Question 01. Where did Abdur Rehman 1 import fruit trees and other plants from? Why?
Answer: After the fall of the Umayyad Dynasty, Abdur Rehman came and settled in Southern Spain. He wanted to recreate the glory of Damascus in the Iberian Peninsula. That’s why he imported fruit trees from Damascus in order to promote agriculture in the Iberian Peninsula.
Question 02. What can we achieve again if we enkindle in ourselves the master passion (ishq)?
Answer: If we enkindle the master passion in ourselves, we can regain the glory and dominance in the world that we once had. We will achieve exalted spiritual and moral character. In addition to that, we will re-establish our connection with our Allah which is the most important thing.
Question 03. What is the view of Iqbal about the Masjid of Cordoba? Explain his view in your own words?
Answer: According to Iqbal, the Masjid of Cordoba is built by those who had deep love and ishq for Allah Almighty. Iqbal says that Ishq is like a burning desire to achieve the goal of self-actualization. For Iqbal, Masjid of Cordoba is a symbol of Muslim glory and dominance to far off lands. He also calls it a reflection of Love of people for their Allah.
Question 04. What, in your opinion, is the significance of the Masjid of Cordoba to present day Muslims? Explain.
Answer: The masjid of Cordoba is important for Muslims because it reminds them of the golden days of Muslim rule. When we see these type of monuments, they remind us our glorious past which becomes a source of inspiration and motivation for us to work hard to restore the glory and dominance the Muslims had throughout the world.
Why did Iqbal greatly appreciate a faraway Masjid in Spain, when there were superb buildings of Muslim era in sub-continent?
Answer: Iqbal greatly appreciated the Masjid of Cordoba because he had a desire to pay tribute to the Ishq of the builders of the Masjid. It was a sort of pilgrimage that he paid to an outstanding symbol of faith. He wanted to experience the grandeur and glory of Muslim era when Muslims ruled Spain which further became a source of providing roots to the enlightenment of Europe. He was so moved with the architecture and glory of the Masjid that he expressed his feelings in the form of a poetic piece ‘the Masjid-e-Cordoba’
- Imagine yourself to be standing in the middle of the prayer hall of the Masjid of Cordoba; now develop a paragraph in spatial order on what you see around you.
Answer: While standing in the middle of the prayer hall of the Masjid of Cordoba one can be astonished to see 857 columns of the Masjid with a superb view of two-tiered red bricked symmetrical arches. In the prayer hall, the horseshoe arched mihrab is the center of attraction for the visitors along with the Qibla wall of the mihrab. Two lines of calligraphy in kofic style catch the attention of people that are inscribed on the arch and Qibla wall of the mihrab both on the top and either side of the arch. One can identify a dome over the mihrab that is built of crisscrossing ribs creating pointed arches. They are all extensively and beautifully covered with gold mosaic in a radial pattern.
- Write an expository essay showing comparison and contrast between Masjid of Cordoba and the Badshahi Masjid.
For Muslims Masjid is the most important place where they can pray and find peace of mind and soul. All over the globe, wherever the Muslims make their move, they establish either a simple or a lavish masjid that facilitates them in their daily five times prayer. In Indo-Pak subcontinent, one of the outstanding landmarks is the Badshahi Masjid built during Mughal era some 400 years back. Similarly, the Masjid of Cordoba in the European state of Spain stands with all its glory and grandeur representing the architecture of 784 C.E.
The Masjid of Cordoba served as a Church before Muslim Amir Abd-ur-Rehman I who converted it into a masjid. The most notable element of the Masjid of Cordoba is its giant arches with over 1,000 columns made of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. What distinguishes the Majid of Cordoba from any other Masjid of the world are the double arches as they were considered a new architectural feature.
Not only this, the rich and exquisite design patterns mark it standing as one of the most alluring masjids that exist. Apart from this, another outstanding feature of Masjid of Cordoba is the horseshoe arched mihrab present in the prayer hall. It was basically a common feature in the architecture of the Visigoths. Later it eventually spread across North Africa from Morocco to Egypt and is an easily identified characteristic of Western Islamic architecture. The dazzling dome above the mihrab catches the attention of the visitors as it is built of crisscrossing ribs that create pointed arches all lavishly covered with gold mosaic in a radial pattern.
The Badshahi Masjid of Lahore is a clear representation of Muslim architecture. The mosque’s full name “Masjid Abul Zafar Muhy-ud-Din Mohammad Alamgir Badshah Ghazi” is written in inlaid marble above the vaulted entrance. The main entrance gateway is the unique feature of the masjid, it is a two-storey edifice built of red sandstone elaborately decorated with framed and carved paneling on each of its facades. Red sandstone is a notable feature that makes this masjid different from others. Prayer hall, courtyard, minarets all are made of red sandstone. The masjid has three white domes that are the signature of Muslim architecture of a masjid.
The double-arched columns differ the Masjid of Cordoba from Badshahi Masjid. On the other hand, the red sandstone architecture of Badshahi Masjid helps to make it stand out in architecture and style. The Badshahi Majid has four octagonal minarets in the four corners whereas the Masjid of Cordoba has one of its kind that contained two staircases. Floral patterns and intricate floral Mughal frescoes of the Badshahi Masjid differentiate it from the Masjid of Cordoba. Masjid holds a significant place in the life of Muslims therefore, they must be built keeping in view their glory and grandeur and people must offer their prayers in a masjid to make it alive in true letter and spirits.