The Stunning Beauty of Islamic Geometric Patterns

Creative people always want to find something interesting that would challenge them and interests them in life. If they happen to find their interest in art, it translates not only into art, but it also serves a higher purpose in connecting the viewer to consciousness. When there is a need to describe the idea or the logic behind an art form, we almost always need help from geometry.

Humans are capable of looking at the world in different ways. People with different training have different perspectives, and they look at the world in many different ways. The painter looks at the world in a certain way, the poet looks at in a different way, the novelist looks at it in another way. For instance, Picasso looked at the world and saw things in ways we could not. He looked at the world and then abstracted it, very much like a mathematician.

love playing with numbers. Furthermore, I like numbers more than other familiar people. For instance, I love the number 7 more than my aunt. However, I mostly prefer the practical side of geometry because it takes me away from the numbers for a while and makes me more creative. By just drawing circles, straight lines, and various constructions, a person can delve into geometry.

For me, geometry is the divine connection with nature because when I started investigating more about geometric patterns, then I found out that specific numbers create certain shapes that are related to nature — like the numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. We see very often people are talking about geometry, but actually, most of them don’t know what kind of geometry they are referring to. There is a famous saying by Plato; “Let no one ignorant of geometry enter in.”

Islamic art and architecture also used geometry in many ways. As a math geek, I have been fascinated with the calligraphy of the Quran. I had a lot of opportunities to look at Islamic geometric patterns carefully whenever I went to a mosque. The first thing that I noticed was that they were not figurative. Those delicate motifs and vibrant colors of geometric designs always drew me into a peaceful state and prompted me to reflect. I have always believed that the geometric patterns have a profound meaning, and those Islamic art patterns at the mosques depicted the unity of the universe’s creation.

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b3.jpgTop Left: Folio from a Qur’an Manuscrip| Top Right: Bifolium from the “Nurse’s Qur’an” | Bottom: Section of a Qur’an Manuscript via the Met Museum

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b10.jpgFacsimile of Handwritten Arabic Islamic Manuscript Euclid’s Geometry by Nasir al-Din al-Tusi.| Top right via WorthPoint. All others via Lynx Open Ed.

Left: Sacred Geometry can be seen in the dome of the Selimiye Mosque in Turkey. Dome decoration of Selimiye Mosque by Ihsan Gercelman | Right: Minbar of Sehzade Mosque by Jon Anderson

Islamic geometric design was a tradition, but in reality, these geometric patterns are pieces of art, the art of architecture. Muslim artists have been adorning mosques, palaces, and books with their geometric patterns and calligraphy work since the 8th century. We mostly see the Islamic geometric patterns in places of worship are used as a medium to glorify God. The grand structures such as buildings, gardens, floors composed of divine geometry.

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