While creating such spaces or places of worship, embellishment and monumentality were certainly not the predefined objectives. It was much later, that a style evolved wherein, with the contribution of creative builders and artisans, a third dimension of spirituality was created through colors, patterns and calligraphic designs based upon quotations from the Koran. The outcome of such an approach today stands out as the hallmark of Islamic art in architecture. While the engravings and calligraphic quotes portray the very essence of humility and submission to God, the artistry and sometimes grandeur inspires awe. Islamic architecture is common in the following features:
- Large courtyards
- Central prayer halls
- A wall niche indicating the direction to Mecca
The term Muslim means 'submission to God'. Islam is now recognized as the second-largest world religion. Muslims believe that the Quran is the outcome of dialogs between the God and the Prophet. The two popular sects in the religion are the Shias and the Sunnis. The former believe that Mohammed is the restorer of the faith, promoted by previous prophets like Abraham and Jesus Christ. The Sunnis on the other hand, believe in the 'words' of the Prophet; words that were spoken by Him. This comprises his teachings and revelations. Islam propagates the five laws that are fundamental duties to unite Muslims in spirit. These are:
- Shahadah or the worship of one God only.
- Zakat, or donation of alms.