Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily Islamic (600-1517) Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein Arts Muslim artists adopted miniature painting from Persian art;  this was an exception to their avoidance of imagistic representation in art.  Because of the injunction of the 2nd commandment, Muslim artists like Jewish artists, usually avoided taking images from life, but they became very skilled at floral and geometric representation; the arabesque is a complex figure made of intertwined floral, foliate, or geometrical forms. Calligraphy, or writing, decorated walls, books, and mosaics. Another use of the geometric design in art was in carpet weaving. Architecture The dominant structure was the mosque, identified by a think pointed tower, or minaret,  from whose top a Muslim official called the faithful to prayer five times a day; the Ibn Tulun mosque at Cairo is an example of the congregational mosque. In later Islamic mosques, pointed arches and decorated stucco work were common features. Palace architecture also reached a high point; the Alhambra, the last residence of the Muslim rulers in Spain, is an excellent example of the decorative and graceful artistry of this period. Literature and Education Muhammad wrote the Koran, dictated to him from Allah through the Archangel Gabriel. The greatest Islamic historian was Ibn Khaldun, who wrote the Muqaddima, or Prolegomena, which sets forth his scientific theory of history. Music, Science, and Mathematics  Al-Khwarizmi founded the algebraic system by adopting and expanding the hints of a Hellenistic Greek thinker. He took from Hindu mathematics the idea of zero and the numeration system that became the Arabic numerals. Government, Law,  and Medicine The Five Pillars of Islam: 1. The creed: There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. 2. To be in constant prayer (Muslims pray five times a day.) 3. To share all wealth widely (tithing 2.5% of all holdings annually). 4. To make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime. 5.  To observe the holy season of Ramadan. Muslim doctors added new drugs to the pharmacopeia, stressed the role of diet in health, and were the first to distinguish between measles and smallpox. Philosophy/Religion Muhammad established Islam in about 610. Though he called the deity of this faith Allah,  he considered this to be the same deity worshiped "in the beginning" by the Hebrews, from whose patriarch Abraham he believed himself to be descended. Hence, Islam is also an offshoot of Judaism.