Islamic philosophies help to shape the culture’s art. The Quran strictly forbade the creation of any imagery of holy figures; Islamic artists instead decorated architectural structures with beautiful inlays that feature the holy word and complex geometric patterns, in which many Islamists believed to see the beauty of god. Illuminated manuscripts often feature these same, complex geometric patterns, allowing figures in the foreground to “pop” from the page.


Mosques differ significantly from their Christian counterparts. Instead of being constructed on a linear or central axis, they feature wide-open spaces for all to pray. No special accommodations are made for high-ranking members of society or clergy.


Many Islamic rulers came to embrace the grandeur of neighboring Persian tastes, and began to commission finely crafted metal works and ceramic wares that often featured folklore and court life. These wealthy rulers also commissioned impressive tombs, including the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.