For Your Information
This section of the web site offers readings, images, and maps that can help students to further understand course assignments, but which are not required reading. In other words, the readings on this page are for your Information (FYI). Links from the five sections of the course come here, and are marked thus: Optional (FYI) Reading.
From Monday, February 12:
The most important element in any mosque is the mihrab, the niche that indicates the direction of Mecca. Because it functions as the focal point in prayer ritual, its decoration was executed with great skill and devotion. This example from the Madrasa Imami in Isfahan, founded in A.H. 755/A.D. 1354, is composed of a mosaic of small glazed tiles fitted together to form various geometric and floral patterns and inscriptions. The inscriptional frieze in muhaqqaq script containing sura IX:14?22 from the Qur'an runs from the bottom right to the bottom left; a second inscription, in kufic script, with sayings of the Prophet, borders the pointed arch of the niche; and a third inscription, in cursive, is set in a frame at the center of the niche. The bottom of the niche, just below the central inscription, and a substantial part of the beginning and end of the main inscription were restored by skillful potters in Isfahan in the mid-1920s.
Al-Fatiha (The Opening)
Audio (click to dowload Real Audio reading of this section of the Qur'an)
Surah 1. The Opening
1. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
2. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
3. Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
4. Master of the Day of Judgment.
5. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
6. Show us the straight way,
7. The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.