The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, is regarded as one of the best gifts of Islamic art and architecture
to the world. However, the building is just a mausoleum and memorial extravagantly built.
As such, it stands at odds with some fundamental teachings and values of Islam.
Many people wonder what authentic Islamic architecture and its scope are, and whether it is appropriate to qualify such a wonder as Islamic, Muslim or something else, architecture. Much has been written and said about the subject, yet scholars and researchers vastly differ over it. It is an endless, but at the same time enthralling, debate.
Islamic architecture is an architecture that exemplifies Islamic teachings and values in an architectural process rather than in an architectural product. An architectural process starts with having a proper understanding and vision which leads to making a right intention. It continues with the planning, designing and building stages, and ends with attaining the net results and how people make use of and benefit from them. Islamic architecture is a fine blend of all these phases and elements which are interwoven with the threads of the belief system, tenets, teachings and values of Islam. What makes an architecture Islamic is its metaphysical, spiritual and ethical dimensions, rather than its sheer physical and observable aspects, in relation to all the parties involved in the process: patrons, architects, engineers and ordinary users, and the implications of their diverse conceptual and practical relationships with architecture.