been following.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mantar View Post
the better title to describe the intended set is "Architecture of Islamic Societies" which would encompass architectural styles of various societies that made Islam part of their culture. The answer to that existence would be then probably "Yes".
I think this has been emphasized over and over again in this thread, by saying that Islamic is a loose grouping, overall grouping, usually followed by classifiers etc. Btw, unless you are an academic yourself who has researched architecture, I would refrain from asking academics themselves to change their definitions. Also, please note - a lot of these books are not written by Muslims who are trying to usurp and label everything as Islamic. These are written by people who have done thorough study of the subject. Saying that Muslims are calling everything Islamic and trying to usurp our architectural styles is just a product of your own xenophobia.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mantar View Post
"Do the Muslims have a distinct style when they design a building? (No)."
"Do Muslims build structures? (Yes)."
"Can a building be related/devoted to Islam irrespective of who builds it? (Yes)."
The following questions:

"Can a common architectural motive/symbol/style (like the cross in Catholicism) that is exclusively shared by all Islamic societies be found? (Don't know)." YES Please read previous posts.
"Are there structural elements that are particularly related to Islam by the masses irrespective of shape, geography, ethnicity or nationality?" Yes, Minarets - not only just minarets btw, please read this post
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...1&postcount=95

Quote:
Originally Posted by mantar View Post
Since a categorization is nothing more than a set. They can intersect or overlap with other categorizations. Nothing stops from an element of a set from belonging to other sets as well.
Well said.

Last edited by swerveut; December 28th, 2010 at 06:47 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turknology View Post
how can you use a religious term to define a certain style if that style is against the core teachings of that religion?

Q.E.D.

It's like saying that the theory of evolution is christian science because Darwin was from a Christian background.
+1
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Old December 29th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jünyus Brütüs View Post
The answer is obvious actually. There is no Islamic architecture as well as there is no Christian or Jewish architecture.

The truth is; most common architecture styles are the ones that born in Europe. That's because expansionism of European Empires, all those architecture styles influenced the today's world. And all those European architecture styles borrowed somethings from neighbouring regions too.

Middle Eastern architecture can be called Islamic that is because the Arabic and Persian style buildings widely accepted in Islamic nations through ages. But that does not mean the architecture itself is Islamic neither Neo-Baroque is Christian nor Neo-Classic is infidel.

It's the silliest thing that naming architecture styles after religions.
The main problem with "islamic architecture" is that it is a flat expression without core... Islamic civilization was based on too pillars : Persia on one side and Iberia on the other. Byzantine Empire was not conquered, so byzantine architecture can't be integrated in initial movement. In middle of those two pillars, it was a desert (in all senses of the term), there was no typical "islamic architecture" that came from arabian peninsula. There was absolutely no "arabic architecture" to put in conquered lands. On other hand, when ancient greeks, romans or when british, spanish or russian expanded their respective empires, they imposed their core architectures...

I did read in previous pages that architecture is linked with philosophy... yes why not, however islamic philosophy is part of western philosophy... islamic thinkers were unable to pass over old greek heritage, something that could maybe be a proof that the great library of Alexandria was maybe not completely destroyed, and it simply turned only a legend to make afraid foreigners.

Another example said here was that "stupa" is a typical 100% buddhist architecture... Actually it's wrong, and again, it's greeks, or more precisely indo-greeks that did make evolve it and helped to sprawl buddhism through Asia. In beginning, the stupas were simple mounts :



For me, "islamic architecture" is more linked with Yemen, that with Iran, Turkey or Egypt.

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Old December 29th, 2010, 01:47 AM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekky II View Post
The main problem with "islamic architecture" is that it is a flat expression without core... Islamic civilization was based on too pillars : Persia on one side and Iberia on the other. Byzantine Empire was not conquered, so byzantine architecture can't be integrated in initial movement. In middle of those two pillars, it was a desert (in all senses of the term), there was no typical "islamic architecture" that came from arabian peninsula. There was absolutely no "arabic architecture" to put in conquered lands. On other hand, when ancient greeks, romans or when british, spanish or russian expanded their respective empires, they imposed their core architectures...

What do you mean by "core architecture"? and how does it apply to the civilizations that i highlighted?
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Old December 29th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian12345Lugo View Post
What do you mean by "core architecture"? and how does it apply to the civilizations that i highlighted?
We can identify spanish architecture in latin america or british one in india (and so the anglo-indian architecture that followed), but what is arabic in Iran ? that's what i mean by "core", what is the "original" architecture ? Maybe the term "islamic architecture" was simply invented because there was no arabic one ? Like someone said, i hardly imagine someone talking of jewish or christian architecture (except in very early times of both religions, the first churches and synagogues, but not architecture movements that followed => gothic etc)
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Old December 29th, 2010, 02:17 AM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mekky II View Post
We can identify spanish architecture in latin america or british one in india (and so the anglo-indian architecture that followed), but what is arabic in Iran ? that's what i mean by "core", what is the "original" architecture ? Maybe the term "islamic architecture" was simply invented because there was no arabic one ? Like someone said, i hardly imagine someone talking of jewish or christian architecture (except in very early times of both religions, the first churches and synagogues, but not architecture movements that followed => gothic etc)
Saying Spanish, French, British, etc Architecture is as erroneous as sayin Islamic Architecture. All one can see in these styles is Greek/Roman Architecture. One can also argue, that it is all Greek Architecture.

It is some what incorrect to say, "You can see Spanish Architecture in Latin America" The more correct way of stating it would be "You can see the Architecture utilized by the Spanish in Latin America".
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Old December 29th, 2010, 02:35 AM   #239
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islamic arcitecture iself is heavily based on sassanid persian architecture

regardless, islam is a theory, but the architecture is infact under an umbrella. eg: a mosque in amsterdam would be built with dutch architecture, therefor one can say dutch architecture is also islamic? not really. in many cases since buildings hat have been built in muslim countries have some shared elements, in general the existence of such elements makes islamic architecture, but really islamic architecture can be rather an umbrella.

its a hard question to answer. eg there is no such thing as christian architecture, or else all of europe would have "christian" architecture. the case is that usually in the west they lump all of the middle east together therefor they lump all their architecture together under the name of their religion. im persian, and we never consider our architecture the same as "arab architecture". we are both majority muslim, but our culture as well as our architecture arent the same, they are distinct.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 03:21 AM   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian12345Lugo View Post
Saying Spanish, French, British, etc Architecture is as erroneous as sayin Islamic Architecture. All one can see in these styles is Greek/Roman Architecture. One can also argue, that it is all Greek Architecture.

It is some what incorrect to say, "You can see Spanish Architecture in Latin America" The more correct way of stating it would be "You can see the Architecture utilized by the Spanish in Latin America".
Hm... sorry but when tourists come in Greece, France, Spain or Italy, they don't come visiting same architecture, there is common features (domes, archs etc), but there was clear regional evolutions that make for example german looking cities in Brazil, US or China (Tsingtao) something immediately recognized. But you are right to say "colonial architecture", because spain got many architectures between andalusian, galician or catalonian etc though there was many groups of immigrants recreating the city they left, not only germans did (basques did in Chile etc). But it stays spanish colonial from Puerto Rico to Ushuaia.

SoroushPersepolisi> it's bad example, most new mosques built in europe look turkish or maghreb ones..., i think the single country in europe doing its own mosques outside Turkey is Russia. But you are right, the one saying russian architecture is islamic would be a fool.
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