Islamic Architecture in Jordan
Ruins and religious sites
First broadcast date
The program deals with one of the schools of Islamic architecture which was used in building castles and used during the Islamic conquests.
The Islamic architecture has been preserved and used in building mosques.
This school has contributed to building castles, the Omayyad’s Palaces and desert castles using Arabesque decoration in mosques.
Television - Own production
JRTV - Jordan Television
Tourism and cultural sites
- Historical heritages / Arab and muslim worlds
- Tourism and cultural sites / Architecture
- Tourism and cultural sites / Archaeological sites
Credits / Cast
- Khelifa Isaad - Speaker
- Al Majali Bakr - Author of original work
- Ezzoghbi Nasser - Director
- Jordan - Transjordan Plateau - Provinces
Petra 's fortresses - desert castles - Aqaba - mosques - islamic mosaic - views of mosques in China
Islamic architecture in Jordan
This documentary focuses on Islamic architecture, looking at three specific periods: the expansion of Islam, the Umayyad period and the present day. This video is representative of a shift in the Islamic topography in Jordan after the loss of Jerusalem's holy places in 1967.
Jordan is shown as the gateway for the Islamic conquest of Syria (Bilad al-Sham) through three battles: Mu'ta (629), Fahl (635) and Yarmouk (636). With these victories the Muslim armies made significant advances against the Byzantine Christians. They were also the first battles to take place outside the Arabian Peninsula. A large number of Companions of the Prophet Muhammad were killed in the fighting and since the 1980's their shrines have been part of a major renovation project, at the initiative of the Ministry of waqf, which looks after religious property, and King Hussein. Some of the Companions, such as Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah and Ja'far ibn Abi Talib, the Prophet's close advisers, are presented as major historical figures.
An important place is given to Umayyad heritage, several sites from that era are described in detail: the desert castles, the mosque of Amman's Citadel, the Dome of the Rock. This documentary shows the way the Islamic Umayyad heritage has been the focus of attention since the late 1990s. This is part of a desire to promote those tribes considered indigenous. The documentary also pauses at the fortress of Ajloun, one of the jewels of Islamic military architecture and Saladin's base in the 12th century. In this way the documentary emphasizes the geographic and strategic importance of Jordan in Saladin's advance against the Crusaders, leading to the capture of Jerusalem in 1187.
This documentary highlights the link between the Umayyad historical legacy and the development of present-day Islamic architectural tradition which sees itself as the direct descendant. The King Abdullah I Mosque in Amman, the renovation of the mausoleums of the prophets and companions of the Prophet and the construction of many mosques are all an attempt to define a national artistic tradition – a project initiated by and relying on the Ministry of Waqf, the committee for the renovation of mausoleums and the Islamic art department at Balqa University, founded in 1997 by Prince Ghazi ibn Muhammad, crown representative at the head of Religious Affairs. These institutions are encouraging new forms of Islamic art and architecture which also bear the stamp of a national art.
All the places shown in this documentary are the basis for rewriting a national Islamic history to demonstrate the importance of the area now known as Jordan in the long history of Islam and to present Jordan as being directly descended from the different Islamic civilizations. Since 2001 the sites have been highlighted as part of the promotion of Islamic tourism.
Ghazi Bin Muhammad, The Holy Sites of Jordan, Amman, Turab, 1999.
Irene Maffi, Politiques du patrimoine et politiques de la mémoire en Jordanie, entre histoire dynastique et récits communautaires, Dijon-Quetriny, Edition Payot Lausanne, 2004.
Norig Neveu, «La sacralisation du territoire jordanien, Reconstruction des lieux saints nationaux, 1980-2006», in Archives de Sciences sociales des Religions, no 151, 2010, pp. 107-128.
Norig Neveu, «Islamic Tourism in Jordan, Sacred topography and State Ambitions, 1980-2009 », in Noel Scott and Jafar al-Jafari, Tourism in the Muslim World, Bringing Tourism Theory and Practice, vol.2, Bingley, Emerald, pp.141-157.
Eugene Rogan, «Physical Islamization in Amman», The Muslim World, 426-7, no1, pp. 24-42.