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Attempt is made in this study to investigate the aesthetic embellishment inherent in the Arabic calligraphy of mosques in Kano, Nigeria. Attention on the research was stimulated by the way scholars overlooked this expressive art form particularly amongst the non-Arab speaking Muslim Ummah. In the course of doing that, the study traced the historical evolution of Arabic calligraphy, the arrival of Islam into Kano, and what informed its usage on the mosque‟s inner and outer walls. The study also appreciated its usage within the context of aesthetic. Literature was therefore available on the subject in such regions within the stated periods and was thus reviewed. This is coupled with oral interview conducted, visits paid to certain mosques, questionnaire administered on the artists and Mallams/Imams. Basically, the study adopted and utilized the qualitative and historical method of research. Data collected for the study were analysed based on Feldman‟s recommendation to be taken in analyzing artworks. The steps are descriptive, formal analysis, interpretation and judgment. From the findings it was discovered that out of the six renown Arabic calligraphic styles, (Kufic, Thuluth, Nasakh, Riq‟a, Farsi and Deewani) only three of the Arabic calligraphic styles were frequently used by the Arabic calligraphers within the studied areas. The Arabic styles include Kufic, Farsi and Nasakh. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations were given as to how Arabic calligraphic embellishment will be better understood and appreciated, especially among the non-Arabic speaking Muslim Ummah.




Title Page———————————————————————————————-i Declaration——————————————————————————————–ii Certification——————————————————————————————iii Dedication——————————————————————————————–iv Acknowledgements———————————————————————————-v Abstract———————————————————————————————–vi Contents———————————————————————————————-vii List of Figures————————————————————————————–ix List of Plates—————————————————————————————–x List of Maps——————————————————————————————xi List of Appendices———————————————————————————-xii Maps————————————————————————————————xiii Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION——————————————————————-1 Introduction—————————————————————————————-1 Background to the Study————————————————————————-6 Statement of the Problem————————————————————————–12 Aim and Objectives of the Study—————————————————————–13 Justification of the Study————————————————————————14 Significance of the Study————————————————————————15 Scope of the Study——————————————————————————-15 Limitation of the study ————————————————————————–15 Conceptual Framework————————————————————————–16 Definition of Terms—————————————————————————– 19 Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW——————————————————–22 Introduction—————————————————————————————22 Historical Evolution and Development of Arabic Calligraphy—————————— 22 The Arrival and Spread of Islam in Africa—————————————————–27 Mosque Embellishment—————————————————————————-33 Arabic Scripts————————————————————————————-47 Early Arabic Calligraphers———————————————————————-52 Types of Arabic Calligraphy——————————————————————–54 Calligraphic Materials—————————————————————————64 Chapter 3: RESEARCH DESIGN AND PROCEDURE———————————-66 Introduction—————————————————————————————66 Source of Data————————————————————————————66 Pilot Study—————————————————————————————-67 Field Trip——————————————————————————————67 Population—————————————————————————————–68 Photographs————————————————————————————– 68 Data Analysis————————————————————————————— 68 Chapter 4: DISCUSSIONS AND ANALYSIS OF ART WORKS ———————-70
Introduction—————————————————————————————70 Discussion on the Historical Evolution of Arabic Calligraphy——————————-70 The Intrinsic and Extrinsic Uniqueness of the Artworks————————————–75 Mural——————————————————————————————— 76 Plastic——————————————————————————————–108 Engraving——————————————————————————————-114 Etching——————————————————————————————-124 Wood——————————————————————————————–126 Metal———————————————————————————————– 128 Aluminium—————————————————————————————131 Chapter 5: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS——————————————133 Introduction———————————————————————————– -133 Summary of Findings————————————————————————— 133 Discussions———————————————————————————— — 135 Findings—————————————————————————————–137 Recommendations —————————————————————————–140 Notes ———————————————————————————————–142 References——————————————————————————————148 Appendices—————————————————————————————–153





Introduction One of the basic needs of human beings which compliment their lives, apart from air, food, water and cloth, is shelter. All these living essentials are derived directly from the environment. By implication, it can be said that the environment determines and informs where and how humans should subsist1. Having discovered the importance of shelter, the early humans began to utilize caves for protection, from the harsh weather and wild animals. In the prehistoric time, humans were wanderers, they kept changing shelter from one base to the other. When they became organized, they made some progress. They began to overcome nature, through the development of agriculture, clothing and shelter. They became food producers rather than gatherers. Since they were more inclined to farming, the beginning of agriculture meant also the beginning of homemaking. Farmers need permanent homes near their fields. The remains of the Stone Age, found by archeologists, show clearly that many people then, lived in villages of wooden huts, sometimes built over lakes. Basically, the wooden huts were functional2 structures with artistic3 attributes. Some modern examples of such shelters include domestic shelters, which include places to sleep in, prepare food, eat and perhaps, work; commercial shelters which could serve as warehouses, banks, exhibition halls and garages. Others include recreational shelters such as theaters, auditoriums, museums and libraries. The religious shelters include temples, shrines, synagogues, churches and mosques. While shading light on the significance of the mosque and the specific function it serves, Dallal (2007) states that,
The mosque is a shelter that serves as a functional structure where Muslim faithfuls worship. The mosque is also said to be the most important place for the Muslims‟ expression of Islamic and communal identity. A mosque is a physical manifestation of the public presence of Muslims, and serves as a point of convergence for Islamic spiritual activities. Furthermore, the mosque is seen as a place where Muslims foster a collective identity and attend to their common concern through prayers. The mosque can be built bare without embellishment and still serve the purpose for which it is intended. However, many mosques are embellished with Arabic calligraphy, on either the exterior or interior walls. On this note therefore, it is not surprising to see some mosques bearing Arabic calligraphic embellishment, which gives a rich splendor to the structure. A good example of this is the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and the Ummayad4 Great mosque in Damascus. The Dome of the Rock is embellished on its surfaces (inside and out) with amazingly elaborate embellishment of marble and glazed ceramic tiles in mosaic patterns. On the upper part of the octagonal shape, just before the Dome, are Arabic calligraphic inscriptions (Fig 1). Similarly, the Umayyad Great mosque in Damascus has decorations of mosaic designs on both the exterior and interior of the building, which depict floral and tree motifs. The Umayyad mosques of Jordan offer a wealth of embellishment. The walls are covered with mosaics, stucco and stone ornament. The interior of Suleimaniye mosque, Istanbul, Turkey5 is also decorated with Arabic calligraphic inscriptions, although the mosque is renowned for its decorative ceramics. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque, Brunei has a golden-domed structure, marbled floors and walls. The mosque also has Arabic calligraphic embellishment. Apart from its religious significance, Arabic calligraphy has its artistic attraction. This can be noticed in the Gao mosque tomb of Askia the Great in Mali, and Larabanga mosque in Ghana6.
Fig 1: Dome of The Rock, source: Art Through the Ages, Klener and Mamiya (2005) The embellishment in the mosques in West Africa, to which Nigeria belongs, is simple. The main motifs7 are usually deeply incised in vertical lines, triangles and circles on the piers, and horizontals on the underside of the arches, which together help to emphasize and complete the main patterns. The most decorative parts of the mosques are usually the Mihrab8 walls, towards the Qiblah9 (Fig 2), the direction pointing to the Ka‟abah10 in Mecca. Indeed, the Mihrab and the Minbah11 in the Masjid-al-jami (Friday mosque) in the ancient Zaria12 city, bears mud relief patterns, which are pleasing to view in the interior of the mosque. The mud/clay patterns are sober, formal, dignified and different in form and character from the arabesque-like spirals, interlacing knots and repeated chevrons of the ancient Zaria (Nigeria) Friday mosque,.
Fig 2: A mosque Qiblah, source: Art through the Ages, Klener and Mamiya (2005) The depiction of Arabic calligraphic inscriptions of Qur‟anic verses and other words of wisdom on mosques can be seen as having a strong religious significance. It is assumed that the verses of the Holy scripture, inscribed on the walls of the mosque create in the believer, a sense of humility, when in prayers in the mosque, before his/her Creator. A good number of such mosques bearing one form of Arabic calligraphic inscription or the other for embellishment purpose include the mosque of Ibn Tulun13 in Cairo and the Sultan Hassan mosque in Tunisia amongst others. According to the Encarta (2008), “other examples of such Arabic calligraphic embellishment and mosque design can be seen in the Nunju mosque, Peking; the mosque of the shrine of Ali, the Mazar-i-sharif in Afghanistan; Central mosque, Abuja; King Abdullah mosque in Amman, Jordan; Sultan Ahmad Shah mosque Malaysia”. The Encarta maintains that “Hagia Sophia Istanbul (Figure 3) Ginah mosque, in Trinidad and Topkapi palace, Istanbul (Figure 4) are also embellished with Arabic calligraphy”.
To a large extent, it is observed that, the desire for decoration is irresistible and universal. The attitude and zeal of the Arabic calligrapher, as regards responding to this Instinct will never cease to amaze the beholder. The Arabic calligrapher overlays the bare surface of the mosque with intricate variety of patterns in delicate fancy, leaving behind a cultural and artistic legacy. It is on this basis, therefore, that this study seeks to investigate the Arabic calligraphic embellishment inherent in Kano mosques.
Fig 3: Hagia Sophia Istanbul, source: Art Through the Ages, Klener and Mamiya (2005)
Fig 4: Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, depicting the shahādah, or Muslim profession of faith: “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” source: Encyclopedia Britanica Background of the Study
The researcher makes no pretense to give a comprehensive history of the early settlers of Kano, as this will amount to writing another dissertation, because of Kano‟s long standing history. The information under this sub-headings are somehow skeletal, however, it is hoped, to serve as an eye opener, on the views that follows. Ado (2009) avers that “Kano State is one of the thirty-six states of the Federation, which make up the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. Being one of the thirty- six States, in the context of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is located between latitudes 130 N in the North, and 110 S in the South and longitude 80 W in the West and 100 E in the East. In line with this, the 1996 projection in Mohammed (1998) states that, as a state, “Kano formally came into being on April 1st 1968. It shares boundaries with the states of Jigawa on the north-east, Bauchi on the east, Kaduna on the south and south-west respectively, while with Katsina state on the north-west”. According to the official Population and Housing Census (2006) report, “Kano State has a population of over 12 million inhabitants. The
total land area of Kano State is 20,760sq kilometers”. Presently, Kano is made up of forty four Local Government Areas, namely: Ajingi, Albasu, Bagwai, Bebeji, Bichi, Bunkure, Dala, Dambatta, Dawakin Kudu, Dawakin Tofa, Doguwa, Fagge, Gabasawa, Garko, Garun Mallam, Gaya, Gezawa, Gwale, Gwarzo, Kabo, Karaye, Kibiya, Kiru, Kumbotso, Kura, Kunchi, Madobi, Makoda, Minjibir, Kano Municipal, Nassarawa, Rano, Rimin Gado, Rogo, Shanono, Sumaila, Takai, Tarauni, Tsanyawa, Tudun Wada, Tofa, Ungogo, Warawa, and Wudil. According to Hanga (2005), “Kano State has a daily mean temperature of 300 C to 330C between March- May. The lowest temperature is 10oC during the autumn months of September to February”. Just like any other state, with its peculiarities of climatic condition, Kano has a rainy season, which varies from year to year but which, usually starts from May and ends in October each year. The dry season, on the other hand starts in November and ends in April. Ahmed (2010) concur that “the climate is determined by the movement of two air masses, a moist, rather cool southerly mass, known as south- westerlies and a hot and dry northern air, called the north-easterlies”. The author further states that, “the moist southern air forms a wedge under the lighter dry air and the region where the two air masses meet is primarily an area of pronounced moisture gradient. The humidity gradient is called the inter-tropical discontivity (ITD)”. When the weather changes due to the movement of the ITD, it resulted into four seasons: rani, damina, kaka, and bazara.
Rani: This is the season when the „false‟ start of rain is recorded in May. The weather is hot and dry, during rani season. Damina: This is the humid period when surface runoff is available for stream flow and soil moisture, sufficient for plant growth. Over ninety percent of the annual rainfall is recorded in this season. Kaka: This is the harvest season, between October and November, when farmers are busy harvesting
crops and traders are buying what is offered. Bazara: This is the cool season called „Harmattan‟ between December and February. The skin dries up during this season and special care is needed for protection against cold. Abdu, (2010) reports that, “Kano came into being probably about four hundred years or thereabout after the death of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). However, the year 999A.D appears to be the unanimously agreed period, during which Bagauda Kingdom was established. However, that is not to say communities did not co-exist in Kano before the aforementioned date”. He further reports that “evidence shows that, Kano as a settlement of heterogeneous communities began to be noticed in the historical records of human existence on earth as far back as the Century in which Prophet (P.B.U.H) emerged”. A tale was given on how Kano came into being, which dates back to pre-Islamic era. On this note, therefore, Abdu reports that, There is a fable, which is commonly read to a circle of children that, Kano could have been the Ka‟abah point and the residence of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) if a black dog had not passed in front of the Prophet at the time he was leading a congregational prayer around Dala hill. Fresh as this fable is still in the minds of adults, it simply suggested the belief in the importance and religious (spiritual) relevance of Kano, as far back as, the medieval era or assumes that its evolution was, as early as, the antecedent in the establishment of Ka‟abah or at least the appearance of the Prophet.
Additional inquiry besides this, may not concur, even with the least common fact in the chronicles of the spiritual past of Ka‟abah, the origin, the birth and the household of the Prophet. The apparent fact, which is obviously told in the prevailing accounts on the evolutionary past of Kano, is that, the latter was first settled by varied groups coming from diverse parts of Africa. Nonetheless, Abagayawa, a black smith ethnic group from Gaya, were repeatedly reported as the leading prominent settlers and acclaimed founders of Kano. It is also possible that, there were other groups, for
instance, of potters, farmers and hunters, to which Dala belonged, settling before their arrival. The subjugation of these groups by Bagauda in 999A.D brought about a centralized political authority, headed by the conqueror, hence the commencement of the first kingdom in Kano. It was on record that Bagauda clan ruled Kano up to the period of Jihad in 1804. Musa (2010) reveals that, “at the end of the tenth century A.D, a group of hunters settled on the hills of Kano. These hills are presently known as Dala, Gwauron Dutse, Magwan and Fanisau. Their population increased rapidly, due to the fertile land”. Musa also discloses that “they had no specific political and social system, as what is obtainable presently. However, they had a chief, who was very often the strongest among them. These people had a shrine, which housed the idol Tsunburbura. Barbushe, the servant of the idol, was the chief priest”. The author maintains that “it was through him, the idol communicates to the people. Every year, the Chief Priest would enter the tent of the shrine, to receive the yearly message of the idol to the people. The people would then gather round him, to receive the message”. Musa concludes that “then they would circumnavigate the shrine, nude, and after that sacrifice some sheep and dogs to the shrine before returning home”.
Ado-Kurawa (2010) reports that, “…settlement at Kano dates from the seventh century A.D, by which time Hausa peoples of the area were already engaged in smelting irons. The initial immigrants were identified as Abagayawa who voyaged from Gaya and settled at Dala hill. Their forebear was known as Kano”. The author further reports that “…they lived in groups commanded by their paramount priests. The renowned paramount priest was Barbushe and he was a grandson of Kano who lived around Dala where the celebrated shrine of the people was located”. Ado-Kurawa maintains that “…the people deified spirits, just like the Maguzawa, who are still found in some areas
of Kano. They depended on hunting and gathering. Barbushe was a great hunter and he established the Tsunburbura cult, which remained the divine attention of the community until the dawn of Islam”. The author concludes that “on annual basis, Barbushe chaired over a ritual at a shrine during which, the spirits informed him of the happenings of the subsequent year and beyond”. Bello (undated) argues that “ample evidence refutes the idea that Bagauda was the founder of Kano. For instance, there existed late Stone Age and Iron-Age civilizations as exemplified by rock paintings at Birnin- Kudu and the archeological evidence of iron- working around Dala Hill dated about 700 A.D”. Bello continues that “the most significant aspect of this era is the phenomenon of giant – hunters symbolized by Dala, who was said to be dwelling around Dutsen- Dala. The outstanding figure of this epoch was Barbushe. There existed eleven great chiefs who seemed to have been occupational and communal chiefs”. The author concludes that “Gijigiji was the head of black-smiths and Maguji the head of miners amongst others. Some of the communal chiefs were Danbutuniya, who was said to be the head of Kurmawa and Maguji, the head of Maguzawa”. Bello further argues that, “there were several settlements around Dala during this period. Some of these settlements have been identified as Gazarawa, Fangon-Daura, Dunduzawa, Shariya, Sheme, Ganden–Giji and Tokarawa”. Bello also writes that the Kano Chronicle, a richly detailed manuscript compiled in the eighteenth and nineteenth century A.D, states that, “Barbushe succeeded his forefathers in the knowledge of the lore of Dala, for he was skilled in the various pagan rites”.
In effect, Olofin (1987) in Salisu (2006) reveals that, “a thermoluminiscent dating of some man-made relics conducted at United Kingdom for Bayero University‟s History department suggests that man was actively engaged in iron smelting culture in
Kano, at about 329-389 A.D. So conclusively, people must have been there for more than thousand years, to develop such skills of iron smelting”. This is to say that the historical facts of how Kano originated are quite abundant. Similarly, the author notes that “agriculture is the dominant source of livelihood of the people of Kano, based on its geographical location and features. Larger inhabitants of perhaps sixty-percent of the people are agriculturalists, cultivating lots of crops such as millet, guinea corn, maize, cassava and groundnut, to mention but a few”. Salisu concludes that “…besides that, people are occupationally classified as hunters, fishermen, butchers, dyers, weavers, builders, wood workers, black smith, tanners, leather workers, and traders of various kinds, apart from being farmers”. Olofin (1987) in Salisu (2006) also reveals that “the availability of different raw materials within Kano has brought the emergence and dominance of specialized cottage industries ranging from smiting, which includes extensive use of iron ore for the production of farming implements”. He writes that, “others include household utensils, women ornaments, dyeing of clothes to different colours, tanning and leather works through the processed animal hides and skin, weaving, pottery and embroidery”. From the foregoing, it is evidently clear that, all the versions on the early settlement of Kano, attest to migration and establishment of settlement at the foot of some hills, particularly Dala hill. It was established that, a group of iron smelters and blacksmiths, known as the Abagayawa settled around Dala hill under their leader Gaya, in search of iron ore. It was also established that the arrival of hunters, who inhabited the area, mostly residing around the hills, under their leader, a giant ancestor named Barbushe, gave birth to the early settlers of Kano. Kano thus, began as a communal settlement under a head. It later developed to hamlet, village and perhaps, with the coming of Bagauda the first dynasty was established, around the Dala area.
The Hausa14 Muslim artistic features are displayed either in building motifs, engineered products15 which are the outcome of craft skills, or in other motifs on clothes. The State (Kano) under study has a homogenous culture, in spite of the different ethnic groups and races16 that settled within it. The various migratory trends of peoples from far and near have brought about the incursion of various skills, crafts17, wealth and wisdom, which directly or indirectly have had bearing on the prosperity and ways of life of the people. Thus, Hausa art forms are essentially geometric patterns and lattices, reproduced on a variety of media, from calabashes, gourds, textiles, metals, potteries, and buildings. Others18 include the instrumental art-forms; the court praise singers‟ art-forms; music and dance art-forms and folk comedies. Some amount of impetus has therefore, been gained by assimilating other traditions/culture into the Hausa ways of life. One of such can be attributed to the Islamic practices of the Hausa, who are mostly Muslims and more inclined to Islamic practices, art practices inclusive. By and large, the development and activities of Muslim scholars, particularly in the northern part of the country, brought forth a wide range of symbolic expressions. One of such expressions is calligraphy, derived from Qur‟anic scripts, which serve as the source of inspiration for decorative objects. Statement of the Problem
In the northern part of Nigeria, several people in the society are usually carried away by the artistry of the calligrapher, who embellishes the mosques, to the extent that the Ummah contemplate the innate talent of the calligrapher. For instance, Baba Nasidi of Fagge quarters, acknowledged the awesomeness of the embellishment in the Friday mosques at Fagge, Kano. In a chat with Mallam Kamal, it was obvious that, the embellishment meant nothing to him, other than its manifest beauty. There are several
others, like Baba Nasidi, who are ignorant of the abundant aesthetic qualities of such embellishment. There comprehension and appreciation of such art works, are focused only on the creativity of its makers. There is much written history also about arts and craft in Kano. For instance, there is information and written records on traditional architecture, wall decoration, traditional pottery, leather work, weaving and embroidery, to mention a few. It is therefore, probable that previous researchers, have overlooked mosque embellishment in both the interior and exterior parts, due to similar mind set, like that of Baba Nasidi. In view of this, therefore, the problem of this study is the need, for a written document/in-dept study on the Arabic calligraphic embellishment of mosques in Kano. Hence the intent and focus of this study. Aim and Objectives of the Study The aim of this study is to investigate the aesthetic embellishment inherent in the Arabic calligraphy in Kano mosques with a view to highlighting its environmental influence on mosque design culture, while the objectives are to:
i. trace the development of Arabic calligraphic embellishment of mosques in Kano.
ii. examine the presence of this art work in the mosques within the context of aesthetics
iii. identify the artists commissioned to execute the embellishment
iv. describe in detail and document the artworks.
v. Identify and discuss the Arabic styles employed in the calligraphic embellishment of mosques in Kano.
Justification of the Study At present, due to modernity19 and the tide of technological advancement, traditional mosques in Kano are beginning to give way to modern structures. These traditional mosques bear Arabic calligraphic embellishment both in relief and/or mural. However, they are being demolished and replaced with modern structures. Similarly, during renovation of the mosques (modern inclusive), the Arabic calligraphic inscriptions20 and designs are smeared21 with paint, making the mosques bare and devoid of their former beauty. Arabic calligraphic embellishment on modern mosques, especially on the exterior walls, fades away due to harsh weather or technique of application. Again, some of such calligraphic embellishments produce in relief forms, are in different states of dilapidation22 which, if not documented, will phase out from existence. The usage of calligraphic inscription for embellishment purpose in mosques is partly due to the fact that, Arabic calligraphy has been an indispensable art form in the Islamic religion. In view of its role in recording the words of Allah, Arabic calligraphy is considered as one of the important aspects of Islamic arts. Nearly all Islamic buildings especially mosques, have some types of surface inscription in stone, stucco, marble, mosaic and, or painting. The inscription might be a verse from the Qur‟an, lines of poetry or names and dates. An inscription might be contained in a single panel. Sometimes single words such as Allah or Muhammad (P.B.U.H) are repeated and arranged into patterns over the entire surface of the walls. In view of this development therefore, the need for a detail study and documentation23 in the context of Islamic art and documentation of such inscription for study and analysis, is necessary.
Significance of the Study The study will educate and broaden the minds of non-Arab speaking Muslims, in appreciating the artistry of Arabic calligraphic embellishment of mosques in Kano. The study will add to the body of knowledge on Arabic calligraphic studies and serve as additional literature in art history. The study is also significant, in that it will motivate artists to learn about Arabic calligraphic embellishment, the end result of which may lead them to be self-reliance24 Scope of the Study The scope of the study is the eight Local Government Areas that constitute Kano metropolis. The reason for selecting the metropolis is not far fetched; there is a large number of mosques in these areas. Nassarawa, Fagge, Tarauni, Gwale, Dala, Kumbotso, Ungogo and Municipal Local Government Areas constitute the metropolis. Owing to the numerous mosques in Kano, the scope is delimited to Friday mosques, within the metropolis. The choice of Friday mosques is because they are monumental in terms of variety, sizes and also display of elaborate embellishment and architectural design. Limitation of the Study
Initially, the researcher wanted to examine the religious function of the Arabic calligraphic embellishment, but because of the religious sensitivity25 of it, the study is limited to the aesthetic aspect. Similarly, some Mallams who were consulted during pilot and field work, who were also the custodians of specific mosques, would not discuss the embellishment with the researcher. Rather, they referred the researcher to other Mallams who they believed would give strict religious interpretation of such. The research work was also limited to some selected Friday mosques, because not all the Friday mosques in Kano metropolis are embellished with Arabic calligraphic
inscription. This is as a result of the varied interest and views held by different tradition on Islam. Furthermore, some of the Friday mosques visited during fieldwork were usually under lock and key, unlike what was obtainable before. On further inquiry; it was revealed that since the issue of Boko Haram insurgency in Kano, strict security measures have been taken, to ensure maximum security. The mosques are only open at prayer time from Zuhr (12.30 pm- 2.00pm) unlike before, that people (especially hawkers) do take siesta at the mosques, in the afternoon. Conceptual Framework In other to articulate the conceptual frame work for this study, it is imperative to put into cognizance relevant views of some scholars which are important foundation in creating a conceptual frame for this work. According to George (1971), “aesthetic is the study of values in the realm of beauty. Aesthetic values are usually difficult to assess because they are likely to be personal and subjective. A particular work of art evokes varying responses from different people”. Dakyes (2009) supports this view and states that, “aesthetics is not easy to understand, it is complex to be understood. It is however, seen as the theory of having the ability of feeling and to express sensation, it is equally a theory of beauty”. In addition to this, Ada (2013) says that, the concept of aesthetics can refer to “the sense as appreciation of beauty in any aspect of artist‟s work”. The author also argues that, “aesthetics is a difficult concept to be understood and appreciated by many individuals, yet aesthetic cannot be ignored in the field of appreciation of art works”. The position of Preble, Preble and Frank (2002) on aesthetics is that, “it refers awareness of beauty or to that quality in a work of art or other mandate or natural form which evokes a sense of elevated awareness in the viewer”.
In her study on „Beauty and Islam: Aesthetic in Islamic Art and Architecture‟, Gonzalez (2001) collaborates the preceding view and informs that, “the aesthetic language implemented in Arabic calligraphic works remains difficult to grasp while considering their relationship with the visual media”. The author further informs that “in the Alhambra for example, the medium itself constitutes a distinct aesthetic entity with which the decorative writings maintains a meaning-specific link, based on communication of semantic properties of both the textual and the visual significance of the work of art”. Gonzalez also states that, “aesthetics is the study of texts through which one defines the concept of beauty and the doctrine of the creation of art, and the direct observation of artistic forms as meaningful things and the experience they induce”.
In line with the above views, Ford (2009) concurs that “aesthetic is the philosophical branch of inquiry concerned with beauty, art and perception”. The author maintains that “in a more general sense, aesthetics as a philosophy refers to the study of sensory values. This means the judgment or evaluation by the senses and through time has come to refer to critical or philosophical thought about art, culture and /or nature. ” Ford concludes that, “from its philosophical roots in ancient Greece, where thinkers like Socrates and Plato considered the inherent meaning and beauty of things, aesthetics is also used to refer to the critique of art and design”. The term aesthetics, according to Mark (2009), “was coined in the early eighteenth century A.D by a German Philosopher named Alexander Boumagarten. He derived the word from the Greek word for perception, and he used it to name what he considered to be a field of knowledge. The knowledge gained by sensory, experience combined with feelings”. Mark further argues that “like art, aesthetics existed long before now. Just like cultures around the world and across time, have created what is now call art, so they have thought about
nature and purpose of their creations and focused on certain words for evaluating and appreciating them” Further conceptual framework, which is indispensable in this study is that of Lamei, Abd-El-Alim and Zeinhum (1996), which seeks to address the concept from Islamic point of view, and argue that “Islam encourages the Muslim Ummah to adorn and embellish structures on the condition that this should be done in a simple way, provided the embellishment is not lavishly done”. The authors also state that “Islam urged humans to look and contemplate the aesthetic feature of the universe thus …have they not observed the sky above them, how We have constructed and beautified it and how there are no rifts therein” (Qur‟an, Chapter 50: Verse 6). The authors further state that “the Qur‟an also wakes (up) in humans the ability to recognize the aesthetic values entrusted by the Creator in the universe through numerous verses” (Chapter 16: Verse 8, 13, 14 and Chapter 53, Verses 27-28). Lamei, et-al (1996) concludes that “the Holy Qur‟an has been a source of inspiration and awakening of human‟s perception through recognizing the styles of form such as diversity and variety of colour, material, texture and shape of the surroundings… also in accordance with unity and symmetry”. „Have thou not seen that Allah causeth water to fall from the sky, We produce therewith fruit of diverse hues, and among the hills are streaks white and red, of diverse hues and others raven-black, and of men and beasts and cattle, in like manner, diverse hues.‟ (Surah 35-Verse 27-28).
From the preceding concepts on aesthetics, it is clear that many other views of aesthetic works exist. In other words, the concepts on aesthetic over the years, has metamorphosed into different perspective. The perception on aesthetics varies, and it is subjective differing between people and culture. For instance, Cheryl (2003) in Ada (2013) “looked at aesthetics in the direction of dress fashion of the eight Century A.D
styles worn by people in Europe as aesthetically built. Aesthetics can also be viewed as production with beauty of art and the understanding of beautiful things‟‟. Two of the examples the author gave, include: “landscape made in artistic way, and beautiful scene to look at, the next example he gave, was colour combination”. It is in that sense that this study relied on the conceptual articulation of George, (1971), Dakyes (2009), Ada (2013) and Lamei et-al (1996) on aesthetic. The first three are used in describing the aesthetics of the art work, for instance, colours used, repeat patterns, shape of the entire work and form displayed. In other words, the content of the art work is discussed. The last author‟s view discussed and interpreted the religious significance of the Arabic calligraphy, for instance, benedictory praise, pious names, attributes of Allah, prayer and quotations from Holy Qur‟an and Hadith. Lastly, the conceptual framework of this study was inspired, adopted and analyzed according to the Hadith that states: “Allahu Jamaal Yuhibuul Jamaal”, meaning “Allah the Utmost Beauty loves Beauty” Definition of Terms Rani, a Hausa word which means hot and dry season. Damina, a Hausa word which means warm and wet season. Kaka, it is also a Hausa word that has dual meaning: first, it means a word used to refer to grandmother. Secondly, it is used within the context of this study to mean warm and dry seasons. Bazara, another Hausa word for cool and dry season Maguzawa, a term used by the Hausa to designate all Hausa-speaking non-Muslims. Wangarawa, a collection of ethnic groups from Mali namely Bambuk, Baure, Sieka, Malinke, Mande and Soninke.
Tsunburbura, a spirit that is worshiped by Barbushe Ummah, A people, a community or a nation, in particular the nation of Islam which is the equivalent of before the days of modern Western –style nationalism Umayyad, this is the first dynasty of Islam which began with the reign of Mu‟awiyyah in 41/661 and ended with that of Marwan II in 132/750. The family name is that of a clan descended from the Umayyah of the Quraysh Mihrab, A niche in the wall of a mosque to indicate the Qibla, the direction of Mecca towards which all Muslims turn in prayer. It also provides a reflecting surface so that the voice of the Imam is clearly heard by those behind the minbar. Minbar also written and pronounced mimbar. It is a pulpit in a mosque used by the Imam for preaching the Friday sermon (Kutbah). It is actually a movable staircase. A speaker‟s podium has come into use in some places instead of the minbah. Ibn Arabic word for son, hence son of Tulun Ka’abah A large cube stone structure, covered with a black cloth, which stands in the center of the Grand mosque of Mecca. Neither the stone nor the Ka‟abah are objects of worship, but they represent a sanctuary consecrated to Allah and it is towards the Ka‟abah that Muslims orient themselves in prayer, thus the Ka‟abah is a spiritual center, a support for the concentration of consciousness upon the Divine Presence. Qur’an the Holy Book of Muslims is also spelt Koran al-Qur‟an (the reading) or (the recitation). It is also known as al- kitab (the Book), adh-dhikr (the remembrance). In formal speech it is called al-Qur‟an al-Kareem (the Noble Koran) or al-Qur‟an al-majid (the Glorious Koran). Hadith, speech, report, account specifically traditions relating to the deeds and sayings of the Prophet as recounted by his companions.
Abbasids the second dynasty of Islamic Empire which succeeded the Umayyad in 132/749 Fatimids the Fatimid‟s were the Isma‟ilis, direct descendants of the early Shi‟ites from whom the Twelve – Imam Shi‟ites are an off shoot. Ottomans, also called Osmanlis, they were the clan of the Ghuzz (Oghuz) branch of Turks, descended from a chieftain of the thirteenth century A.D called Ertoghrul, whose son Uthman ( alternate spellings are Othman, Osman and Usman) founded a principality in Asia Minor. The clan controlled Western Anatolia. Sahn (courtyard)


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