عنوان مقاله [English]
Undoubtedly, iconography of the Prophet (PBUH) and the Saints of the Islam is one of the main challenges in the Islamic art. Various theories on the history of the iconography in Islamic art have been provided. Despite the disagreement among the scholars about the first portraits in Islamic art, the historical evidences reveal that the iconography grew widely in the Iran from the Ilkhanid dynasty period. Before this period, visual depiction of the Islam prophet did not receive great attention by the Muslim painters. On the other hand, many scholars have been concerned with challenges and questions related to the prohibition of iconography in Islamic art. The questions arise as to why did Muslims condemn iconography in the early periods of Islam? How is it about the iconography before the Islamic period? Does the prohibition originate from the fact that Muslims did not really understand iconography? Despite the deliberate eradication of icons, how did early Muslims deal with, preserve, or spread the figurative representations and characteristics of the Islam Prophet (SW) and saints? Did they totally prohibit any types of icons? If not, what is a right form of iconography in Islamic art? Pursuing the answer to the raised questions would lead us to the main question of the research: what is Shamayel-neghasht in Islamic art? Investigating literature and inscriptions of the Islamic era clearly demonstrates a non-figurative type of iconography which no specific studies have been carried out on it. Thus, the present study aims to explore the identity of iconography in Islamic art as well as introducing the new type of inscriptive iconography known as Shamayel-neghasht. Applying a descriptive-analytic study (library-based research method), we try to present a detailed reconsideration of the iconography in Islamic art, its different types, and a comprehensive study of the Shamayel-neghasht in Islamic art. Islam Prophet (SW) and Muslim saints played tremendously important roles in the history of Islam society; however, no serious research has been carried out on the issue of Shamayel -negasht that is originated from the Islamic traditions. It seems that the issue has not been considered significantly in Islamic art research. In this regard and in order to have a full picture of the issue, first, we would define icon and iconography, its historical background, and the related questions. Then we would address the research questions and explain the different types of iconography in Islamic art including Shamayel -negasht. Finally, we would introduce and explain the latter type extensively.
The findings of the research indicate the advent of a non-figurative iconography known as Shamayel-negasht in Islamic art. Based on the presented evidences and documents, the results of this study can be stated as: In investigations of iconography in Islamic art until now, most of the views and attentions of researchers have been focused on the effects of image iconography. Many scholars have linked iconography in Islamic art to the issue of the prohibition of portraiture in Islam. From this perspective, they have dealt with iconography in Islamic art with two approaches: A) The absence of iconographic works in Islamic art, same as the Christian art in the manner and function, has been related to the prohibition of portraiture in Islam, and B) the existence of works depicting the image of saints, have been considered as an action by Muslim artists to refuse this prohibition and to neglect or struggle this Islamic Sharia issue. According to the studies in the field of image jurisprudence that have been done so far, the issue of the sanctity of portraiture in Islam can be considered as one of the reasons for the tendency towards calligraphy and written iconography, but it is not all or the only reason for this issue.
Christian iconography and written iconography in Islamic art are similar in their use of the spiritual image; but what sets them apart is the difference in the representation of the spiritual image, which differs according to ideological goals, power systems and the different ways in which the power of images is used to evoke emotion, refinement, or imitation. One of the effective factors in the difference between the bibliography of the sacred texts and the iconography of the saints in different religions is the difference in the display of revelation. As a result, a same difference affects the iconographic style of the saints and the manner in which the ritual arts appear and emerge. From another perspective, this difference is a consequence of the time of the emergence of religions and the interaction with the dominant culture of the period. Islam used visual alternatives to the real images to combat idolatry and propagate and teach its religion; however Christianity used popular beliefs of the time, the belief in human gods, to promote and gain acceptance among the Greeks.
On the other hand, by examining the nature and aura of revelation in Islam and the situation of calligraphy and writing the verses of the Qur'an, we can say that: the concept and content of the writing is the basis of Islam. Even if the issue of the prohibition of portraiture and iconography was not raised, it is still impossible to imagine Islam as a religious and cultural system without text, writing and reading. As a result, instead of attributing all the issues in the field of iconography and the reason for the popularity of calligraphy in the Islamic world to the negative claim of the prohibition of Muslims in making images, the Islamic prohibition of iconography could be considered as only one of the reasons for these issues and not all of them. Therefore, it is more appropriate to consider calligraphy as a natural expression of the writing in Islamic culture. In this way, the reason for the iconography of the saints and the tendency towards written iconography in Islamic art can be sought in the nature and aura of revelation in Islam. Accordingly, the difference in the nature and aura of revelation in Islam can be considered as one of the main and important reasons in the tendency to written imagery of Islamic saints and the formation of iconography. As a result, in answer to the main question of the research, it can be said that: written iconography and Shamayel-negasht are word portraits, written portraits and theological images of the Prophet Muhammad and the saints with unique characteristics that distinguish it from other branches of art such as writing, calligraphy, painting and gilding in Islamic art and Christian iconography; so, these works can be considered as another type of specific iconography of Islamic art. The ritualism and rituals of written iconography make it compatible with Christian iconography. The text and content of written iconographic works are taken from the tradition of iconography and biography of saints in the early Islamic centuries, in which the names, titles, signs and external and internal descriptions of the face and character of saints have been written using calligraphy and gilding. In fact, it seems that the written iconography belongs to around the 8th century from the late Timurid period in Herat and Khorasan region in the form of "symbolic and semiotic Shamayel -negasht ", based on mystical beliefs and influenced by the Sufi sects, especially the hurufism, Nuqtavi, Naqshbandi. In Safavid period, due to political and religious developments, it is followed in the form of "Iranian Shamayel -negasht " or “Iranian Hilyah” and with a Shia-mystical approach. Almost at the same time, one of the famous examples of Shamayel-negasht is the Ottoman Hilyat- nigari (inscription of the adornment of Islam prophet) with a sunni-mystical approach which is continued until today. These works have been performed on the basis of insights, beliefs and rituals with various techniques and styles in different periods.
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