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The Masjid al-Haram: Balancing Tradition and Renewal at the Heart of Islam

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Abstract

The following article presents a brief history of some of the building campaigns undertaken at the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah al-Mukarramah (the Great Mosque in Mecca) during the past sixteen centuries, with a particular focus on Mimar Sinan's still-extant sixteenth-century Ottoman arcade within the mosque's central courtyard.1 It compares a selection of historic and contemporary responses to the appropriation of land, destruction, and rebuilding undertaken by successive Muslim rulers in and around the sanctuary, before attempting to ascertain recurrent themes and issues that have characterized this dialogue over the past 1600 years.
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Keywords: Haram; Islam; Mecca; Mimar Sinan; heritage; mosque

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Scholar

Publication date: March 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA) is intended for those interested in urban design and planning, architecture, and landscape design in the historic Islamic world, encompassing the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, but also the more recent geographies of Islam in its global dimensions. The main emphasis is on detailed analysis of the practical, historical and theoretical aspects of architecture, with a focus on both design and its reception. The journal is also specifically interested in contemporary architecture and urban design in relation to social and cultural history, geography, politics, aesthetics, technology, and conservation. Spanning across cultures and disciplines, IJIA seeks to analyze and explain issues related to the built environment throughout the regions covered. The cross-cultural and interdisciplinary nature of this journal will significantly contribute to the knowledge in this field.

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