The eight divisions and frequent octagonal forms of such structures represent the eight levels of paradise for Muslims. The paradigm however was not confined solely to Islamic antecedents. The Chinese magic square was employed for numerous purposes including crop rotation and also finds a Muslim expression in the wafq of their mathematicians. Ninefold schemes find particular resonance in the Indian mandalas, the cosmic maps of Hinduism and Buddhism.

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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Nisar Khan B. Though, arches and domes are predominant features of architecture of Islamic dominions, they are not limited to Islamic Traditions.

The utility of the domes and arches in the construction of buildings in seen across various cultures and traditions. It is credited to the Romans and Greeks, much prior to the establishment of Islamic realm. Pantheon in Rome AD and Hagia Sofia AD in Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople are examples of magnificent domes spanning 43m and 31m respectively. Qasr-al-Masmak is the fortress in the Figure 5 Al Masmak Fort, Old Riyadh Author old city of Riyadh, built as late as , is missing on the arcuated spans in its construction.

The reason in all probability is the use of mud as the primary building material, which does not allow the construction of very durable arches and domes without Figure 6 Inside of the Al Masmak Fort Author any reinforcement. The most pious monument of Islam, the Holy Kaaba is cuboid, sans all the visual elements of Islamic Architecture. The profile of Holy Kaaba depicts that the most Figure 7 Holy Kaaba Author sacred monument of Islam is manifested in the most simple and pure form.

Contradiction 3: The case of Native Indian Architecture Even in the eastern traditions the construction of arches and domes, with the techniques of corbelling and sculpting was known since prehistoric times. Barabar caves 3rd Century BC are one of the earliest examples of rock cut architecture incorporating and arch form in the entrance. Ajanta caves are the later examples of similar rock cut architecture. Quwatul Islam Mosque AD , the first mosque to be built after the Islamic conquest of Delhi, is constructed by using pillars and posts from temples adopting the trabeated and corbelling technique similar to that of Jain Architecture.

Author Mosque Author In the Qutub Minar AD the projections of balconies are carried out by the technique of corbelling together with the intricate ornamentation. This marks the blending of native architectural traditions with Islamic ways of building. As an example Panch Mahal is a five storey structure, constructed in red sand-stone beams resting on columns while brackets supporting the chajjas.

Figure 13 Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri Author From the above cases it can be easily inferred that attributing the arches and domes with any chronological period, geographical region, typology and ruler; establishing a link with Islam per se or its architecture and culture and vice-versa will be a misconstrued theory. It was during the early medieval times with the expansion of the Islam, that the construction of domes and arches as spanning mechanisms percolated in the Islamic Monuments.

Perhaps, it was due to the remarkable refinements and innovations carried out during the Islamic realm in the construction of domes and arches, that they became the identifiable features of Islamic Architecture. Islamic Architecture - In need of liberation from its own shadows by Prof. The elements of Arches and Domes etc merely reduced to the visual entities. Gardens of perpetual bliss: they shall enter there, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses, and their offspring: and angels shall enter unto them from every gate with the salutation : "Peace unto you for that ye persevered in patience!

Now how excellent is the final home! The more good deeds one has performed the higher the level of paradise one is directed to. It has been said that the lowest level of paradise is one-hundred times better than the greatest life on earth.

The highest level is the seventh called jannat ul firdous, in which God can be seen and where anything is possible. Quran The belief of paradise has been elaborately illustrated in the designs of the tomb gardens. The tomb gardens were created as the replicas of paradise on earth for the pleasure of the departed soul, as a matter of belief. The Hasht-Bihisht is a Persian term literal for eight paradises. The symbolic representation of hasht-bihisht is derived by intersecting two squares kept diagonally over one another resulting in the geometry of eight pointed star.

Figure 14 Squares juxtapposed Figure 15 Intersection of Squares diagonally This symbol of Hasht- Bihisht is deduced into two variations by the process of de-laminating the external and internal enclosures from the vertices; first is the eight pointed star also known as nine fold plan and as al Quds star, second being the abstract version represented by the geometrical shape of a regular octagon. Figure 16 The variants of eight pointed star and the octagon The geometry of the two variants is then assembled into numerous geometric patterns.

These patterns extensively employed in the buildings as lattice screens jaali , inlay work, landscaping Figure 17 Patterns patterns etc.

This is perhaps their own interpretation of the symbol of hasht-bihisht without thorough understanding of scriptures of Islam. According to hadith by Abu Huraira mAbpwh , there are eight doors of Jannah. The Significance of Eight Doors to Paradise in Islam can thus be imparted new correlation with the eight sides of symbol of the hasht-bihisht. Also, while deciphering the geometry of both the symbolic variant, it may be construed that the star and the octagon are enclosed entities with eight sides, representing the paradise contained within the eight entrances.

It is the oldest example of early Islamic architecture completed in CE. Dome of the Rock is an Octagonal Structure covered by a dome gilded with gold. The structure houses the rock associated with religious significance in Islam and Judaism. As believed in Islamic tradition, the rock is the spot from which Prophet Muhammad pbuh ascended to Heaven meraj accompanied by the angel Gabriel. After Prophet Muhammad's pbuh return, he called all who would believe him to join with him and be Muslim.

It was at this juncture that Islam came into existence. The significance of the octagonal plan in the earliest monument of Islam and its association with ascension of the Prophet pbuh to the heavens substantiates the theory of the manifestation of the concept of hasht-bihist through these symbols in the architecture. The Plan of the Qutub Minar is derived by intersecting two squares, thus, creating an eight pointed star, similar to the symbol of hasht-bihisht.

Further, it is made intricate by introducing circular and pointed fluting at the vertices of the star. The tower is embellished with the verses from holy Quran.

The influence of native traditions is very evident on the architecture of Qutub Minar as in the form of Figure 20 Qutub Minar Author projecting storeys, use of red sandstone etc; however, it is the inherent embodiment of the sacred principles of hasht-bihisht that make it a monument of Islam. Bagh-i-Babur in Kabul AD is an elaborately laid down terraced garden with avenues and water channels. The Plan form is an ensemble of octagons. The grave chamber in the centre is enclosed by an octagon, surrounded by four octagonal chambers connected with passages.

The composition results in the formation of the great octagon that defines the plan form of the tomb. While the pedestal of the Figure 23 Taj Mahal Author Tajmahal itself being an octagon comprising all. The spatial arrangement of eight entrances and passages in the architecture of the tomb signifies the eight entrances of Figure 24 Plan of Taj Mahal the Paradise and signifies the travel of righteous soul from earthly abode to the Heaven.

Ornamentation The flooring of the grave chamber is intricately laid down in hasht-bihisht pattern inter-woven together signifying the description of paradise as infinite and abundant. The ornamentation on the exteriors of the Tajmahal is embedded with the motifs and patterns representative of the hasht-bihisht. On the great gate in the south the calligraphy says: It will be said to the pious : O you the one in complete rest and satisfaction!

Come back to your Lord, -- well-pleased yourself and well-pleasing unto him! Enter you, then, among My honored slaves, And enter you My Paradise!

The star motif composes the bands enclosing the motifs of flora of various species as in the description of the paradise. The employment of hasht-bihisht as the ornamental motif is found in many monuments imparting the symbol a Figure 27 Hasht-Bihisht in Ceramic metaphorical status. The arch-netting at Fatehpur Sikri is resolved into an intricate pattern centred around the star motif.

Figure 30 Door at Jahangiri Figure 31 Arch Netting resolved as eight-pointed Mahal, Agra Author star at Bayana gate, Fatehpur Sikri Author Urban-Design On a greater urban scale it is the octagonal variant of hasht-bihisht that is employed to define public spaces. The bazaar of the Taj-ganj in Agra is laid down on a scheme derived out of the octagon.

Figure 33 Chandni Chawk Map Dated c. Several other examples of squares, pools, bazars and other public spaces deduced octagonal profile exist.

Figure 34 Red Fort Map Dated c. Many contemporary architectural examples illustrate the hasht-bihisht in the plan form and also as the ornamental motifs. It is the simplicity of the geometry of the symbolic variants that allow its employment at varied scales of urban spaces to intricate Jaali patterns. The presence of the symbolic entity is continuous in space and time; it is universal as the DNA of Islamic architecture.

The seamless presence of Hasht-Bihisht in the Islamic architecture is as universal and metaphorical as the Golden Ratio in nature. The geometry of Hasht-Bihisht is an integral in the design aspects of Islamic Architecture as that of the Le Modulor proportion by Le Corbusier in the modern times. The definition of Islamic Architecture, that is by the virtue of its philosophy. Asher, C. Cambridge, Hattstein, M.

Peter, D. Islam Art and Architecture. Koch, E. New Delhi, The Complete Taj Mahal. London Tadgell, Christopher. A history of Architecture, India and south-east Asia. London, Akhtar, S. Islamic Architecture - In need of liberation from its own shadows. Khan, N. Legacy of Islamic Architecture and its role in the contemporary world, Aligarh, Related Papers. By Emdadul Hoque Topu. The Mughals, Uzbeks, and the Timurid Legacy. By Ebba Koch. By Shaista Perveen and Wafa Rizvi.


Hasht-behesht (architecture)

Abstract: Among the Persian historiographical works written in the Ottoman Empire, the Hasht bihisht The Eight Paradises is probably the most important and is often considered a milestone in the development of Ottoman historiography. These manu-scripts are Esad Efendi No. Founded by Carl Heinrich Becker in , the Journal Der Islam provides a forum for the study of the history and culture of the Middle East before the age of modernisation in the 19th century, from the Iberian Peninsula to Central Asia. Articles present the latest research in the humanities and social sciences based on literary traditions, and archival, material, and archaeological evidence.


Hasht-Bihisht (poem)

Isfahan , Iran. Hasht Bihisht Isfahan , Iran. In this example, the corner rooms are octagonal, forming massive pillars that define four large openings leading to large porches with wooden ceilings on the east, north and west facades. The south facade is punctured by a vaulted iwan. The vault of the central space is detailed with polychrome muqarnas and is capped with a lantern cupola. The openness of the pavilion to the exterior, with large open archways and the top-lit domed space, is enhanced with a fountain positioned under the dome.


What is "hasht-bihisht"

Toggle nav. It is one of the five poems of Khusrow's Khamsa Quintet. The poem is based on the Haft Paykar by Nizami, written around AD, which in turn takes its outline from the earlier epic Shahnameh written by Firdausi around AD. Most famously, Khusro appears to be the first writer to have added The Three Princes of Serendip as characters and the story of the alleged camel theft and recovery.


The term was used in Persian literature as a metaphorical image, and was later notably used in a poem by Mughal poet Amir Khusrow , who gave the most comprehensible literary reconstruction of the model in his adaptation of an Iranian epic about Sasanian ruler Bahram V , as well as in other works by Ottoman poets Sehi Bey and Idris Bitlisi. It is closely related to Islamic eschatology , in which heaven is described as having eight gates and eight spaces, and is also observed in Christian symbolism in the concept of salvation. Ninefold schemes find particular resonance in the Indian mandalas , the cosmic maps of Hinduism and Buddhism. Although the trace of an older Sasanian equivalent is presumed, the earliest recognized use of the hasht-behesht plan is traced to a now non-extant two-storied pavilion named Tarab-khana that was built under the reign of the Persianate Timurid Empire in Herat , a prominent city in medieval Khorasan. Later, under the reign of Iran's Safavid dynasty , the same plan was used in the eponymous pavilion of Hasht Behesht in Isfahan. In the architecture of the Persianate Mughal Empire , hasht-behesht was the favorite plan for gardens and pavilions, as well as for mausolea seen as a funerary form of pavilion.

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