This beautifully illustrated history depicts the origin and development of the most visible element of Islamic architecture: the minaret. The argument is iconoclastic - that the minaret, long understood to have been invented in the early years of Islam as the place from which the muezzin gives the call to prayer, was actually invented some two centuries later to be a universal symbol of the presence of Islam. Originally published in 1989, this new edition has been thoroughly revised, expanded and generously illustrated in colour, substantially broadening both the chronological and geographical scope. Coverage spans from early Islam to the modern world, and from Iran, Egypt, Turkey and India to West and East Africa, the Yemen and Southeast Asia, in a sweeping tour of the minaret's position as the symbol of Islam.
Jonathan M. Bloom is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of fifteen books and hundreds of articles on all aspects of Islamic art and architecture, including the art of the Fatimid dynasty, and the history of paper. He and his wife and colleague Sheila Blair edited the prize-winning 3-volume Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture (2009) and organize the Hamad bin Khalifa Biennial Symposia on Islamic Art and Culture.