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ARCHITECTURE, ‘A caaaavion hence it may be possible to estimate with some confidence the legacy of the Islamic world to architecture; but in the present state of scholarship so much doubt exists a8 to feveral important aspect? of Mubammadan architecture that oly a violent partisan can feel sure of his ground, Te is un- forvunate that much recent research, which should have thrown, light on uncertain points, has been prevented to us in the form ‘of polemical arguments. ‘These are not mainly concerned with the nature of Moaim architecture in its maturer periods sill leas with ts effect on the evolution of architecturein out Western ‘world, but rather with its origins and ite earlier buildings. Nevertheless, they have a ditecr bearing on the question of its legacy to mankind, for we eannot fairly recognize a bequest from. Islam unless there is some proof chat Islam possested the original tide, In other words, so many things in Muhammadan archi tectare ate said to have been stolen from non-Islamic peoples ‘that some scholare setaally hold that the Muslims were mere borrowers of the architectonic forms and had no architecture of, ‘heir own worth the name, ‘To reach a conclusion on fundamental point, itis necessary in the fist instance to attempt 4 brief outline of the origins and nature of Muhammadan architecture in genera. "The Arabs, who within a half-century swept like « desert whirlwind from the Eiji co the Pillars of Hercules in the West and to the confines of India in the East, conquered countries llteady civilized, ‘Their dominions extended over an area wider ‘than that of the Roman Empire at ite greatest extent, and em- braced many nations whose architecture differed from that of, ‘Rome and in some eases was far older. ‘Whatever position one may assume in the bitter controversy between those who believe in the mainly Roman origin of our Western medieval architecture, and those who attribute every= 156 Architecture thing to Iran or Armenia, itis becoming clear that the latter school of thought demands our serious attention. A. series of rematkable discoveries in Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Terketan, though revealed to us in a bellicose way, hs shaken out conic dence in the ultra-Roman point of view. Tt may be that the (Chih has fostered for centuries a belie that our Romanesque’ and Gothic buildings rose from the ashes of Imperial Rome, or ‘hat pedantic humanists of the Renaissance are to blame for our ‘miseonceptions. Bue whatever the cause, itis evident that now ‘we mnst look exstwards with an impartial mind, at the outset getting tid of the habit of regarding ‘the Fase’ asa single entity. Hardly any one seriously doubts the fact of our debt to Rome; the time has come, however, to reconsider the extent of our obligation. OF the territory subdued by the Arab conqueror, Syria, part of Armenia, and the habieable part of North Attica including Egypt were taken feom che Kast Roman Empires Spain was cap- tured from the Visigoths, but bad previously been a Roman provinces and the lands from Mesopotamia to Turkstan and. Afghanistan constituted the former Sisanian Kingdom of Chosroes II. Christianity had penetrated the whole of this vast area up to the eastern frontier of Armenia and Syria, and there was a sixth-century cathedral as far south as San‘s” in Yemen, (Gouthern Arabia)! ‘The conquerors therefore found, ready t0 hhand, skilled builders in every one of the subject provinces, and great number of buildings which they, Hike the Coptic and Visigothic Christians before them, frely used as stone-quatrics Much has been made of this undeniable fact, but one must remember also that the Arabs found native craftsmen in the eastern provinces of their dominions who builtin a style quite foreign to that of the Romans, and who, if we are to believe certain authorities, taught che Byzantine architects everything. that makes Byzantine work diffe from chat of Rome, Mand BM. Whi Arai pai (Landon, 1983), potas Architecture 157 ‘There is no need to dispute the view commonly and justifiably Dold that the fist Arab conquerom had no architectural skill oF taste, In the nature of things i¢ must have been so. Such a cone aquest was only possible toa race of soldiers inepized by religions enthusiasm, whose time seas necestaily occupied mainly in fighting and praying, Moreover, they wete not a town-dvwelling people but nomads; and even when they forsook fighting to take up the task of government, they inevitably relied for technical still in the building arts on craftsmen they found on the spot, ot (and thisisimportant) on craftsmen brought from oneconquesed countey to another, ‘Thus itis known that Armenian masons ‘were employed notonly in Egypt but in Spain, and perkapsat the ainth-century church of Germigny-des-Prés in France, which has several Muhammadan features. But in spite of the Arab? probable ignorance of architecture in the early years of conquest, the remarkable and incontrovertible fact about Muslim archi ‘ecture is chat in all countries and in all centuries i retained an unmistakable individuality ofits own, although its origins were so diverse, ‘Phere was something about it that differentiated it from the workof all thelocal schools of craftsmanship which were technically instrumental in bringing it into being. ‘The factor that transmated and welded a host of varying modes of builing into one style possesing individual character~ isticewas presumably the faith of Islam ; forthe buildings erected bythe Arabsin theirearly years were chiefly mosques and pelces, and most of the important architectural work of tubsequent centuries continued to be mosques or other religiovs buildings, such as madrasaks and convents, containing mosques. ‘The ‘mosque was the typical and principal Arab building, varying to some extent in form with differentlocalities, but abwayeretaining itsmain features. The annual pilgrimage to Mecca from all parts of the Ilamie worki doubtlesscontributed rothe standardization of the mosque form, for in each town that the pilgtim passed. * | Surrgowal, Origin of Crise Cres dre(Oslond, 1923) p- 6 138 Architecture through on his Zong journey he would make his prayers ia the Tocal mosque, and ithe happened to bea building crafsman ot an architect he would notice its design. “The primitive mosque at Madinah, buile by Muhammad in 622, was the prototype of al others. Tt was a square enclosure surrounded by walle of brick and stone. Some part of it probably the north portion where the Prophet led the prayer, twas roofed. ‘The roof were probubly made of palm-branchet Covered with mad and resting on palm-trunts.‘Thecongregation nel facing north the direction of the holy city of Jerusalem, and this direction (gidla) was marked in some way. Tn 624 the discotion for prayer wa changed from Jerasilem to Meceas that is Gin the ete of Madinah) from north tosouth. Tnsoelementary 4 building, there was no need to bortow architectaral features from anywhere, for no azchitectural features were required. “The next mosque, bule at Kofah in Mesopotamia in 639, trad its soo carried on marble columns brought from a former palaceof the Persian kings at Hirsh, and was also square, but wat Enclosed by tench instead of by a wall. A smaller mosque was founded by ‘Ame at Fuss (Cairo) in 62- Te was square in plan, fs said to have had no open court (jay), and contained 2 new featare, 2 high pulpit (minbar). A few years later a maqrab (Goreen or grille of wood) was introduced co protect the dan from the crowd. Minazets are said to have appeared about the end ofthe century, and the mibrab or prayer-aiche Gadi- cating the gbla) atte later (Fig. 74) Ths, within eighty oF ninety years fiom the bailding of the first mosque at Madinah, IML the essential Zeatares of the congregational mosque (jm) had been evolved. Minor additions were Joana (plural of Feds, corraption of alge), which were colonnades of arcades surrounding the taba to give shelter, and facilities for Shlution. ‘This shor Tis includes al the chet ritual requirements of the mosque in all periods, ‘Noae of the buildings mentioned rt ite original stracture JOR OF THE MOSQUE OF QAIT BAY EXTRA MUROS, CAIRO “The high ppt (win) cam be en poet in the cane, and othe Slee of si inthe posal