Mosques: Splendors of Islam

Leyla Uluhanli

“Mosques: Splendors of Islam” is a resplendent exploration of Islamic sacred architecture that charts the historical and stylistic evolution of mosques from their origins to modern-day masterpieces. With exceptional clarity and depth, this book serves not just as an artistic showcase but also as a scholarly resource, rich with insights from leading academics in the field of Islamic art and architecture.

Each page of this stunning volume is a testament to the grandeur and beauty of mosques, featuring over sixty venerated structures across continents. The photographs, many commissioned for this work, are not simply illustrations; they are profound narratives in light and stone, telling stories of faith, culture, innovation, and tradition.

The key themes of the book center on the architectural splendors and the intricate geometric patterns and designs that are synonymous with Islamic art, particularly found in mosque structures. It provides a lens into the confluence of aesthetics and spirituality that these religious edifices symbolize across different Islamic dynasties and geographic regions.

Mosques: Splendors of Islam is thoughtfully organized with essays from eminent authorities such as Professor Sussan Babaie, Walter B. Denny, and George Michell, among others, who offer context and analysis that deepen the reader’s understanding. From the Great Mosque of Córdoba to the futuristic lines of the Sancaklar Mosque, the selection encompasses a comprehensive range of styles and eras.

Key highlights are the visual presentations of exteriors, interiors, adjacent gardens, fountains, intricate calligraphies, and tilework that adorn these mosques. The book doesn’t just catalog Islamic monuments; it breathes life into them by offering a look into their fascinating histories and the dynasties that shaped their construction, from the Umayyads to the Mughals.

The appendage of original and archival photographs enriches the narrative, offering both a panoramic and an intimate look at the featured mosques. This visual documentation, combined with the scholarly essays, makes the volume a true convergence of artistry and academia.

In conclusion, “Mosques: Splendors of Islam” is an impressive addition to the literature on Islamic architecture. It is a treasure trove for enthusiasts of Islamic geometric patterns, students of architectural history, or anyone with an appreciation for the sublime beauty that religious devotion has inspired throughout the centuries. Capturing the essence of the Islamic spirit, this book is a well-curated guide through the palatial gates of some of the world’s most awe-inspiring spiritual sanctuaries.