Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Arts Museum
We left the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus at the the National Mosque and walked the short distance to the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, We had been highly recommended this particular museum by the ladies on Manatee. We were already impressed by the building itself.
We found a huge space of 30,000 square metres at a perfectly set temperature to enjoy a long bimble around the 9,000 plus artefacts.
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia was officially opened on the 12th of December 1998 as a response to the rapid growth of interest in Islamic art. The museum is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s tourist belt amidst the lush greenery of Perdana Botanical Gardens and within walking distance to the National Mosque, Bird Park and National Planetarium.
The Islamic Arts Museum has 12 main galleries which is classified according to the types of artefacts spread over level 3 and 4. Level 3 of the museum hosts the Quran and Manuscripts Gallery, the Islamic Architecture Gallery, the India Gallery, the Chinese Gallery, the Ancient Malay World Gallery as well as the reconstructed Ottoman Syrian Room dating back to the 19th Century. Visitors can also proceed upstairs to Level 4 which hosts a display of jewellery, textile, arms and armour, ceramics as well as ancient Islamic glassware.
Time says: Situated in airy white splendor just up the hill from the , visitors might think this place an obligatory nod to the country's dominant faith, funded out of guilt as much as piety. If so, they would be wrong. Thankfully off the beaten path of most tour groups, the museum is a tremendous resource center for Islamic studies and a beautiful showpiece for the best impulses and artisanship that have unified (rather than divided) the Muslim cosmos. The permanent collection, traveling exhibitions and gift shop are all top-flight. Top-flight indeed and aided our need to learn more.
We found a wall display to help with our learning. The Spread of Islam: “Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to God, works righteousness and says, ‘I am of those who bow in Islam’?” Surah Fussilat, verse 33.
Within decades of the death of the Prophet Muhammad, Islam had reached Asia, Africa and Europe. The early Islamic conquests during the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties spread the monotheistic message to new lands. Conversions were not obligatory, and many Christians and Jews retained their religion. The Holy Qur’an states clearly in Surah 2:256 “Let there be no compulsion in religion”. Non-Muslims were requested to pay the Jizia, a tax which secured them full protection by the state. Vast numbers embraced Islam.
Islam had widespread appeal because of its clear, just and fair message. It calls for belief in one God and that all men are equal. It is their deeds that elevate them in status. Waves of conversions came with the empires in Anatolia and Persia accepting Islam as their official religion. Furthermore, the message of Islam spread through travellers and merchants to Africa, Southeast Asia and China. Islam respected bygone cultures and civilisations, incorporating their heritage and wisdom and building on them. At the same time it put much emphasis on scholarship and the spread of knowledge.
Fascinating to see the Chronology of Islamic Dynasties.
We peeked out at the beautiful roof dome, currently undergoing some TLC.
This wall display was called Palestine Remembered.
This wall information about Palestine, cradle of different civilisations and monotheistic religions. At its heart is Jerusalem (Al Quds), the third holiest city of Islam. This is the location of the original qibla for Muslims, as well as being the site of Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Alongside a brief chronology of major events in Palestine’s history are photographic glimpses into Palestinian arts, crafts and heritage. Traditional hand embroideries, costumes and beaded jewellery are among the many outstanding components of that nation’s culture and lifestyle. This wall honours the Palestinian contribution and shares in its people’s struggle to preserve their heritage and identity.
So much to read and learn about.
More panoramic pictures.
Each area had its own beautiful domed ceiling.
Each display case was gorgeous.
My favourite dome.
ALL IN ALL BEAUTIFUL AND INTERESTING
A SURPRISINGLY SPACIOUS, WELL LAID OUT MUSEUM