Islamic manuscripts are scripts in which the written text has added some decorations such as borders or paints which make them very unique, in simple terms the illuminated manuscript refers to decoration using gold and silver. In Islamic, manuscripts the technique of illumination is used. It is considered the glory of Islamic art, which started in ancient times (Hillenbrand 67). The main purpose of the illumination in the Islamic world was that of adding beauty, glorifying, and clarifying the message, which was written in ancient times by scholars of the language who practiced religion. Due to divergent geography and long-time between the ages of the records, the field of illumination has yet to be done thoroughly especially in Muslim world, according to Hellinberd, who later describes the illumination of the arts as not much concerned with history, but with investigations which were to be conducted for the second and the third time where their results could have been analyzed effectively. Illumination involves ornamentation with items such as gold and silver, codices and leaves used by Muslims.
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The major concern with the illumination of any text or document is trying to understand different forms of the decorative illumination which was known as shamsa. This included the frontispiece and title page among others. The relationship between the text and the ornaments was also of great importance. More classical ornaments were used for the determination of more insightful information; in Islamic culture, the Quran is of importance as a holy book where illumination demonstrated something of intensity to the reader during the period from the 5th to the 11th century, which was known as Makkan relationship. Manuscripts ended with the more tranquil illuminations accompanied by Mu’awwidhatayn and colophon, which later were followed by ornate for conclusions which were like that in the beginning of the intensity of illumination.
Literally manuscripts were also becoming major in illumination, texts were made first before the ornamentation. This was to make sure that planning was done correctly and spaces were left for inclusion of decorations between the words. It may have been hard for the first time especially to the user. When reading the text first, one is able to follow the manuscripts, this was of very importance in Islamic culture which uses manuscripts very often and still, their language is scribbled on these manuals for a coming generation who believes in Allah. The opening of the manuscript was proceeded by the page with pure decoration which was an ornate headpiece having an inscription such as Allah was i-Rasal which showed text illumination that had an ornament together with text as a subheading for more emphasis of the message to the reader (Khalili 90). During the Ottoman period of the 10th to 16th century, the holy Quran had rounded texts that were used as markers, the poetical figures that were surrounding the holy Quran in form of text representing speech such as his-I ta bir which had also labels that indicated speech occurrences. The main role of literature in manuscripts was that of emphasizing the poetic ornaments. Texts were important in the sense that, analyzing various records of the manuscripts and manuscripts ornaments, in the above case of the surrounding holy Quran with the texts, led to more poetic speeches being determined which could have otherwise been overlooked by ornaments illumination only.
The style of illumination was roundels, which gave the names of poetical figures such as hiisn-i ta bir, which had labels that indicated the point of the script where the speech occurred. This made them so unique due to its nature of roundels mode. Another manuscript that showed literally text in the 9th to 15th century and half of 13th to 19th century of Ibrahim Haqqi Erzurumis Ma’rifetname was the Muslim doctrine. It comprised of a table of contents that highlighted the panel of the illumination. In addition, the manuscript had colors that were used in varying ways that made it more complex than earlier manuscripts. The diagrams had charts that represented the physical aspects of the eclipse. Another map of the same manuscript showed the same diagram of the western and eastern hemispheres, which was gazetted in the opposite sides with two columns indicating the locality and place of the world coloring in order to easily determine the two forms of the data (Sweetman 87). This aspect made the manuscripts unique from others. The main role of these manuscripts was to direct people from one place to another and was used by Arabs during that period. The significance of this manuscript was in correspondence with the map used, hence its validity was efficient in its use. The style used in this manuscript was more inclusive of detailed aspects of ornaments such as gold which was used to mark important features in the map, for example, pyramids and the river Nile which were very prominent. Literally, the use of this aspect of manuscripts was a schematic indication of traditional doctrines of the Arabic history concerning the directions.
Islamic art involves visual arts that were used from the 7th century that were inhabited by the culture of Islamic populations. Islamic arts cover many various lands and various people where it ranged for about 1400 years. The field of Islamic art is wide, and it encompasses varied natures such as calligraphy, painting, glass, ceramics, and textiles among others. The art does not only look into religious beliefs of art, but it involves other elements of social history. Islamic mosques and architecture are remains of common arts that have been dated today for the Islamic religion. The walls of mosques and illuminated books of the Islamic arts are some of the fine arts that make the art so unique from others. This contributes to divergent beliefs of the present scholars who make investigative works on parts of the art. Calligraphy and decoration of the Holy Quran in Islam religion are also examples of the arts, which are prominent in the religious beliefs in Islamic society. This calligraphy shows that the book had a lot of insights into knowledge concerning the holiness and origin of the religion. The decoration of the holy Quran book was also significant in religion. The decorations showed that it was highly valued and from the historical analysis of its decorations and literally texts, making it an important aspect in reviewing religious art that existed.
Calligraphy refers to the art of writing and encompasses one of the Islamic religious arts. According to hillenbeard Qur, antic verses were included in secular objects such as coins, tiles, and metalwork (Ettinghausen 78). The other inscriptions involved the symbols of Kufic and Naskh scripts. These characteristics showed that calligraphy was widely used in the Islamic arts through visual walls, buildings, and metalwork writings, which symbolized deep-rooted religious beliefs. Arabic scripts were used in calligraphy field elements that were contained in the Ottoman period. This led to a high development of calligraphy writings later in the empires mainly in the Islamic religion. Calligraphies have evolved drastically to recent times. Media of all Arabic writings have been reserved in mosques and Mecca city where they worship annually their pilgrims, showing that calligraphy in Islamic art has been maintained up to now.
Paintings are also an aspect of Islamic art where they evolved recently. The highly valued paintings were miniatures that illuminated manuscripts, which evolved to muraqqa. Miniatures were the calligraphies of the court more secretive to the public during ancient times. These calligraphies were not public writings because they contained great numbers that had small figures. Therefore, from these miniature writings scholars such as Hillinbeard suggested that human figurative art is common and continuous in Islamic religion even today. In the recent national courts of various countries where Islam religion is practiced, there is a sharia court, which originates from the miniature paintings. Paints that were figurative have been noted in Egypt and parts of North Africa during the 9th century.
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Rugs and carpets were also Islamic arts that have become a major aspect of reviewing their historical origins as well as their roles in recent times. The commonly used carpets in Islam were the oriental carpets, which are used even today through the floor covering and architecture beauty from bugs and sacks of all shapes and sizes. The carpets also were used in religious places for prayers to keep the place clean and holy. Recently, these carpets have been major exports from Arabic countries.
Islamic art has ceramics arts elements that were used in the construction of houses and in the decoration of items (Bloom 109). The most notable Islamic ceramics were Basra which was opaque glasses dating back to the 8th century. This ceramic was a development of stone paste ceramics at around the 9th century. According to Hillenbrand, ceramics were important in the construction of mosques around the world which makes them so unique from other sculptures and mosaics of architecture. Their origin has been identified from this historical development of ceramics, which are common in the modern mosques. The contribution of Islamic art from the perspective of learning has shown a significant contribution to the history of art. This is because aspects such as carpets and ceramics have been identified in past centuries, which are also common in recent time’s development of historical art.