Art 1 Vocabulary Islamic Art arabesque “Arab-like.” A flowing, intricate pattern derived from stylized organic motifs, usually floral; generally, an Islamic decorative motif. caliph Muslim rulers, regarded as successors of Muhammad. calligraphy Greek, “beautiful writing.” Handwriting or penmanship, especially elegant writing as a decorative art. Hijra The flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622, the year from which Islam dates its beginnings. hypostyle hall A hall with a roof supported by columns. Imam In Islam, the leader of collective worship. Kaaba Arabic, “cube.” A small cubical building in Mecca, the Muslim world’s symbolic center. Koran Islam’s sacred book, composed of surahs (chapters) divided into verses. madrasa An Islamic theological college adjoining and often containing a mosque. mihrab A semicircular niche set into the qibla wall of an mosque. minaret A distinctive feature of mosque architecture, a tower from which the faithful are called to worship. minbar In a mosque, the pulpit on which the imam stands. mosaic Patterns or pictures made by embedding small pieces (tesserae) of stone or glass in cement on surfaces such as walls and floors; also, the technique of making such works. mosque The Islamic building for collective worship. From the Arabic word masjid, meaning a “place for bowing down.” Muslim A believer in Islam. qibla The direction (toward Mecca) Muslims face when praying. sultan A Muslim ruler. surahs Chapters of the Koran, divided into verses.