Rememberance of God through Patterns and Repetitions

Remembrance of God is the essence of Islam. The reason the Islamic religion exists is to bring human beings back to a remembrance of Allah. Allah sent mankind prophets and revelations is to bring human beings back to a remembrance of Him. Man is prone to become distracted by the lure of the world in which he is immersed. He quickly entertains self-delusions and forgets that his whole life is under God’s command and that he owes every breath he takes to God. “So remember the Name of your Lord and devote yourself with a complete devotion” – Qur’an 73:8

Forgetfulness in humans is addressed by Islam by proscribing a repetition of rituals and cyclical requirements in Islamic life. The repetition Muslim life has many facets. There is the requirement of memorizing Qur’an from an early age (Z Sardar), the call to prayer (Azan) five times per day so that the day in started ended, continued and ended in remembrance of Allah, fasting once a year during Ramadan to dhikr – the tireless repetition of litanies of dervish. The act of repetition is strongly emphasized and is seen as a great devotion to faith.

Art and Architecture, another important aspect of Islamic culture, also employs repetition by the use of geometric patterns that is repeated infinitely to give a sense of timelessness and create the sense of infinite space. I have made a collage depicting the interiors of various mosques around the World showing how multiplicity and repetition is the essence of Islamic architecture. Mosques around the world are different ranging from mud construct in Djenne in Mali to man’s mosque in Esfahan, however, the fundamental idea of multiplicity of patterns in their interiors remain the same. This unity in the worldy diversity reinforces both of His transcendence and the concept of al-tawhid. “In all the cases of infinite pattern- which has no beginning or end and is self- conained- the design is at once symbolic of allah’s infinity” ( Necipoglu).

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