The foundations of Islamic architecture can be considered as having foundations in both secular and religious designs since the inception of the religion to this very day. The most prominent forms of this architecture include mosques, tombs, citadels and forts. Islam is recognized as promoting architectural integrity especially because it strives to maintain geometrical aspects in its buildings. The documentary Paradise Found: Islamic Architecture and Arts examines the Muslim world in order to discover the influences behind its structural designs. Due to its geometrical nature, Islamic architecture is considered one of the most important influences in art and design that are notable in Islamic states as well as Europe and indeed the rest of the world.
The inception of this style is considered as being shortly after the time of Prophet Muhammad. Some of the earliest forms are recorded as early as in 691 AD when the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem was finally unveiled. This sparked a flurry of architectural designs with the most notable era being from that time to the 17th Century.
Principal Buildings and Architects
From the video, some of the principal buildings that can be noted include The Great Mosque of Djenne, The Taj Mahal, and The Pagan Temple of the World in Damascus, Former Temple of Jupiter, and The Shrine of Hussein. Others are The Imam Square, The Blue Mosque, and The Hagia Sophia. It is important to note that none of the architects has been recognized directly in this video.
Architectural and Structural Elements
The main architectural constituents of Islamic structural designs include the minarets that were initially utilized as defensive watchtowers, fully equipped with lit torches. A prominent example of this is at the Great Mosque of Damascus. It is also notable that Islamic architecture recognizes the geographical presence of Mecca with elements such as mihrab, or the prayer niche, or the main lobby in the four-iwan plan being directed towards the holy city. Other elements such as domes and copulas are also notable in most Islamic buildings.
Structural elements that were carefully incorporated into the designs include geometric shapes and repetitive art referred to as arabesque. In addition to this, most structures can be noted as being of a vivid hue, as compared to the less brilliant sandstone and grey gravels that were common in Arabic designs. Islamic calligraphy was also utilized to substitute the use of pictures that were prohibited within the confines of their architecture.
Summary and Evaluation of Content
In this documentary, Waldemar Janoszczak makes a journey to analyze the Muslim world and more so see their architectural style. His main aim is to make known the overpowering structural design and art objects that elaborate more on the history of Islam. The outcome is an opening into the traditions of this religion that have a vast influence on a global scale. As it is evident in this video, the reporter has come out triumphant in his tour of the Islam world, outlining the most artistic structural designs that accompany the religion.
The reporter concludes his journey in Persia where he visits the Rustan Persian Mosque. In this case, the Quran is referred to as the architectural manual because anyone who reads it properly must be struck by the similarities between the descriptions of paradise given in the Quran, and the gorgeous world constructed for them. The Quran is like a guide or a channel that any architect can use to construct either a Mosque or a Tomb. Their work is to translate what is in the Quran and bring it into reality.
In conclusion, one can assert that Islam has contributed greatly towards the world’s most magnificent and outstanding buildings and structures. Its influences range from the most beautiful mosques to the biggest mud house in the world, the latter being The Great Mosque of Djenne, which is repaired annually because it is usually washed away by the rainfall during the long rains.