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Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2019, 3(7): 161-176 Back to browse issues page
Content analysis of Quran inscriptions in Goharshad mosque of Mashhad and Hakim mosque in Isfahan
Shahriar Shekarpour 1, Manzarbano Oladghobad2, Abolfazl Abdollahifard3
1- Assistant Professor, Department of Islamic Art, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz , Iran. , A.aabdollahie@tabrizia.ac.ir
2- M. A. Student in Department of Islamic Art, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz , Iran.
3- Assistant Professor, Department of Islamic Art, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz , Iran.
Abstract:   (6244 Views)
In the Islamic era, the mosque is known as an architectural index and is considered a sacred and blessed place for the Muslims and has a special status and importance. The architecture of the mosque was gradually embellished with decorations, and over the time, it was filled with special concepts that are full of semantic and decorative elements in Islamic architecture that have extremely benefited from the teachings of Qur’an the Muslim Bible. This diamond engraving has been executed with various Quran, prayer, historical and divine names, and sometimes with the techniques of tiling, brickwork and craftsmanship. The analysis of the contents of the inscriptions used in Goharshad and Hakim mosque and also the exploration of the differences and similarities of the inscriptions of the two mosques are the purposes of this article. Which is in response to the following questions: What are the implications in the Qur’an inscriptions of the Hakim Mosque of Isfahan and Goharshad of Mashhad? What is the difference and similarities between the two mosque inscriptions? The study shows that in the inscriptions of Goharshad mosque, Thuluth script is most used among other scripts, and the Cathay bearings, Scrollwork arabesque bearings motifs coincided with the decoration of the building. In Hakim Mosque of Isfahan, the index script in the inscription is Cufic, Sotto script), and most of the inscriptions are on the same script, and also Thuluth script as well as Nasta’liq script are used in the inscription of this collection. Tobeh, Asra ,Jom ‘eh, Dahr  are among the common chapters between these two collections. Although in the Goharshad Mosque of Mashhad and Hakim mosque of Isfahan share similarities in the structure and content of the inscriptions, the decorative enrichment and Quran inscriptions of Goharshad Mosque are more than Hakim Mosque. The research method in this study is descriptive content analysis and collecting the necessary information was through library studies, observation of collected works and fieldwork.
Keywords: The Art of Teimouri, Safavid Art of Goharshad Mosque of Mashhad, Hakim Isfahan Mosque, Quran Inscriptions.

After the emergence of Islam, Mosque was considered as main and holy element of Islamic architecture for representing different arts like inscription writing. The Great Mosque of Goharshad was established in Teimouri age to the request of Gohar Shad Aqa, the wife of Shahrokh Teimouri. Hakim Mosque is also a permanent monument form Safavid age adorned with different inscriptions and considerable decorations. In this research two mosques of Goharshad in Mashhad and Hakim in Isfahan about Quran inscriptions will be studied.

Objectives and Necessity
The objective of this research is presenting a fundamental analysis about concepts and meanings of Quran inscriptions in two mosques of Goharshad and Hakim and examining this concepts wit thought and religious backgrounds. The necessity of this research related to content analysis of these works and relationship between them. 

Research questions and hypotheses 
Research questions are: what concepts are presented in Quran inscriptions in two mosques of Goharshad in Mashhad and Hakim in Isfahan in terms of political and religious contexts of two periods? What are the common and different points of inscriptions? Hypotheses are: as the two mentioned monuments are established and inscription writing in two different periods in terms of time and place and ideology and religion in different thinking contexts, probably choosing verses and sayings will have considerable common and different points coming from thinking  and religious orientations of rules of those periods. 

Research Methodology
In this research, it has been attempted to gather information by library studies and field observation, then the data are analyzed by descriptive-analytical method.

Research Background
Goharshad mosque in Mashhad is considered as one of the main monuments of period of Shahrokh Teimouri. It was built by the command of his wife, Goharshad Aqa in vicinity of Holy Shrine of Imam Reza. Its architect was Qavm Al-din Shirazi, famous architect in Teimouri Period has not only the responsibility of designing and building, but tile working and mosque decorations. The dome of Goharshad Mosque has been decorated with turquoise color with the glory expression “There is just one God, He is Allah”. Hakim mosque in Isfahan is one of the Iran’s architecture masterpieces in Safavid age, having various Banaee (geometric Kofi) scripts. This mosques architecture, tile working and especially Banaee script in this mosque can be considered among the great works of Safavid period and the age after this period. This Mosque was established in period of Second Shah Abbas by “Hakim Mohammad David” (his doctor).
 This mosque is located in an old neighborhood called “Bab Al-Dasht”. The biggest and most beautiful altar in Hakim Mosque is altar under dome having special decorations. Ekhlas chapter has been used in some locations of Hakim mosque. Hakim mosque and Goharshad mosque have been studied in many articles by researchers individually or comparing with other complexes in other terms. Quran verses are the most important themes used in architecture inscriptions especially in holy monuments. 
Analytical examination of inscriptions
In Teimouri period these themes was affected by Sunny religion in the country and emergence of Sufi and Shia Movements and Sufi social circles. In religion inscriptions of Goharshad mosque, verse18 of Toubeh Chapter has been scripted. Verse18 of Toubeh Chapter mentions five features for builders of center of worship: faith in God, faith in doomsday, saying prayers, giving alimony, being modesty in front of Glorious God. 

Examinations of decoration and adornment of the two mentioned monuments indicates this point that in both complex Quran katibehs, divine names, Persian poems and also Kufi manucripts have been used. The theme of these verses is about purity, uniqueness and glory of God. In these verses it has been emphasized on worshipping God, saying prayers, biulding mosques, being honest and faith in Doosday. By studying these katibehs it becomes evident that  for Teymoori Empirs these works have been a device for expressing kingdom styles, but Safavi rulers used it as concepts and religious slogans supporting Imams and their revelation. Among the different points of Katibes of the two metioned monuments, we can point to this matter that in Great Goharshad mosque the Thoulth manuscript in inscription writing of this monument is among the top of other manuscripts, but in Hakim mosque, Banaee script is evident in its inscriotion writing and also in inscriptions of Gorarshad mosque names of Holy Imams was not evident-except the name of Imam Ali (P.B.U.H). While in Hakim mosque- in south gate and north façade- there are inscriptions adoned by His names. Nastaliq script in these mosques has been used for writing inscriotions of Persian poems that this case is among the common aspects of inscription writing in these two mosques.
 Among the other inscription differences between these two mosques is using Mohaghegh script in the form of a mother and child in edge of Maqsoureh gate. About our hypothesis it can be said that most of the inscriptions in Hakim moaque (Quran and Haith) has fouced on the issue of province as one of the most findamental principles of Sia, but in Goharshad mosque the focus has been on uniqueness of God and His instructions.   
Keywords: The Art of Teimouri, Safavid Art of Goharshad Mosque of Mashhad, Hakim Isfahan Mosque, Quran Inscriptions.
Full-Text [PDF 1096 kb]   (1556 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2019/07/23 | Accepted: 2019/07/23 | Published: 2019/07/23
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Shekarpour S, Oladghobad M, Abdollahifard A. Content analysis of Quran inscriptions in Goharshad mosque of Mashhad and Hakim mosque in Isfahan. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2019; 3 (7) :161-176
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