An article by Brunilda Basha. Understanding the Islamic art is directly related to understanding the message of the religion, as well as the aesthetic use of the various elements which serve to the Divine purpose. Through the works of Muslim masters and artists throughout the time, since Islam was proclaimed as a religion, various forms of Islamic aesthetics have emerged such as: arabesques, calligraphy, florals, geometric shapes and many other elements. All these art forms aimed to convey the philosophy of faith, the worldview of life and the rational thought of creation and, not infrequently, serving as a catalyst to push man into spiritual introspection over the meaning and the connection of ‘Creator-Creation’.
For 13 centuries, decoration has been a connecting element between buildings and objects from all over the Islamic world – from Spain to China, from Turkey to Indonesia. Dalu Jones, in his essay on “Decorative Elements: Surface, Pattern and Light”, states that Islamic Art should be considered in its entirety, because every building and object embodies somewhat identical principles, although the art in each building differs in style, idea, shape or design; having its own individuality. Visual ornaments or decorations, aside from walls and ceilings, are also present in carpets, pillows, dishes, furniture, and beyond. It is interesting that regardless of geographical position, whether the Mosque of Cordoba or the schools of Samarkand, the same light and the same Islamic art shines in every work of art.
This is thanks to a key principle of Islamic art, the Unity. This is the primary concept of that art, as stated by many scholars who have explored Islamic art. It all starts with “tawheed” – Oneness. The main principle of Islam is the Oneness of God and his worship. Man, by his nature, often seeks a corner, place or building to be alone, to pray to God, so the physical representation of this environment is very important and essential. This kind of unity is then applied to every art form, as well as to reflect the unity of the cosmos, of the world around us. Every form or figure, if we look at it from the perspective of symbolic meaning, reflects a value and principle within the framework of Universal harmony.