Islam and the Arts

In this section, we present a selection of essays and articles from scholars exploring Islam and the Arts. With expert commentary on the roots of qawwali, the sound of the voice in Qur’anic chant, a closer look at the stories of Dastangoi, and the artistry of Qur’anic calligraphy, explore the arts of the Muslim world.

Each piece features a list of further resources at the end.

The Magical Tale of Hoshruba, a Dastangoi Classic by Musharraf Ali Farooqi

Music and Islam: A Deeper Look by Hussein Rashid, Hofstra University

Notes on Islam and Popular Musical Expression in West Africa, by Ryan Thomas Skinner, Columbia University

The Power of the Word in the Arts of Islam, by Hiromi Lorraine Sakata, UCLA

Qawwali and the Art of Devotional Singing, by Hussein Rashid, Hofstra University

Qawwali: From Sufi Ritual to Commercial Pop, by Hiromi Lorraine Sakata, UCLA

Sama’: Music and the Sufi Mystical Experience, by Bruce Lawrence, Duke University

In Search of Sacred Spaces, by Samina Quraeshi, University of Miami

Sulayman Al-Bassam in the Arab Shakespeare Tradition, by Margaret Litvin, Boston University

Urdu Poetry and the Masnavi Tradition, by Asad ur Rahman, Brooklyn College, CUNY (retired)

The World of Persian Music and Poetry, by Steve Blum, CUNY

Writing the Word of God: Calligraphy and the Qur'an, by Jacqueline Ganem, Asia Society Museum Fellow