Visual Dhikr™
returning to remembrance

An attempt to define Islamic Art

One of the hardest things for Muslims do to is define Islamic Art, with the changing and growth of modern Islamic art, there may be a need to re-define Islamic art. Here is an attempt to decipher what is Islamic Art and the difference between Islamic and Muslim art. We have to be carefull as to what is the difference between these two, as not all 'Muslim' art is Islamic.

Islamic Art in general is - all or any sort of art that does not contradict Islamic guidelines as set by the fuqaha. This can vary between opinions. A 'Muslim' does not nescessarily make the art 'Islamic'. I define Islamic art by the following, it is strictly my opinion*:

Art created either by Muslims or Non-Muslims.

Art that is contextually and obviously Islamic.
Example: traditional Arabic calligraphy, architecture and arabesque work. Art that is clearly relating to the Qur’an, Allah, Islam, the Prophet etc.

Modern Islamic art, that is wider in medium and content, but made to be considered Islamic art (context, meaning, subject matter is intended to be Islamic by the artist).
Example: photography of Peter Sanders

Art that was not intended to be Islamic by the artist, but has no obvious un-Islamic context or elements.
Example: generic landscape paintings of Monet

Art that is created by Muslims

Art that is traditionally Islamic
Example: traditional Arabic calligraphy, architecture and arabesque work

Art that is Islamic in context (art that does not contradict Islam, nor is un-Islamic) - but the subject matter/context cannot be determined to be directly 'Islamic'.

Muslim Art that is not defined by religious guidelines at all (free).

Muslim Art that is clearly un-Islamic.

*This is open for discussion and change.

Wa Allahu A'lam

Ruh, Visual Dhikr

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 at 5:37 PM. You can skip to the end and leave a response.

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At 3:18 PM, Blogger Daughter of Adam said...
Interesting Ruh -
but you've lost me :-/

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Um Ibrahim said...
What is art anyway?
You just cant explain art except it's beauty... the first explanation does it already for me..but the points still kinda, you supposed to "feel" not explain that's my opinion:)

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