Islamic Art and Architecture: Unit 2 Muslim places of worship and devotion

2.12 Conclusions

In this unit, we have explored Muslim religious architecture especially mosques, khanqahs and madrasas and come to the following conclusions:

  • There are no ritual requirements for mosque architecture except the orientation towards the qibla.
  • Different styles of mosques developed in different regions.
  • The decoration of buildings that served religious functions consisted of inscriptions as well as geometric and floral patterns.

Discussion activity: Favourite example

We have looked at a lot of different places of worship this week. Share with the group the one that you liked best, explaining why in the relevant thread of the Worship and devotion forum.

Further reading

  • Search for the articles on ‘Mosques’ and ‘Madrasas’ in Grove Art Online (accessible through the Oxford Reference Online link in the block on the left of the course homepage).
  • Frishman, M., 1994 ‘Islam and the Form of the Mosque’, in Frishman, M. and Khan, H.-U. (eds.), The Mosque: History, Architectural Development & Regional Diversity, Thames and Hudson, pp. 17–41.
  • Hillenbrand, R., 1994 Islamic Architecture: Form, Function and Meaning, New York, Columbia University Press.
  • Necipoglu-Kafadar, G., 1985 ‘The Süleymaniye Complex in Istanbul: An Interpretation’, in Muqarnas III: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture, Grabar, O. (ed.), Leiden, E. J. Brill. Also available online at ArchNet (6.22 MB)
  • Yusupova, M., 1999 ‘Evolution of Architecture of the Sufi Complexes in Bukhara’, in Petruccioli, A. (ed.), Bukhara: The Myth and the Architecture, Cambridge, MA, The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture. Also available for download from ArchNet (2.49 MB).