Islamic ideology and ritual: Architectural and spatial manifestations
Sliwoski, Amelia Helena
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Rituals have influenced the definition of physical time and space since the earliest of human settlements. Stemming from social and religious beliefs and traditions, rituals develop as means of expression and fulfillment. This thesis investigates and analyzes this evolution in the context of Islamic ritual and the ways in which these beliefs and practices dictated the design of mosques. Architectural examples and archaeological evidence will build on previous research and provide a means for understanding the influence of such ideologies and rituals on the definition of space and its accompanying ornamentation. Historical narratives will provide the background and context for aiding in our understanding of these physical structures. This thesis will concentrate upon selected structures found in regions around the Mediterranean where Islam thrived. Structures in al-andalus, the Islamic area of Spain, include the Great Mosque of Cordoba, the Mosque of Bab Mardum, and the Aljaferia Palace. North African structures include the Great Mosque of Qairawan, the Mosque of al-Qarawiyyin, the Great Mosque of Tlemcen, the Kutubiyya Mosque, the Mosque of Hassan, and the Mosque of al-Mansur. Structures examined within the West Sudan, the Western Sahel, include the Sankore Mosque, the DjinguereBer Mosque, and the Tomb of Askia al-Hajj Muhammad. This thesis will add to the scholarship existing on Islamic art and architecture, specifically within the western regions where Islam took root. Moreover, the discussion here will add to the understanding of Islam's expansion and how ritual along with pre-existing traditions and structures influenced the design and construction of new Islamic structures.