Pakistan Research Repository

Decorative Elements Of The Faisal Mosque, Islamabad

NASIM, SAMINA (2009) Decorative Elements Of The Faisal Mosque, Islamabad. PhD thesis, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore .



The Faisal Mosque, considered by many critics to be the most successful modern mosque found in the Islamic countries, had never been the subject of a rigorous monograph. This dissertation seeks to fill this gap. The mosque is unique in its structural design and surface decorations. The dissertation gives a comprehensive study of the structural forms and the decorative elements. The material in the front four chapters is presented in the order of a walking tour of the mosque. In first chapter external features of the mosque and its setting against the Margala Hills are discussed. In the second chapter a tour of the mosque is began and the plan, entrances, and multiple levels are explained. In third chapter the tour is continued, and we enter in the sanctuary to discuss the internal features of the sanctuary and their symbolism. In fourth chapter decorative elements of the mosque such as mihrāb, minbar, mu’adhdhin pew, marble fountain kursī and thirty volumes of the sanctuary are explained. In fifth chapter we present an analysis of the calligraphic styles used in the mosque noting the several instances of “compute” Kūfic and cursive scripts. In sixth chapter we talk about life history of Vedat Dalokay, its prize winning national and international projects, and influences of the Faisal Mosque on later built mosques of Punjab, Pakistan. Traditional decorative techniques such as mosaic work, metal engraving, marble carving, lattice work, tarkashi and variations of the traditional ones like tile decoration, inlay work and intarsia as used in this mosque are unusual in Pakistan. The techniques are discussed with special reference to the Faisal Mosque along with knowledge of their historical applications in mosques throughout the Islamic world. The rich selection of geometric designs in the mosque is described. In some cases, as in the book form of the mihrāb, we have pointed out similar shape; shapes – in the chevron-tiles on the walls and metal chevron ornaments on doors – that shows unity of design and a symbolism of the Qur’ān itself. The mosque is an amalgam of different influences, which is combined through polygonal geometry. Ancient Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Arabian, Turkish, Iranian, Indian Sultanate and Mughal influences are pointed out. Architect of the mosque deserve appreciation to create a master piece in the field of architectural and surface decoration. After its construction several mosques of Punjab, Pakistan copied elements of its structure. Data was assembled from both primary and secondary sources. Interviews with the civil engineer of the Faisal Mosque Ahmad Rafiq, and several other architects as well as meetings with experts, artisans and concerned persons were part of the research. Published information on the Faisal Mosque was gathered from libraries located in Lahore and Islamabad and various web sites. Comparisons were made with forms used throughout Islamic world from the eight century to present. Late twentieth century mosques in Lahore and Islamabad were visited to see if the Faisal Mosque had influenced their form and decoration. The study required extensive new photographs, drawings and ground plans. Pictures and drawings are by the author unless otherwise indicated. The study is accompanied by 246 plates and forty-six drawings.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Decorative, Elements, Faisal, Mosque, Islamabad, structural, design, Margala Hills, Sultanate, Mughal, metal engraving
Subjects:Arts & Humanities (b) > Fine Arts(b1)
ID Code:6312
Deposited By:Mr. Javed Memon
Deposited On:30 Jun 2011 12:37
Last Modified:30 Jun 2011 12:37

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