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Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World [Giveaway]

I love documentaries of all kind, particularly those about health, food, the economy and, of course,  Islamic history.  It’s so much more interesting to me to watch something that is fact-based because I feel as though I’ve spent some of my precious down time actually learning something important, something that I can carry with me like a treasure and pass on to others during interesting conversation, teaching, or through this blog.

DVD cover- Courtesy of UPF

That’s why I want to share with you Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World, a documentary about the history of Islamic art, textiles and the historic use of the world’s natural elements by Muslims to construct the variouis types of  infrastructure that would eventually characterize Muslim cities and lands throughout history, much of which still stands today and is admired by people throughout the world.

 the glorious architecture of the Taj Mahal, inspired by Islamic design. photo courtesy of UPF

What I love about the documentary is that it not only does it discuss the geographic location or structural design of various edifices built by Muslims, but it also goes into great detail about the crafstpeople behind the glorious work they created within the bounds of Islamic values and beliefs. For example, have you ever wondered how textiles were colored such amazing bright hues and how the art of calligraphy was taught to those who painted structures so many of us admire with the written words of Allah (swt)? What about rug weaving and looming?

All of these topics and more are touched upon in this documentary, set to air on PBS July 6, at 9:00 PM EST. Check your local listings for details. Now the whole country can experience this journey which is set in beautiful motion, much like Producer Michael Wolfe’s other documentaries on Islam.  And you can get a free copy of the DVD- here’s how:

Giveaway Details

I’m delighted to be giving away two copies to two different winners, courtesy of UPF.  Just follow these guidelines:

1) Enter once a day, if you like (maximum one entry per 24 hours per person) by responding to the questions below

2) giveaways limited to U.S. residents only

3) giveaway closes July 7 at 12:01 a.m. CST


Do you have a favorite type of Islamic design or a structure inspired by Islamic art? Have you ever seen any of the grand masajid (mosques) or other Islamic structures around the world up close and personal? What are your thoughts on Islamic textiles- the colors, the fabric, the designs?

Share your comments below for a chance to win a copy of the DVD sent directly to you!


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  1. I love the arches in the Cordoba Mosque, Spain. They’re so simple compared to other islamic art, put all of them together in the prayer area make a really beautiful pattern. I guess that’s why I like arches in houses, instead of doors or straight angles, they give a smoother and more inviting atmosphere to a room. I’ve also been fortunate to visit Mosques in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Turkey.

  2. Annie, you must’ve had some amazing experiences to see all those masajid (mosques) around the Middle East. Did you actually visit the one in Cordoba, too?

  3. Yvonne, is this the documentary that will be showing on PBS this coming Friday? My favorite types of Islamic Art are illuminated manuscripts and the beautiful calligraphy often used. My son has Islamic images on the covers of his two books about Islam:

  4. I have traveled widely throughout the Muslim world and have been lucky enough to visit many of the grand mosques. My absolute favorite until now though is Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. It is absolutely awe-inspiring structure. I love the blue tile with white Arabic calligraphy around the edge at the top contrasted with the golden dome. Also, I love how you once inside, you can go underneath the rock and pray in a tiny musella area, which is said where the Prophet Muhammad (saws) actually prayed when he was lifted in miraj. Also, in the masjid al-Aqsa, I loved going to where there is an old well filled with olive oil. They told me that in the times before electricity, people when they would come from afar, they would bring olive oil to contribute to the well that would help light up the entire mosque with oil lamps. So many visitors came that until now there is oil left in the well unused. :)

  5. I love Islamic geometric pattern, especially the pattern that is called Khatam.

    I can’t wait for see the movie. In fact, I am hosting a movie night party on Friday to share this documentary with some good friends. Wish you were here, Yvonne! =)

  6. Yvonne, although I was in India for my son’s wedding & all of the guests went to see the Taj Mahal, sadly I had just gone through a major surgery a few months earlier & did not feel it was wise for me to sightsee in 115 degree heat – so I missed the experience. Otherwise, I’ve only been to our local mosque one time & wasn’t looking for art, but rather the experience of entering as a non-Muslim. As an artist & a former high school teacher, I am greatly looking forward to seeing this documentary!

    (Entry #2)

  7. I love the Calligraphy. I went to Egypt before I converted and stayed at the Marriott Omar Khyyam which was a converted palace that had tiles though out with beautiful calligraphy. Years later I took my kids to the Detroit Institute of Arts for a major exhibit on Islamic Arts. We walked through the exhibit spell bound by the creativity of the artists. The exhibit included tiny Qurans, to calligraphy, to the metal sheets (I can’t recall what they were called in the exhibit) with calligraphy. It was awe inspiring to see. Even the non-Muslim kids who went through were spellbound and quiet.

  8. Cynthia Harley

    Ah Islamic Art. It is a vast subject to speak upon. As an artist and art history person I feel in love with Islamic Art…before I converted to Islam. The beautiful vibrant colors of the tiles in the mosaics, the name of Allah throughout the masjed, the Name of Mohammad on the doors of the masjed. Truly awe inspiring and beautiful. One of my favorite things though happens to be seeing the Shahada written in arabic upon the Dome of the Rock, it is so beautiful and inspires so much within me, so I went in search of Islamic Calligraphy and found a large treasure there. :) Sadly I have not been able to travel the world to see the grand masjeds of the world, however, ALLAH and my local masjed inspires within my heart the greatest feeling ever and it is all art to my senses. Thank You Yvonne for sharing this. I shall definitely check my local listings to be able to view this documentary! :)

  9. I have been to Taj Mahal many times. Beauty in such an immense size is mind boggling.

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