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Report on Islamic Architecture

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Assignment: Report on Islamic architecture
(Wazir Khan Mosque)

1. Introduction
A distinctive example of Islamic architecture can be seen in Wazir Khan Mosque. It is the most exquisite mosque in the Mughal era. This building is famous because of its magnificent designs and decorations. Also, its great history played a role in placing it as one of the most beautiful and honorable Islamic buildings in the world. 2. Background 3.1 Location
Wazir Khan Mosque is located in Lahore district in Punjab province in Pakistan beside Delhi Gate from the east and Lahore Fort from the west (Wazir Khan Mosque, 2011). Actually, it is accessed after passing a bustling bazaar in Rang Mahal Road, then an imoposing mosque appears beyond it. (Omar, 2008). 3.2 Type of Building
Wazir Khan Mosque or Masjid Wazir Khan is an Islamic mosque that was built for praying purposes as other mosques. 3.3 Purpose of Building
The mosque was built for commercial and religious purposes (Wazir Khan Mosque). It is used as a place for Islamic worship such as praying, and for gaining profits from the bath house which is called (shahi Hammam) and from the markets around the mosque. The income was employed in maintenance projects for the mosque to ensure that it will still forever (Wazir Khan Mosque, 2011). Indeed, the mosque was built on the existing grave of Sayed Muhammad Ishaq who was known as Miran Badshah. Also, it was used as a place of studying especially with the rooms inside the sanctuary (Wazir Khan Mosque). 3.4 Current Usage
Wazir Khan Mosque is used as a mosque, market, bathhouse and shrine (Wazir Khan Mosque). 3. History 4.5 Figure 1 : Wazir Khan Mosque
Figure [ 1 ] : Wazir Khan Mosque
Builder/ Architect

Wazir Khan Mosque was founded by Hakim Ilumud Din Ansari, the Viceroy of Punjab under Shah Jahan reign. He was granted the ministerial title which is “Wazir Khan” (Wazir Khan Mosque). According to (Bloom & Blair , 2009) “ He embellished the city with baths, markets, caravanserais, palaces and a congregational mosque known commonly as the mosque of Wazir Khan”. This means he was a master in constructing buildings in that time. 4.6 Construction
Masjid Wazir Khan was built in the 17th century in 1634 and took seven years to be completed (Munir, 2011). Wazir Khan got a large land for building this mosque. He built a mosque which displays his name and the shrine of Miran Badshah (Wazir Khan Mosque, 2011). Indeed, the only difficulty which faced Wazir Khan in constructing the mosque was using small bricks instead of stones because it was too costly or hard to use it, so they were used it in arches and some decorations (Wazir Khan Mosque). 4. Physical Descriptions 5.7 Size
Figure 2 : Minaret
Figure [ 2 ] : Minaret
The Total area of Wazir Khan Mosque is approximately 4128 square meters, 512 square meters for the prayer area. The mosque has five domes, the central one is 7 meters diameter and 9.5 meters high, while the others are 5.8 diameter and 6.4 high. Moreover, the mosque is distinguished by the four cornered minarets which are 32 meters high. In addition, there is a water tank in the courtyard for performing ablutions. Also, in the same courtyard there is a huge shrine of Miran Badshah (Tahir, 2008). Furthermore, what makes it a large building is the provision of 32 small rooms called “hujras” in the east, north and south the courtyard ( Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO Ministry , 1993). Also, the mosque is equipped with 36 shops extending outside the sanctuary which also contributes in enlarging the mosque (Tahir, 2008). 5.8 Materials
The material used in constructing the mosque is brick masonry, lime mortar and red stone. Also, Wazir khan used small amounts of stone in creating arches and decorations. In addition, there was usage of plaster and some marble for coating walls (Wazir Khan Mosque). Also, he made fresco decorations by using powdered stones and minerals. Calligraphy pictures were made of glazed panels which reflects handsome views in the mosque (Tahir, 2008). Moreover, many sides of the building contain embellishments made of glazed mosaics. 5.9 Exterior Appearance
Figure 3: Exterior Appearance
Figure 3: Exterior Appearance
The exterior sides of Wazir Khan Mosque is colored with rich Indian red color. The façade is covered with rectangular panels. Around the center archway there are plenty of Persian inscriptions panels surrounding it. Also, these panels cover the façade wall along the upper, left and right portions (Wazir Khan Mosque). On the imposing façade there are two balconies hanged on both sides of the gate (Omar, 2008). In addition, the mosque’s four corners are distinguished with 107 foot octagonal minarets. These minarets are ornamented with dazzling mosaic tiles (Munir, 2011). Also, what is worth mentioning is that the entrance gate is settled on a raised platform with stairs leading to the interior (Wazir Khan Mosque). 5.10 Interior Appearance

Figure 4: Inner Courtyard
Figure [ 4 ]: Inner Courtyard

In the interior courtyard there are thirty two small rooms of different sizes in the eastern, northern, and southern sides. On the west side the prayer chamber stands there. The prayer area contains five domes, there is huge one which is in the middle and two on both sides of the central one (Wazir Khan Mosque). According to (Munir, 2011), “The ceiling of the prayer hall is decorated with eye catching tile work and walls

Figure 5: Inner decorations
Figure [ 5 ]: Inner decorations
Figure 6: Calligraphy
Figure 6: Calligraphy

with the combination of tile and fresco work”. In the courtyard there is an inner shrine of Miran Badshah. Also, the courtyard contains an ablution pond filled with green water (Omar, 2008). Wazir Khan mosque is a distinctive example of the combination of extraordinary decorations. The mosque is decorated with calligraphy and arabesque panels, geometrical shapes, floral embellishments, mosaic tiles which called (kasha kari), fresco paintings and vivid colors such as red, blue and green (Wazir Khan Mosque). Actually this variation in the decoration gives an unforgettable impression about Wazir Khan mosque and enhance the status of the building among other Islamic heritage and architecture.

5. Analysis 6.11 Characteristics of Islamic Architecture Wazir Khan mosque Contains
Wazir Khan Mosque contains many characteristics which make it one of the typical Islamic architecture. These specifications appears in the decorations and the structure. According to (Tahir, 2008) “These designs contain all the characteristics of typical Islamic art: they are geometrical patterns, symmetrical, and floral and contain hexagonal or octagonal stars and curvilinear intertwined decorations”. Moreover, Wazir Khan Mosque follows the initial Islamic designs of building a courtyard surrounded by rooms. There is a vast empty space with four walls contain the gate, rooms and the prayer hall. In addition, Wazir Khan Mosque is same as other Islamic buildings in the mysterious function of a building. For instance, once you pass beside the mosque, you can’t predict that this building is a mosque, shrine, bath house, study place and bazaar! All these functions are hidden inside the building and hard to be predicted. In addition, all Islamic buildings concentrate on the interior sides more than the exteriors by focusing the decorations and embellishments just inside the building. Nevertheless, Wazir Khan Mosque in not restricted by that style. The exterior appearance is lavishly decorated as the inner parts of the mosque without disregarding the external façade and walls. Indeed, these characteristics make this building an extraordinary design remarkable building. Also, what is worth mentioning is although Wazir Khan Mosque is an ideal example of Islamic architecture, it is also a perfect and unique model of Mughal art.

6.12 Expert’s Analysis of the Building
According to (Muhammad, 2006), Wazir Khan Mosque is one of the most historical buildings in Asia. It represents the architectural elements of Mughal era and the other neighboring areas such as Persia. The combination of decoration styles makes the mosque distinguished among other building. However, he said that the mosque is suffering from extreme damage because of inadequate maintenance and disregarding it. For example, he mentioned the cracks in the prayer chamber arches, increasing damp in walls and the deterioration of most of the surface decorations because of the weather exposing, pigeons dropping and rain. He said that the responsible institutions must move to cope with this problem. 6. Conclusion
Wazir Khan Mosque is an typical model of Islamic art. It is also a striking example of Mughal architecture. The importance of the building could be ensured when Lockwood Kipling said “ this beautiful building is in itself a school of design”. A magnificent building such a Wazir Khan Mosque extremely needs protection and reservation because it lavishly contains Mughal and Islamic heritage.

Bibliography
Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO Ministry . (1993, december 14). Wazir Khan's Mosque, Lahore. Retrieved October 21, 2011, from World's Heritage Convention: http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/1278/
Wazir Khan Mosque. (2011). Retrieved October 21, 2011, from Asian Historical Architecture: http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/pakistan/lahore/wazirkhan.php
Bloom , J., & Blair , S. (2009). Islamic Art And Architecture (Vol. 1). Oxford, Britain: Oxford University Press.
Muhammad, S. (2006). Documentation and Conservation of Wazir Khan Mosque. Gilgit: Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan.
Munir, A. (2011, April 17). Wazir Khan Mosque. Retrieved October 21, 2011, from Historical Pakistan: http://www.historicalpakistan.com/2011/04/wazir-khan-mosque.html
Omar, S. (2008). Late Afternoon at Masjid Wazir Khan. 1.
Tahir, M. Z. (2008, April). Wazir Khan’s Mosque:An embellishment is manifest! Retrieved October 21, 2011, from RELIGIOUS TOURISM: http://islamictourism.com/PDFs/Issue%2034/English/60-64.pdf
Wazir Khan Mosque. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2011, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wazir_Khan_Mosque
Wazir Khan Mosque. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2011, from Lahore Sites of Interest: http://www.ualberta.ca/~rnoor/mosque_wazir_khan.html
Wazir Khan Mosque. (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2011, from Digital Library: http://archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.jsp?site_id=2610

Figure 1: Wazir Khan Mosque, (2011). Retrieved from http://islamic-arts.org/2011/reading-masjid-wazir-khan/ Figure 2: Minaret, (2007). Retrieved from http://www.photoblog.com/pakistan/2007/11/17/wazir-khan-mosque.html Figure 3: Exterior Appearance, (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.mango.itgo.com/lahore_wazir_khan.htm Figure 4: Inner Courtyard, (2007). Retrieved from http://www.photoblog.com/pakistan/2007/11/17/wazir-khan-mosque.html Figure 5: Inner decorations, (2011). Retrieved from http://islamic-arts.org/2011/reading-masjid-wazir-khan/ Figure 6: Calligraphy, (2011). Retrieved from http://islamic-arts.org/2011/reading-masjid-wazir-khan/

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[ 1 ]. Curvilinear : Curve lines…...

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