Why Are Flower Patterns Significant in Islamic Art?

Written by pamela ann ludwig
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Why Are Flower Patterns Significant in Islamic Art?
Flower patterns complement the flow of Arabic calligraphy. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Art and decorative objects from Muslim countries including Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Morocco often feature flower designs. Flowers presented in the Islamic style add a touch of Near Eastern or North African flair to your home.


Much of Islamic art portrays abstract patterns and flowers. The Koran, the holy book of Islam, includes verses forbidding the worship of idols. Many Muslims interpret this as prohibition against displays of the human figure. Islamic artists then look to nonhuman subjects for their works, such as calligraphy, abstract designs and flowers.

Why Are Flower Patterns Significant in Islamic Art?
Tiles in the shape of flowers are common in the Islamic world. (Tile image by Kerry Adamo from Fotolia.com)


Flower patterns complement the symmetry common in Islamic design. Islamic art often integrates the use of symmetrical and geometric designs for decorative purposes. Mathematical concepts as they apply to artistry and design lend themselves well to producing flower motifs.


You can find Islamic flower designs and geometric patterns based on flower shapes in several mediums in the Islamic world. Flower shapes grace the surfaces of ceramic tiles used for decorating houses, palaces and Arabic bathhouses. Utilitarian items such as plates and jugs also often feature flower motifs.

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