Colors of Religion: Islam

Colors of Religion: Islam


Islam is a monotheistic religion originating with the teachings of Muhammad, a 7th-century Arab religious and political figure. The word "Islam" means submission, or the total surrender of oneself to God, Allah. An adherent of Islam is known as a Muslim, meaning "one who submits (to God)". There are between 1 and 1.78 billion Muslims, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world.

al Fatima Mosque

Sacred Color of Islam: Green

Revered is the colour green, which has been associated with Islam as a symbol of the religion itself. Green is the sacred colour of Islam, and is used for the bindings of the Qur'an (the Muslim Holy Book) and in the silken covers of the Sufi saints. It has been suggested that green is revered because it was worn by Muhammad, but it also symbolizes life and nature. When finally reaching paradise in the afterlife, the Qur'an states, "ornaments shall be given to them therein of bracelets of gold, and they shall wear green robes of fine silk and thick silk brocade interwoven with gold, (18:31)" and they will be "Reclining on green cushions and beautiful carpets (55:76)." In Islamic culture green and gold are the colors of paradise.
mohammed ali mosque in cairo, egypt
Mosque Above Painted Ceiling

Peace and Mourning

Muslim Woman in Black Chidor

Muslim Covered White

As in Western Culture, white is used to symbolize purity and peace. While attending Friday prayers, many Muslims will wear white. The color black is considered the color of mourning in Western and Mediterranean countries. It is also the color of the chador worn by devout Iranian Shi'a women and of the cloaks worn by the ayatollahs, the Shi'a clergy. In many Shi'a countries, a black turban is worn only by male sayids, men who descend from Muhammad though his daughter Fatima and his son-in-law Ali.

Mourning Eyesmuslim girl

 

The Blue Mosques

The Blue Mosques
In the Middle East blue is a protective color and it can be found coloring many of the most famous mosques. These famous Blue Mosques can be found in Afghanistan, Malaysia, Egypt, Armenua, etc. One of the most famous is located in Istanbul, Turkey. Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Istanbul, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire.
Blue Mosque Tiles

The Kaaba and the Black Stone

the blackstone in the kaaba

The Kaaba is a large cuboidal building located inside the mosque known as al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Kaaba is the holiest place in Islam. The qibla, the direction Muslims face during prayer, is the direction from their location on Earth towards the Kaaba. Within the eastern corner of the Kaaba is the Black Stone, which is said to date back to the time of Adam and Eve. While the stone itself is not worshiped, kissing the Black Stone emulates the kiss that Muhammad gave to it when placing it in the Kaaba. Making the trip to the stone is a sign of trust and respect in Muhammad.

Kaaba

The Holy Qur'an

The Holy Qur'an

Alhamdullillah

The Qur’an is the central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe the Qur'an to be the book of divine guidance and direction for mankind and consider the text in its original Arabic to be the literal word of Allah, revealed to Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years and view the Qur'an as God's final revelation to humanity.

Influence on Flags

Arab flag set 1
The colors of the flags of many Muslim nations feature at least two of four colors that were used to symbolize the dynasties that ruled sprawling Middle Eastern empires that spanned from the west coast of Africa to Turkmenistan. Each dynasty flew a different banner. The first among them was the Umayyad Dynasty, who flew a white banner. Second was the Abbasid Dynasty under black. Third came the Fatimid Dynasty, under a green banner. The colors of the banners representing these three dynasties have become a part of those nations today because each dynastic family was said to have descended from Muhammad by either a common ancestor, from his daughter and son-in-law, or an uncle. Additionally, because of the many red flags of the Persian nations, white, black, green, and red became the defining colors of Muslim nations.

the red crescent

Also on many Muslim flags is the Red Crescent, which was widely used in substitution of the Red Cross in anticipation of possibly alienating Muslim soldiers during the Russo-Turkish War. Though it had been used in Turkey and Egypt before, it has since been adopted widely.

Kabul Afghanistan Widows
In 2006 Darius, Creator of COLOURlovers visited with the Non-Profit CARE to visit their projects in Kabul Afghanistan. Some of the few thousand widows CARE was providing food staples too can be seen wearing their blue chadri. The Afghan chadri covers the woman's entire face except for a small region about the eyes, which is covered by a concealing net or grille.

Did we miss something in our article? Let us know and we'll edit or update.

Watch for the next in our series: Judaism.

Colors of Religion Series:
Colors of Hinduism
Colors of Christianity
Colors of Buddhism

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16 Comments
Showing 1 - 16 of 16 Comments

retsof

Morocco is a (relatively) middle-of-the-road modern Islamic country that uses a green open star on a red field. Lines in the star go through to the next point, showing a pentagon inside. (Draw a star with 5 lines to show this.)

lulusartshack

I used to live by a mosque that has a green domed roof and golden accents. I always thought it was beautiful, but never gave much thought to the meaning of the colors.

arman

Black chadors worn by Iranian women IMO has more of cultural and traditional roots than a religious practice, though it may have been started by the introduction of Islam to Iran. Wearing black for 40 days after the passing of a person is considered a display of respect towards the dead and his/her relatives.

designshrine

Where are the beautiful jewel tones of the rich mosaics so prevalent in Islamic culture and architecture? These palettes don't represent the colors to Islam (I'm Turkish) at all. They're so dark and drab and don't represent all the rich colors found in the palaces of sultans, mosaics, illuminations of the Koran, etc. etc. :(
Team

COLOURlover

I found some better images to showcase some of the vibrant colors of Islam... but it would be great if you created some palettes and shared them with us so we can see the colors of Islam from you.

designshrine
Where are the beautiful jewel tones of the rich mosaics so prevalent in Islamic culture and architecture?

manekineko

Wow these are some some really great pictures, beautiful

laleh1979

Persian Tile

Turquoise tiles, the main mosque in the city of Yazd, Iran.

laleh1979

This is a great Article, thank you!

I just wanted to add something to what arman said. Although the color black is commonly used by Shi'a - and mostly by Iranian women - it is considered makrooh in Islam.
What does it mean?
Any action to be taken, object to be utilized or food to be eaten is considered "makrooh" when it is not prohibited by Islam but it's strongly recommended to be avoided.

The use of color black in Muslim countries is a combination of tradition and "interpretation" of Islamic rules that has been established through the centuries and has become an instrument in favor of politicians and ultra-religious Shi'a leaders.

designshrine

Good idea, I will do that - thanks. I think with all of the facets of Islam, one being your version here, Islam is a broad title... so the vibrant Islamic colors might need clarifying.

hamrakab

after seeing the previous posts of the /colors-of-religion series, i was very anxious to see the colors-of-religion-islam.
Well here it isand its great.
But being a muslim i must point out few extra things which sholud have been included:

1. Green is considered the color of peace in islam.
2. it is said that WHITE was the favourite color of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). and he use to wear white clothes and a green turban.
3. The mosque of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) at Madinah is the second holiest muslim place and its Dome is Green.
4. many mosques in Iran and Sindh(Pakistan) as full of Blue color.
5. Of all colors, red is less used in mosques

kunteper

the other most popular mosques Ayasofya and Selimiye in Turkey. Turkish people are muslim and laic. Turkish women doesn't like as Iranian women.

lizcrimson

very interesting series, and i'm learning a lot from the muslim colourlovers adding their bits of knowledge to the comments. great!

designshrine

I think the new palettes have vastly improved upon the original post which I found, as a Turkish Muslim, quite oppressive and rather narrow. I love all the new palettes that have been added. Here's one from little ol' moi...

Koran Illumination

You will see in the inspiration image, that these tones represent Islam much more for me. I will be posting more... doing album art right now. :)

jenjenjen

Hey,
I was just wondering if anyone would kindly help me out with my article that im writing for an assessment.
Basically, if your muslim, would really appreciate an interview, just to ask whether or not the religious colours of islam, has an influential power upon your life?

Basically im writing an article on the power and influence colour has upon ones identity through a religious and non-religious aspect.
All help would be much appricated.
Thanks.

jenjenjen

Hi, hamrakab,
I was just wondering if i could ask you a few questions...
Being a muslim, do you believe that these colours mentioned play a significant role within your life? Do you believe it has influenced you towards any colour preferences? Like for example would you say that green is your favourite colour as it is considered the islamic sacred colour?
thanks.
hamrakab wrote:
after seeing the previous posts of the /colors-of-religion series, i was very anxious to see the colors-of-religion-islam.
Well here it isand its great.
But being a muslim i must point out few extra things which sholud have been included:

1. Green is considered the color of peace in islam.
2. it is said that WHITE was the favourite color of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). and he use to wear white clothes and a green turban.
3. The mosque of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) at Madinah is the second holiest muslim place and its Dome is Green.
4. many mosques in Iran and Sindh(Pakistan) as full of Blue color.
5. Of all colors, red is less used in mosques

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