Final Project – Two and A Half Day Mosque

The Hindu Mosque

The Hindu Mosque

In response to Michael Mesiter’s article, “The ‘Two and a Half Day Mosque,'” I decided to use clay to create a mosque of my own.  In the article, Meister goes into detail describing the very first days of Muslim rule over the Indian subcontinent, and describes how, in the beginning, before many workers moved over from the Persian world into India, any buildings that were built by the new Muslim rulers – such as mosques – were built by Hindu workers.  Due to this, many Hindu motifs and styles, such as ceiling work, the style of pillars, and even some of the superficial work on walls can be found in mosques from this period, especially considering that the Indian workmen used the materials and building techniques to which they were normally accustomed before the Muslims took over.  This, as Meister explains, represents the combination of two very different cultures, coming together to make something beautiful and new. Here, with my mosque, I added some Hindu symbols to the Muslim place of worship: the word for “Om,” which is thought to be the original sound of the universe; the lotus flower (as part of the minaret), which represents beauty; and the Hamsa, the hand with an evil eye in the palm, which is meant to ward off evil and which is also present in Islamic traditions.  Thus, with this I am attempting to represent the notion in Meiser’s article that rather than being completely separate, as people might at first believe, Muslim and Hindu culture is and always has been intertwined, as cultural elements of each influence the other.

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