Posted by M.G._Khalid on 09-20-2003 05:54 AM:

A Fantastic Islamic Portal

A Fantastic Islamic Portal
Dear brothers/Sisters in Islam
Assalaamu Alikum
I have been surfing the net for quite some time now. There is no
single site which could give us leads to all the authentic
information . Alhamdulillaah I came across this site - - which contains exactly what I was looking
for and more. May Allaah bless those who have developed it.It has several features like checking salat times of over 5
million cities across the globe to precision, good islamic
downloads (Adhan), the Gregorian-Hijri Date Converter, a good
directory of Mosques and especially the sites that are linked are
the most authentic and reliable ones, hence the probability of
being misled by the propagators of false information is
eliminated.I use this site as a yardstick to assess information of other sites. Hope this will help you too.

Posted by Richard Farber on 09-20-2003 07:25 AM:

Dear Mr khalid

you wrote

"A Fantastic Islamic Portal
Dear brothers/Sisters in Islam
Assalaamu Alikum "

Are only brothers and sisters in Islams worthy of being greeted with "peace unto you"?
Are only brothers and sisters in Islam worthy of being addressed at all?
Are only brothers and sisters in Islam worthy of learning of the religion?

May peace be upon you Mr. Khalid and all those that look into this site --
wa kul alalam. [and all the world]

Richard Farber

Posted by David R.E. Hunt on 09-21-2003 06:33 AM:

Greetings All- It strikes me as being of some symbolic significance, this embellishment of windows and especially doorways. Note in the first photo, this suggestion of doorways or arches, executed in rivet or bolt heads. In some large doors such as this, there are often a second smaller functional door in the place of those suggested here by ornaments.

This second ornament is a strikingly beautiful archway, a giant mezuzzum if you will, executed in marble and decorated with arabic calligraphy, embellishes the gateway to the Souks or markets of the walled city of Marrakech. It is worth noting that the stalactite decoration is a design characteristic of Seldjuk architecture,as are some embellishments of those said famous Mosques constructed by the Almohads.- Dave

Posted by Steve Price on 09-21-2003 10:03 AM:

Hi Dave

I think the portal Khalid refers to is a web portal - a place opening onto other websites within some area of interest (Islam, in this case) - rather than a door or doorway.

The embellishment of doors in Islamic architecture seems to me to be similar in principle to the same sort of thing done in western architecture (take a look at the entrance to any cathedral), and even in tribal Asian cultures (ensi comes to mind in this context).

The doors to single-family homes (and even to garages) typically include some kind of decoration around here. I wonder what some art historian from Mars would make of it.


Steve Price

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 09-21-2003 03:55 PM:

Vestigal Images


You certainly have a sharp eye, noticing that David's post had nothing at all to do with M.G. Khalid's
The web site M.G Khalid refers us to is quite comprehensive, by the way. Thank you.

I will further David's non sequitur by suggesting that vestigal images, such as the doorways outlined in bolt-heads, are not entirely uncommon in eastern artistic traditions.
Turkmen cherpys are decorated with "sleeves" that are too small for the wearer to fit an arm into. I was told that sometimes these "sleeves" are wrapped around the wearer's neck, similar to a scarf. Otherwise they hang loose at the back. Images of tile work on carpets follows this same tradition.

Back to the doorway.
I believe that the reason for the small door in a larger door is that before automobiles, most people rode horses. The doorways into courtyards needed to be tall enough to accomodate a horse and rider. You will see many doorways in Europe and Asia this tall.
The smaller door was for a single person to enter, when not on horseback. (and for the guard to the doorway of OZ to peer out of when Dorothy arrived)
The door in David's post has retained the decorative effect of the smaller doorway built into the larger doorway by outlining it with bolt-heads.
Some may speculate that this is the tradition that resulted in the engsi design, as you have noted.

This analogy can even be taken further when you consider the width of standard raiload tracks.
Supposedly the first train cars were made by carriage makers. They made the distance between the train wheels the same as their carriage wheels, because that was the size of their jigs used to make carriages. The carriage wheels were that distance apart due to the need to insure that the axles did not break when the carriage was driven over the rutted dirt roads in England. And the reason that the ruts in the dirt roads were that distance apart is that the Roman chariots that made the ruts had wheels that distance apart. Just wide enough for the chariot to fit the rear ends of two war horses between the wheels.

Apochryphaly yours,

Patrick Weiler