09 January 2008

Counter-Patterns in Islamic Rugs

The perceptual shift needed to lead to a genuine peace can be found in Islamic art and thought. In Islamic art, a uniform geometric pattern is purposely disrupted by the introduction of a counter-pattern that demonstrates that human creation is less than perfect. Based upon the belief that only Allah creates perfection, rug weavers from Islamic lands intentionally weave a patch of dissimilar pattern to break the symmetry of their rugs to demonstrate that they are not competing with Allah.

Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Imam of the Italian Muslim community who holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Sciences by decree of the Saudi Grand Mufti, writes, “The idea of underlying the Divine infinitude and the human fallacy by including some ‘voluntary defects’ in works of art is common in Islamic art, and extends to tapestry, painting, music, architecture, etc.”

In Islamic Textile Art: Anomalies in Kilims, Muhammad Thompson and Nasima Begum write that weavers of Moroccan kilim rugs, “devote Muslim women would not be so arrogant as to even attempt a ‘perfect kilim,’ since such perfection belonged only to Allah. Consequently, they would deliberately break the kilim’s patterning as a mark of their humility.”

1 comment:

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