Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gold as a decorative art in the Muslim Near East

    Saturday, April 27, 2013   No comments

Niki Gamm

In Islam hoarding gold and silver is denounced in the Qur’an and willyet artists have long used these metals in a variety of artistic forms

Gold has a long history of decorative use in the Middle East starting with Egypt and continuing through Sumer, Babylon, Greece and Rome. In Islam, hoarding gold and silver is denounced in the Qur’an [Chap. 7, V. 34 and 35] and will result in punishment in the afterlife; accumulating it to use in God’s way was not and Islamic traditions [hadith] reinforced this. In spite of this, the prohibition seems never to have stopped the use of these two precious metals. It was impossible to totally ban the conspicuous use of the two luxury metals although not many examples from prior to the 12th century have survived. Many items would have been carried off as plunder or destroyed in the pillaging of cities and towns during the interminable wars and invasions that wracked the Near East. Gold and silver would also have been melted down to produce coinage.

Ed Isr

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