chapter  6
5 Pages

Secondary Ideas

WithBilal Badat

The relatively concise length of The Transformation of Islamic Art During the Sunni Revival reflects Yasser Tabbaa's approach to the subject matter. He limits the geographical and temporal scope of his study to the territories that were either directly or indirectly affected by the political conflict between the Abbasids and the Fatimids from the tenth to the thirteenth century. He argues, the new scripts were more legible and thus more suitable for expressing the "clear and explicit nature of the Word of God". Tabbaa proposes that the use of the muqarnas in eleventh century Baghdad followed the triumph of Ash'ari thought and became a symbolic manifestation of the Ash'ari concept of an occasionalist universe governed by divine causation. Its implementation by other Sunni polities not only promulgated this theological principle but also paid homage to the Abbasid seat of power. Tabbaa established a clear intentionality in the development of artistic and architectural forms as expressions of theological tenets.