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Researcher Details
Research Projects

Theme

1st Track : Evolution of Mosque Architecture through the Ages

Role/Contribution

The main and sole author

Research paper Title

Learning from the Craftsman: How Current Muslim Discourses shape the Aesthetics of Contemporary Mosque Architecture

Personal Biography

Nourelhoda is a PhD student in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University. She holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in Architecture from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University. She also holds a master of Human Sciences in Sociology and Anthropology from the Kulliyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge at the International Islamic University Malaysia.

Paper Abstract

The making of mosques has been a common and essential practice in all Muslim communities. Muslims have built mosques in nearly every community they inhabit, following the command of their Prophet. The prominence of this practice is determined by its significant function, defined by the repeated act of communal prostration central to Muslim life. The mosque is perceived as a House of God, embodying a divine nature and historically serving as the generator of Muslim civilization. Given its significance, broad guidelines for the making of the mosque are outlined in the Quran and the prophetic Sunnah, allowing for extensive Muslim interpretation and creativity. The aesthetic discourse in the Islamic texts determines foundational principles for mosques, emphasizing notions such as purification, reverence, beautification without excess, and differentiation from other religions. However, the discourse doesn’t dictate a specific aesthetic language or style, thereby allowing for a wide range of aesthetic expressions. To understand the tradition of mosque aesthetics and the transformations in form and meaning, this research proposes studying mosque aesthetics as an Islamic discursive tradition using the framework of anthropologist Talal Asad. This framework is significant for critiquing essentialist approaches that assign fixed transcendental symbolic meanings to mosque aesthetics, meanings which are often not clearly understood by early craftsmen or audiences. The proposed approach emphasizes the importance of both discourses and the practices involved in mosque aesthetics, focusing on the narratives of craftsmen as vital yet often overlooked practitioners of this tradition. Using qualitative methods, this research involves interviews with traditional craftsmen of mosque aesthetics in two case studies: Turkish and Moroccan craftsmanship. This comparative study seeks to reveal the authoritative discourses that might contribute to informing the aesthetic language, have the power to modify or transform the design practices or setting the circumstances from which meanings are derived in contemporary mosque architecture. Finally, this research aims to provide a valuable lens for analyzing the intricate interplay between religious discourses, social practices, and political influences in shaping and reshaping the aesthetic traditions of contemporary mosques, viewing them not as static or uniform but as continuously evolving expressions of faith, identity, and community, striving for the apt performance of the tradition while defending its essence.
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لوريم إيبسوم دولور سيت أميت، كونسيكتيتور أديبيسينغ إليت. سد كونسيكوات فيليت أت أنتي بيبندوم، إن ديكتوم إليت ديغنيسيم. إنتيجر أك ليغولا إو كوام كومودو إليمنتوم. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. فيسللوس أوت جوستو فيل سابين إيفيسيتور كورسوس. بروين نك ليو فيل دولور جرافيدا كونسيكتيتور. أوت إيد تورتور نيك توربيس لاسينيا فيوغيات. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. بيلينتيسكو
لوريم إيبسوم دولور سيت أميت، كونسيكتيتور أديبيسينغ إليت. سد كونسيكوات فيليت أت أنتي بيبندوم، إن ديكتوم إليت ديغنيسيم. إنتيجر أك ليغولا إو كوام كومودو إليمنتوم. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. فيسللوس أوت جوستو فيل سابين إيفيسيتور كورسوس. بروين نك ليو فيل دولور جرافيدا كونسيكتيتور. أوت إيد تورتور نيك توربيس لاسينيا فيوغيات. أليكوام إيرات فولوتبات. بيلينتيسكو