Submitted by Rosalind Wade Haddon
The Islamic Art Circle at SOAS, London University
Revisiting Baghdad: Mosques, Caliphs and the ‘Ulama
May 8, 2019, 7:00 pm
The Bahari Foundation Lectures on Art and Culture of Iran, The Courtauld Institute of Art
The Shah and the ‘Ulama: A Tale of Two Mosques in Safavid Isfahan
May 9, 2019, 6:00 pm
Islamic Art Circle at SOAS, London University. May 2019 Lecture
The Islamic Art Circle at SOAS is delighted to announce that our May lecture will be given by Dr Ruba Kana’an on Wednesday, 8th May at 7.00 pm in the Khalili Lecture Theatre, L/G Phillips Building, SOAS, London University, WC1H 0XG – all welcome. Enquiries to Rosalind Wade Haddon: email@example.com
Dr Kana’an’s topic is: Revisiting Baghdad: Mosques, Caliphs and the ‘Ulama
Her lecture will explore relationships between the historical narratives about Friday mosques in pre-Mongol Baghdad and legal discourses about Friday prayer. It revisits Jacob Lassner’s 1970 study of the Abbasid city where he translated and analyzed the topographical introduction to the multivolume work of the 11th century historian al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (d. 1071), but departs from it by situating al-Baghdadi’s section on Friday mosques within the contemporaneous socio-religious context of the Abbasid city. The paper will demonstrate that the history of these mosques is intertwined with the formation of legal discourses on Friday prayer as exemplified by Abbasid period furu‘ literature. Furthermore, it will demonstrate that the legal discourses on Friday prayer that evolved predominantly in Abbasid Baghdad continued to influence the establishment of Friday mosques and shaping the urban growth of medieval cities.
The Bahari Foundation Lectures on Art and Culture of Iran. The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London
Thursday 9 May 2019, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Lecture Theatre 1, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, King’s Cross, London, WC1X 9EW
Dr Kana’an’s topic is: The Shah and the ‘Ulama: A Tale of Two Mosques in Safavid Isfahan
Safavid art of the sixteenth century is celebrated for its exceptional painted manuscripts and the monumental architectural patronage of its dynastic shrines. Yet the same period did not produce a single Safavid Friday mosque. This paper explores relationships between the historical narratives about the architectural patronage of Safavid Friday mosques and the legal discourses about Friday prayer. It examines views penned by Shi‘a ulama in the sixteenth century about the performance of Friday prayer during the occultation of the Imam (ghayba), and the impact of these debates on the architectural patronage of Isfahan’s two Friday mosques: the Great Mosque of Isfahan and the Shah’s Mosque begun under Shah Abbas 1st in 1611. Theoretically, the paper takes a comparative approach to the patronage of Friday mosques. It situates Safavid architectural patronage within a comparative framework with similar debates that took place amongst Sunni legal scholars and shaped the monumental architecture of cities like Baghdad, Cairo, and Istanbul.