When calligraphy becomes architecture: Q 2:137 and fashion

Calligraphy has been thoroughly used in Islamic art and architecture with decorative purposes. The Qur’an, the Word of God has been used for decorative purposes, but not only. Erika Dodd, in her “The Image of the Word” underlines how the Qur’anic text in mosque decoration was actually used with iconographic purposes, that are both related…

The Nilometer and the deliberate choice of Qur’anic texts

The Nilometer proves to be important in two ways: on the one hand it is technologically interesting, being an instrument built for the measurements of the Nile. On the epigraphic point of view, it is one of the rare monuments about which we have an historical account clearly stating how the Qur’anic inscriptions in it…

The Dome of the Rock – reading its iconographic project

The Dome of the Rock was built in 72 a.h. (691-2 A.D.) and, besides being the most ancient Islamic building survived till our days, it is, most probably, the first monument to have been built by the new rulers of the Near East. Its building followed a highly uneasy period: during the ten years that…

Minaret of Jam: what it is and why it is important

On Aug 28th, 2014 BBC published an article about the minaret of Jam, Afghanistan, which is “in danger to collapse”. The news spread throughout Twitter, drawing more attention on the fact. The minaret’s importance was first recognized by UNESCO in 1982, that nominated it World Heritage Site. Then, in 2002, it was listed under the…

Must read for studying Islamic epigraphy (open access…of course)

When dealing with inscriptions some sources need to be read… an epigraphist, an amateur, a curious, in fact everyone interested in any level in the study of Islamic epigraphy should read some books, just as someone who likes English literature need to read Shakespeare. Thankfully, the World Wide Web provides us with sources otherwise available…

The importance of being Qur’anic

Why is it important to read and study Qur’anic inscriptions on monuments? And what are the problems and the futher developments of this field of research?