The Arabs have left a large of legacy behind them which all stands to denote their civilization, from different forms of architecture as mosques, fortresses, castles and palaces to the arts of sculpture and decorations on clothes, furniture and carpets. In addition to Arabic calligraphy whether on the walls of mosques on in books and letters kept in museums also on jewellery and clothes.
Like any other art, Islamic art differs from one age to the other and from country to the other. And the luxuriance of the decoration also depends on the financial situation of the Arabs in this area and in that era, but regardless of that there are some main elements that you can find in nearly all Islamic art. For example, in Islamic architecture, you always find domes and minarets and courtyard gardens, sometimes even centered fountains. One of the main elements of Islamic art is also the art of arabesque or repeated geometric shapes for decoration and arabesque find work in mosques, schools and also on the windows and woodwork of various kinds such as cupboards, tables and so on.
There are many masterpieces of Islamic architecture all over the world. I would like to highlight one of them as Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, which dates back to the thirteenth century AD in the time of Andalusia. It is about 500 km south of Madrid today. It has many rooms, columns, towers and ornate doors. Another architectural wonder is the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey (the Mosque of Sultan Ahmed). It is rectangular in shape and has six minarets. Additionally to these I would like to add Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem and the Mosque of Sultan Hassan in Cairo, Egypt, and also the Taj Mahal. There are also some mosques of unusual architecture like The Great Mosque of Xi’an, China and The Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali.
Arabic calligraphy is also one of the arts that has evolved with the development of writing. Early Arabic inscriptions were simple but unfortunately history did not keep many of them, so information about the art of calligraphy from that era is very limited. Arabic fonts are divided into many families and many types and different denominations. Some are named after the city where they developed such as Al -Kufi in Kufa in Iraq and Al-Halabi in Halab in Syria and others are named after the person who developed them such as Kalyakoti (Musta’simi) and Rihani. In general Arabic calligraphy can be divided into two comprehensive types. The first is the dry font, and it is straight with sharp angles; the most famous example is the Kufi . The second is the round or soft font, and it is curved. Other than that, there are numerous calligraphic forms, just to mention some: Al-Raqa’i,Al- Diwani, Moroccan, Persian, and Tertiary which is the most prevalent.