In what ways is the use of calligraphy and geometric patterns in Islamic art connected to the Muslim worldview?

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From the earliest days of Islam , Muslims rejected images depicting humans and animals. In the Islamic worldview, only Allah could create a living thing. It would be blasphemous for an artist to attempt to depict a creation of Allah. Islamic texts do not explicitly forbid the depiction of humans...

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From the earliest days of Islam, Muslims rejected images depicting humans and animals. In the Islamic worldview, only Allah could create a living thing. It would be blasphemous for an artist to attempt to depict a creation of Allah. Islamic texts do not explicitly forbid the depiction of humans and animals. However, Islam does strictly prohibit the creation and worship of idols. As a result, Muslim art developed as a rejection of the types of images often associated with idolatry. Consequently, Muslim artists turned to using geometric motifs and calligraphy in their visual arts.

Floral and geometric designs found their way into all aspects of Islamic art. It was used to decorate mosques and holy texts, but also for everyday items such as dishes and clothing. The arabesque style developed, which uses repeated patterns of geometry and floral elements to create complex and intricate patterns and designs.

Calligraphy also allowed Muslim artists to create magnificent works of visual art without violating the prohibition on depicting animals and humans. Calligraphy was considered the highest form of decorative expression in the early Muslim world. As Muslims began creating copies of the Qu'ran, they felt that only the highly decorative use of calligraphy was worthy of capturing the words of Allah. For this reason, calligraphers were often held in high esteem.

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That depictions of God and of Mohammed are prohibited in Islam is a given among almost all Muslims.  Many Islamic clerics, especially in the dominant Sunni sect, believe that it is also forbidden to depict any living creature.  This could be considered an extreme interpretion of the Quran, which does not specifically impose such a ban, but given that the Islamic Holy Book does prohibit idolatry, many clerics have extended the prohibition on depicting God and Mohammed to a prohibition on depicting all living things.  The result, throughout the history of Islam, has been an emphasis on geometric patterns, usually surrounding calligraphy with the most important of all Islamic mantras, the declaration of faith, "There is no God but God; Mohammed is the messenger of God."  One of the principles of Islam is the recitement of that declaration, and it appears on paintings in homes throughout the Muslim world.

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