Islamic Art and Spiritualityby Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Pub. Date: 02/28/1987
Publisher: State University of New York Press
With remarkable breadth of vision, Seyyed Hossein Nasr reveals for both Western and Muslim readers how each art form in the islamic tradition is based upon a science of nature concerned, not with the outer appearance of things, but with their inner reality. Ranging across calligraphy, painting, architecture, literature, music, and the plastic arts, Nasr penetrates to the inner dimension of Islam and shows the role art plays in the life of individual Muslims and the community as a wholethe role of inspiring the remembrance and contemplation of God.
Once the author establishes art as an aid and support to the spiritual life, he traces the creative act to its ultimate source: inner knowledge and barakah, or grace, which make the crystallization of inner realities in form and space and time possible. Through this knowledge and grace, the author asserts, unity manifests upon the plane of multiplicity, making archetypal realities perceivable by the senses. Through this knowledge and grace, art functions as a ladder for the journey of the soul from the visible to the invisible. How Islamic art leads man to the inner chamber of divine revelation forms the substance of much of this important work.
An especially close look is given to the Sufi tradition within Islam, for its mystical teachers have often clearly demonstrated in their works the spiritual significance of beauty and served as the source of inspiration for art.
By rediscovering the root of art in the Islamic tradition, Seyyed Hossein Nasr opens doors to new dimensions of unity which have seemingly been obscured in recent Western art. In so doing, he extends the significance of this book beyond the Islamic belief system to touch the hearts and creative impulses of readers from all traditions.
- State University of New York Press
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- New Edition
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Table of ContentsPreface
The Relation between Islamic Art and Islamic Spirituality
Art and the Sacred
The Spiritual Message of Islamic Calligraphy
The Principle of Unity and the Sacred Architecture of Islam
Sacred Art in Persian Culture
Metaphysics, Logic and Poetry in the Orient
The Flight of Birds to Union: Meditations upon 'Attar's Mantiq al-tayr
Rumi, Supreme Poet and Sage
Rumi and the Sufi Tradition
Islam and Music
The Influence of Sufism on Traditional Persian Music
The Plastic Arts
The World of Imagination and the Concept of Space in the Persian Miniature
The Significance of the Void in Islamic Art
The Spiritual Message of Islamic Art
List of monochrome plates
List of coloured plates
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I wasn't thinking of buying this book but when I read some of the 'POed' critics telling us how terrible this book is I decided to buy it and sure enough I found it to be an excellent book. The 'critics' need to get out from their bedroom more often and get in touch with the real culture and real people. In most cases I find the critics to be self-absorbed, arrogant and with an ' on the rag' attitude. They are bunch are losers who think they know it all, and think people are all lined up to listen to what they have to say (hardly so of course). They tell us the book is biased, obscure, etc etc etc. They said the same thing about ,say, Gilligan's Island, which turned out to be one of the most popular shows. They still wonder how that happened, how dare people liked something that 'critics' found it to be unworthy. Well, people had a message for these critics ' F-U'. I really think these guys should consider getting a real job.