in the name of God
Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi
Education: PhD in Philosophy Position: Chairman and Founder of the Anthropological Encyclopedia Center, Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural Art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi
Title: Manifestation of the names of the Prophet (PBUH) in Islamic art, based on the works of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi Museum
A significant part of the beauty of Islamic art belongs to its inscription decorations. Inscription on the artistic objects of the Islamic period, which in most cases is accompanied by mentioning the names of specific religious figures, is one of the main pillars of Islamic art decorations. These ornaments, which show a deep connection between art and religion, show the artistic and spiritual genius of Muslim artists. Mentioning the name of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on the works of art of the Islamic period, which in most cases is associated with Shiite elements, is one of the themes that show the devotion of the people of Islamic lands, especially Iran, to the great prophet of Islam. Mentioning the name of this Imam in works of art, which along with the names of God and Shiite Imams, Nadali’s graceful prayer and also in the margins of Shiite icons, in addition to having spiritual value, has aesthetic values and also indicates Continuity of artistic styles in different Islamic periods. The present study tries to analyze and evaluate their aesthetic values while examining the colorful place of the presence of the names of the Prophet (PBUH) in the works of Islamic art of the museum of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi.
A study of the place of the names of the Prophet (PBUH) in Islamic art, based on the works of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi Museum.
Introducing aesthetic artistic values along with the continuation of Islamic art styles in the works of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi Museum.
Do the works of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi Museum represent the manifestation of the names of the Prophet (PBUH)?
To what extent do the works of art researched in the museum have aesthetic values?
Keywords: Names of the Prophet (PBUH) – Islamic Art – Aesthetics – Preserved Museum.
The desire for calligraphy to mention the names of religious figures on works of art in Islamic times reflects the faith perspective of Muslim artists. In fact, calligraphy is one of the highest and most prominent forms of Islamic art. Artists of Islamic art in different eras have tried to show the names of special personalities such as the Great Prophet (PBUH) along with other artistic themes and on various works. Mentioning the mentioned cases, in addition to taking away the spiritual status and aesthetic values, reflects the evolution and continuity of Islamic art styles in different lands and periods. The presence of the names of the Prophet (PBUH) with very beautiful shapes in the texts and works of art of the Islamic period, always express the emphasis of Islamic art on the content of Islam and reveal the artist’s efforts to instill Islamic ideas in the minds of the audience. The audience of Islamic art, seeing these names and their unique beautiful style of works of art, have always been ready to accept the lofty ideas of Islam, which has led them in the context of time. Also, the experimentation of these artists led to the creation of works It became valuable in the field of Islamic art, which today adorns museums around the world.
The works in the Museum of Manuscripts of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi, which show the manifestation of the names of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), in addition to establishing effective communication between religious activists and experts in the field of art, can motivate researchers of Islamic art. In particular, they are considered Shiite art and in a way lead to the strengthening of interdisciplinary research.
In this museum, the works on which the name of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is engraved, include pages of manuscripts, scrolls, metal objects and…. Are, which are evaluated and analyzed according to the case report. In these works, the artists have tried to emphasize the valuable place of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Islamic art, especially Shiite art, by mentioning the names of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) along with the names of God and Shiite Imams, as well as the icons. They were also able to demonstrate their skills to the best of their ability by creating harmony and connection between the text and the iconography. The present study tries to analyze and evaluate the manifestation of the names of the Prophet (PBUH) and their aesthetic values, which indicate the continuity of their artistic style in Islamic periods, through selected works. Also, the method of collecting materials in this research is documentary and library and the content is arranged in a descriptive-analytical way.
Representation of religious elements and names of religious figures on Iranian-Islamic works of art
The reflection of the inseparable link between Islam and Iranian culture is quite evident in the remnants of Islamic periods. Iranian artists have always tried to prove their devotion and interest in specific religious figures of Islam by creating symbols and elements, in this regard, works in the fields of painting, calligraphy, architecture and…. Are formed.
By showing the presence of certain religious figures, Muslim artists have sought to convey its spiritual messages to the audience, and have tried to reflect the common intellectual and ideological foundations of their time through their creations. Religious elements in Iranian-Islamic works of art, including; The manifestations of divine verses, the names of God and the Prophet (PBUH), Shiite themes, holy hadiths, Shiite martyrdom, the icons of Imam Ali (AS) and Hasnain (AS) are the Ascension of the Prophet (PBUH) and ((Pictures No. 2 and 1), which All of them emphasize the content of the holy religion of Islam. In addition to capturing the spiritual aspects, these works reveal the impact of societal developments on various arts, and have a kind of aesthetic features.
Picture No. 1 (right): Tombstone made of tiles, 6th century AH, National Museum of Iran, (Museum No. 3899), with inscriptions of Allah Akbar, Muhammad, La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasoolullah and verse 55 Surah Al-Ma’ida in Kufic script. (Adapted from: Sarikhani, 1392: 68).
Picture No. 2 (left): Prayer and Praise, Twelve Imams, Kofi Banai, Mir Chakhmaq Mosque, Yazd, Teymourian, (Adapted from: Mahfouzi, 2013: 6).
Some scholars believe that the Iranian-Islamic art of the Seljuk, Timurid and Safavid periods conveyed religious messages
. (C.Eastman, 1933, p: 22) (Gerabar, 1968, pp: 29-627) and spiritual have played a significant role
They have introduced the tendency towards Shiism as one of the most important factors that was able to reflect the spiritual elements in the Iranian-Islamic works of art up to the later periods, namely the Qajar period. What is obvious about these works is the direct and undeniable influence of the ruling religion on Iranian-Islamic art.
(Hillenbrand, 1999, pp: 110-86; Chelkowski, 1389, p: 98)
Artists of Islamic art in creating such works have used the motifs of trees, flowers, plants and various geometric shapes, which led to the formation of Islamic designs and spiritual space.
. . (Dimand, 1936, p: 3 (1392: 9
In fact, their purpose in using religious elements is to emphasize that Islamic art is the product of a certain idea of ”world and man” and “man and God” and this thinking is based on the fact that God is the “truth” of this Existence and the world and the world and man and everything starts and ends with him, and this is a clear difference between Islamic and non-Islamic arts.
The appearance of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in Iranian-Islamic works of art
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the last messenger of God, was introduced to the world as a teacher of revelation and a teacher of the highest culture of living. God Almighty says about them, “I was not a good example to the Messenger of God (pbuh)” (Al-Ahzab / 21), “Surely for you in (behavior and speech) the Messenger of God (PBUH) is a good (and perfect) example.” (Tabrizi, 2003: 27 and 26). The great and unique position of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the religion of Islam, which is also mentioned in the Holy Quran, led to the tendency of his lovers and especially Muslim artists. And this factor has somehow followed the presence of the Prophet of Islam in various forms of Islamic art (Sedaghat, 2007: 39). (Pictures No. 4 and 3 and Plan No. 1)
The characteristics of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) have played a very influential role in his presence in the works of Islamic art, including the moral characteristics of the Prophet (PBUH) can be gentleness and kindness, compassion for believers, familiarity with the pain of the people of society, He mentioned patience and forbearance, servitude, seeking justice, truthfulness and trustworthiness, and determination and courage (Shayestehfar, 2001: 68). Which has played a significant role in Islamic art and the formation of artistic styles in this period as well as its continuation in Islamic lands.
Picture No. 3 (right): Three cups of light, Mir Haider’s Ascension Letter, National Library of Paris. (Adapted from: Tehrani, 1389: 22).
Picture No. 4 (left): The image of Imam Ali (AS) and Hasnain (AS), and Abu Dharr and Qanbar along with the event of the Ascension of the Prophet (PBUH) who showed him riding on a shroud, the action of Master Agha Mustafa. From: Archive of the Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural Works, Art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi).
Plan No. 1: The motifs around the beds in the tomb of Imamzadeh Ismail (AS) in Qom, which has given a frame-like shape to the decorations inside the tomb. Among the geometric designs, the calligraphic drawings show the successive repetition of the word (Mohammad) (adapted from: Khazaei, Hosseini, 2007: 108).
The study of the symbolic elements of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in a way indicates the evolution of the presentation of Iranian-Islamic works of art, which has been formed within the framework of the inner concepts of artists. The event of the Ascension of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is also one of the most brilliant artistic subjects in the field of painting, which reflects the presence of the Prophet of Islam in Iranian-Islamic art (Figure 4). Artists have usually tried to show the work extraterrestrially in such works and achieve great success in their creation. In fact, the space formed by the artist expresses the artist’s understanding of the heavenly structure of Ascension, which has helped to express its content. The use of plant motifs and color diversity in such works, which have been created in the best way, can indicate the mastery or mastery of Islamic artists, whose presence among the general public and their connection with their culture, led to the formation of religious elements in The works of art have become Islamic (Shayestehfar, 1387: 8).
Manifestation of the names of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in the works of art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi Museum
The manifestation of the names and titles of the Prophet (PBUH) in works of art that were used to defend, propagate and promote the religion of Islam, in addition to their spiritual status, also have aesthetic values. The abundant tendency of the people of Islamic lands to the religion of Islam has led to the flourishing of lines in the presence of the names of this Imam on various works of art. (Shariat, 1386: 77) Mentioning the name of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) alone or next to the names of God, Imam Ali (AS) and other Shiite Imams who are engraved on the works of art of Islamic times, is one of the themes that The selected works of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi Museum are engraved (Picture No. 5, 6 and 7).
Picture No. 5 (right): The inscription of the decorative monogram piece. The theme of the name of God and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) along with the names of Shiite Imams, 13th century AH. (Adapted from: Archive of the Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural Works, Art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi).
Picture No. 6 (left): A copy of the Naskh script, with tables and verses, by Ardestani, 13th century AH. The name of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is quite obvious in the upper part of the work on the right, next to the name of God and Shiite Imams. (Adapted from: Archive of the Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural Works, Art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi).
Picture No. 7: A brass engraving plate in the center of which the names of the Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Fatima (AS) are mentioned along with the names of Hazrat Ali (AS) and Hasnain (AS). Around these names and in the margins, the effect of verses from the Holy Quran is mentioned. Zandieh era (adapted from: Archive of the Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural Works, art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi).
In addition to the manifestation of the name of the Prophet (PBUH) along with the Shiite elements, the mentioned works show the important place of the Naskh script in the evolution of the calligraphy and inscriptions of Islamic art. The precise placement with the order of words and sentences, along with the motifs whose presence in the four sides of the work and the background, has added to its beauty, has shown the artist’s attention to the type of line.
Which line is most likely to convey spiritual concepts has been of particular importance to them. The presence of these names in some cases is accompanied by themes and design, which itself indicates a special style in Islamic art, but what is important in this regard is the study and research that revives and understands many concepts of Islamic art. Will have (Tajvidi, 1386: 54) (Khazaei, 1387: 39). It can also reveal the aesthetic aspects of such works (Figure 6).
Since calligraphy and interaction have a meaningful and dynamic role in Islamic art, writing the names of the Prophet (PBUH) along with the designs can convey cultural, artistic and religious ideas to the audience (Burkhart, 2007: 57), (Shayestehfar , 1387: 107) (Tanhaei, 1387: 67). Which has had a unique effect in the cultural and artistic history of Iran. Regarding the mention of these names, lines such as Naskh, Thals, Nastaliq, etc. have been used, because they have been effective in conveying various concepts. In fact, the two lines of thirds and abrogation have been used the most in writing religious phrases (Shayestehfar, 2008: 119).
Painting and gilding are among the decorative themes of such works, which have always been formed along with calligraphy, especially religious expressions, and have gone through stages of evolution and continuity in different Islamic periods (Picture No. 8), (Dimand, 2004: 85 and 84) (Shariat, Zeinali, 1388: 43), (Shayestehfar, Razzaqi, 1385: 8). The presence of the names of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Shiite Imams on these works can, in addition to showing the love and interest of artists and people of the time towards him, in a way emphasizes that the emergence of Islam is the source of many changes in life. Has become human, the results of which are obvious on the mentioned works (Images No. 10, 9 and 8), (Shayestehfar, 2001: 68) (Hampartian, Saeed Nia, 2006: 139).
Picture No. 8 (right): A copy of the Naskh script, with gilding in the text and around it, written by Zar, written by Mohammad Ali Isfahani, in the year 1271 AH. (Adapted from: Archive of the Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural Works, Art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi).
Picture No. 9: The copy of the Naskh script has gilding and gilding, between the text of the names of Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH), Hazrat Fatima (PBUH) and Shiite Imams along with the effects of divine verses. The text is written by Seyed Mohammad Baqa. 13th century AH. (Adapted from: Archive of the Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural Works, Art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi).
The choice of colors in the background and margins of the inscriptions in these works, which was accompanied by a variety of colors, had a symbolic aspect. In most cases, the artist uses the azure color of different designs to create a spiritual atmosphere and create spectra to create a spiritual perspective in the audience (image number 8). In Islamic culture, green is a symbol of the highest mystical meaning. (Madadpour, 1383: p. 35), which is seen in the cover of spiritual figures along with mentioning the names of the Prophet (PBUH) and Shiite Imams in selected works (Figure 10).
Picture No. 10: The blessed image of Amir al-Mu’minin and Hasnain (AS) and with the mention of the names of the Prophet (PBUH), Hazrat Ali (AS), Hazrat Fatima (AS), Hasnain (AS) and the verse of Al-Kursi in the margins, Qajar period. (Adapted from: Archive of the Museum of Manuscripts and Cultural Works, Art of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi).
The high position of the Holy Prophet and his role in the development of the transcendent Islamic culture is quite evident in the Iranian-Islamic works of art, especially the selected works of Dr. Mahfouzi Museum. And its manifestation in the field of visual arts is more than anything else in the form of calligraphy and painting.
By mentioning the name of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) on the works of art in the museum of Dr. Mohammad Sadegh Mahfouzi, the artists of Islamic art have tried to express the understanding of spirituality, finding the way of truth and reaching the one God. And they have always shown this goal with the best aesthetic values, and by showing the place of the name of that Imam in the works of art, they have tried to spread and reflect the beliefs of Islam. In addition to emphasizing the religious content, these works also indicate the continuity of artistic styles of Islamic periods such as gilding, calligraphy, iconography and…. They are in Islamic lands.
Enjoying Shiite themes and showing the images of Shiite Imams along with mentioning the name of the Prophet (PBUH), is one of the features of selected works, which reflects the taste and talent of the artist in the best possible way. The names of the Prophet (PBUH) which, along with the divine verses of the Qur’an, the name of God, the Shiite Imams and…. It is stated that, in addition to having aesthetic values, they can be considered as an indicator of the evolution of lines and the place of calligraphy in Islamic art.
The use of beautiful calligraphy along with the element of gilding to mention the name of the Prophet (PBUH) in the decorative frames of the margins are other unique features of these works. Which show the independence of the artists of the time in reflecting Islamic ideas and thoughts. As some experts believe, the purpose of mentioning the name of the Prophet (PBUH) in these works was not just to write. Rather, they have followed the transfer of spirituality in the sense of education, ethics and humanity (Teymouri, 1389: 90), and through this succeeded in creating the most beautiful calligraphic works by mentioning the names of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) with different structures and decorative forms in art. They have become Iranian-Islamic.
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