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Architecture and Society: Some Lessons on Muslim Architecture from India

Book Title: Architecture and Society: Some Lessons on Muslim Architecture from India
Author: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Spahic Omer
Publisher: Research Management Center, International Islamic University Malaysia
ISBN: 978-967-418-402-5
First Edition, 2015


This book deals with the subject of the relationship between Muslim architecture and society and how they influence each other, taking some social and historical segments of complex Indian society as a case study. The book consists of three independent studies which cover three vital aspects of Muslim architecture, especially in India:

  • Converting Hindu temples into mosques;
  • The royal funerary architecture of the Mughals;
  • The social significance of Mr. Nazeer Khan’s architecture.

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Mohamed Saleh Makiya (1914-2015)

Makiya design image

For its architectural quality and its revival of tradition, the work of Mohamed Saleh Makiya stands as a prototype for Iraq and for new developments in the third world in general. Like Hassan Fathy in Egypt, Makiya analyzed Iraq’s past in his architectural work, in his role as an influential teacher, and in his scholarly publications. His ideas can be found in his writings: The Arab Village, sponsored by UNESCO and published in Cairo in 1951, and The Architecture of Baghdad, published in 1969 with the assistance of the Gulbenkian Foundation. In both books the fundamental insights that he established led to a reappraisal of the Iraqi architectural past.

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Origins and evolution of minarets

By Kerim Altuğ, World Bulletin

Minaret at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque



I. The origins and evolution of minaret

Minarets are tower-like structures usually associated with mosques or other religious buildings. They contain platforms, reached through stairs built inside the minaret, on which the ‘muezzin’ stands to call Muslims to prayer.

In trying to understand how the tower got its special meaning in Islamic societies, scholars have attempted—with mixed success—to trace minarets back to various traditions of tower building in the pre-Islamic cultures of Eurasia. Over a century ago, for example, A. J. Butler, the British historian of Roman Egypt, speculated that the multistoried form of the typical Cairene minaret of the Mamluk period might have been derived from the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, one of the wonders of the ancient world, which—although long destroyed—is known from descriptions by ancient writers to have been square in the lower part of its shaft, octagonal in the middle and cylindrical at the top. Butler’s contemporary, the German architectural historian Hermann Thiersch, elaborated this theory by publishing a detailed study of the history of the Pharos. He showed that the ancient tower had stood well into Islamic times and could have inspired Mamluk builders in Egypt.


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Medinanet celebrating its fifth anniversary


By April 16, 2015 medina-net, has completed its fifth year. On this occasion we would like to congratulate all colleagues and friends who contributed in building its platform and to students who enlarged its popularity and made it a source of knowledge on Islamic Architecture and Cities.

For sure that the site cannot be sustained without their help and contributions. And perhaps the pressing need now is to activate the Arab section and the establishment of the French section in addition to the existing English section.

Greetings Site Management.


The mysterious effect of the Casbah!

By: Brian Ackley
Original article could be found here in


group photo


The Visit to Algiers

Le Corbusier came to Algiers almost by chance. On the occasion of the centennial celebration of French rule in 1931, a new city plan was unveiled by Henri Prost and the French colonial government. Le Corbusier deeply disapproved, and saw it as an opportunity wasted; he wanted to offer the French colony a bold plan that would raise Algiers to the level of an international city. He argued his case to the colonial government by relying on the anti-capitalist flavor of the month, “Syndicalism,” which intended to structure political power around regional industry. He declared that because colonization was over (the startling, naive general opinion of the time), Algiers was destined to become the world capital of Africa, and thus complete his fantasy of a diamond of Mediterranean centers including Barcelona, Marseille and Rome. Without any formal commission or invitation, he took it upon himself to design and submit his own sweeping scheme, called the Plan Obus.


Why 404?

Asalamu Alaikum


The thing is Medinanet is bieng targeted by various hackers; the last attempt made some severe damage to the site. however medinanet Alhamdolilah has recovered.

The recovering processes involved including more security procedures to medinanet and for that some articles’ links and IDs changed. Kindly if the error shows, consider using the search tool to search for the article; any word in the title would do…as that might be the reason.

thank you for understanding 
and we hope you like our new look and feel…

God bless.