Inquest of the Path to the one in the mosque architecture

The architectural design process, for a Muslim, may be achieved by means of both reason and imagination. Thus, it is linked to the creative capabilities of the Muslim human being. In addition to his mental and logical composition, which is exercised in the application of the approach for spatial formation, while his emotional and romantic setting up, is to contribute to the creativity of the spaces.


A Muslim architect or craftsman did not deviate from his Islamic conviction invariables, but rather he resorted to his ideological belief in the singularity of the Creator and the testimony of the letter to Muhammad - peace be upon him. Architecture has been the most expressive avenue of this faith. It was not just a creative Muslim architectural artist or craftsman who mastered his craft, its mechanisms and techniques, but it was an approach of a ‘Soufi’, a philosopher, or an intellectual, who translated and guided his sincere faith, sentiments, mind and intellect to the right path.


The architecture of mosques is the most unmatched architectural expression, for a Muslim community. This book of scientific inference and an in-depth analysis presents a reading of these creations and the formulation of intellectual and symbolic approach for mosque architecture. It covers the entirety of the various cultural environments of the Islamic nation, from China to Andalusia, and throughout the history of Islamic civilization from the time of conquests to the epoch of descent.

Axis of time and place: The architectural template, exhibits the absolute formula, reflecting the spirit of the community and its cultural legacy. It leads to an intellectual scheme for the quest to The One, in mosque architecture. The author reaches an original, and maybe a different approach, in his attempt to reclassify mosques. Hence, he links them to the geocultural subdivision of the Islamic nation to eight sectors, each highly identifiable. A scenario is hence achieved which is determined by the temporal divisions of the Islamic civilization in its entirety into eight cultural events defined as milestones. Contextually, both subdivisions draw a comprehensive matrix for this formula, namely: “The Absolute Formula “.

Axis of man: Presents the architectural vocabulary. The relative formula which is associated with the event and the subject, and by which the symbolic matrix for the quest of The One in the study of mosque architecture, is determined. The author goes beyond the scope of the most exalting event for a Muslim to reach a revelation of the mosque architectural vocabulary. The architect uses these as expressive symbols to convey his message to the community.

It is inherent in these two axes of the absolute and the relative, that the author has formulated his vision or the hypothesis of:


In Quest Of TheOne - In The Study Of Mosque Architecture


Tarek Waly

October 6, 1993

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