Islamic Architecture Readings: Nuttgens Chapter 11 Terms: mosque mihrab qibla minaret minbar paradise garden squinch muqarnas From its founding in the 7th c. CE, Islam spread fast over the entire southern Mediterranean and east to India. The faith began in central Arabia in a semi-nomadic trading culture that had no monumental architecture, but Muslims soon developed a distinctive architecture, which spread as the faith spread. Although the Prophet Mohammed had championed the simplicity and mobility of the nomadic Arabs, the spread of Islam soon embraced the building of cities as an important way to establish the faith. Based on strict monotheism that allowed no saints or relics, Islam permitted no representation of the Prophet or other holy images. Muslim artists developed a system of decoration based on plant images, Arabic inscription, and geometries, and abstract geometry characterizes the form and decoration of Islamic structures.
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