Thursday, November 12, 2009


India is quite famous for its carving arts and temples and so on..that has connections to Hindu Budhism. When Islam came to India, islamic structure were constructed, keeping some influence from previous built temple elements in the building. Known islamic structures are Masjid, Tombs, and Moseleum..

I was assigned to focus on MINARETS of the Masjids in India. I did my studies on the Histroy of Minarets in general, Common Characteristics of Minarets (generally in India), and state a few examples of minarets to prove how it is influenced by India's culture and culture from other regions of the world.

Early times of the prophet Muhammad S.A.W., there were no minarets, the call for azan was made from rooftops. Minarets were said to come from churches bell towers. But there is also a statement that bell towers were influenced by muslim minarets.
Minarets at its early period were constructed to show off in the means that this particular army has conquered a new kingdom. Many Muslim leaders disagreed with this reason, thus masjids were built without minarets..
But later, minarets found its reasons that allow it to be constrcted.
Function of Minarets
  • Visual cue- people from afar can identify the location of the masjid.
  • Voice of the muazzin, could be heard at a wider range
  • Natural ventilation- the sun heats the dome, and air from the main hall goes up into the minaret. Allowing fresh air from outside to come in..
  • Once it functioned as a watchtower and sort of like a lighthouse. Where 'Minaret' comes from the word 'Nur' that means light.
  • High-rise as to function as a visual cue and cover wider range for muazzin's voice.
  • Consist of three parts; Base(Foundation), Shaft(Body), and Callery(finial) with or without a hilal (crescent)
  • Certain are cylindrical-like shaped and most is square from the base and the top part is octagonal (to place the dome)
  • Have ornaments, carvings based on flora and fauna motifs and calligraphy from the Al-Qur'an.
  • Usually, three balconied like the Taj minarets.

Qutb Minar, Delhi
  • Cylindrical shape
  • Built on ruins of a temple. Stones and materials for this minaret was taken from the rundowns of the temple
  • Made from red sandstone, marble for the two top most parts.
  • Flora n fauna motif carvings and al-quranic calligraphy.
To be honest, there is so much to discuss on minarets!! But for now this is what I can share concerning this topic.. Waiting to update more on this..

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