Architecture and the Islamic Faith

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Islam is one of several of the great religions we know today. Following both Judaism and Christianity, the Islamic empire grew rapidly in a short period of time because of both the corruptness in the Christian empire and the ease in which one can practice it; pray and believe in Allah, and complete your hajj sometime in your life if possible. As with many empires, Islam has its own specific building type that reflects how it runs its empire through a mixture of secularism and religion and its belief about the idea of that all is united and at one with Allah. One good representation of Islamic building types is the mosque. Through both its function and use of geometry, mosques express the idea of totality and unity behind the Islamic belief and can be thought of as a representation of the Islamic faith.

Before the spread of the empire, believers of Islam were against the idea of building great buildings like churches that led people to worship idols or gods.

Instead, they preferred to pray in non-symbolic places like a cave where people were not distracted and could focus solely on the praying. As time went on however, these people soon realized that without a building where people could go and pray, the potential of having new converts would soon disappear and their group would soon die out. Because of this realization, mosques were eventually built but architects took care to make sure that the mosques didn?t have any religious meaning and that they did not have any idols or symbols which would cause distraction among those who came to pray. Instead of representing God through images, the architects designed the buildings using geometry and art in the architecture and design to create the god-like feel...