The Symbolic Color of the Safavid Prayer Carpets
Carpet is an instance of Islamic art and a display of beauty and religion. This national art became the center of focus during the reign of the Safavid dynasty. Many carpets with different designs and patterns have survived from this era, each carrying a particular meaning with the aim of promoting Shia Islam. These include prayer carpets and rugs which were produced in many sizes and variants in court workshops. These carpets and rugs gained importance in this era due to their religious applications. Prayer rugs which have affinity with the architecture and structure of mosque sanctuaries, have decorations of plant colors, geometric abstract arrays, and pictographs which contain content from Hadith and the Quran. With regards to symbolism in Persian carpet and religious application of prayer carpets, first, the colors of Safavid prayer carpets have been studied in this paper in order to identify the common colors used in these carpets. Next, the color of prayer carpets have been compared to other types of carpets in order to specify whether the use of these colors were deliberate or accidental. Results show that these colors were knowingly chosen and have differences with colors in non-prayer carpets. Although many patterns are used in prayer carpets, only seven specific colors have been applied. These colors, which are considered sacred and respected in Islamic mysticism, are white, black, brown, blue, red, yellow, and green. Each of these colors are constantly utilized in general prayer carpets and portray symbolic and sacred meanings such as promoting Shia Islam, unity, and the presence of man in heaven. Thus, it can be concluded that the role and composition of colors in Safavid prayer carpets is based on implied meanings, which in addition to introducing Islamic and Shia concepts, increases the spiritual state of worshipers in their prayers. This research has been conducted with library sources, and descriptive and analytic qualitative method.
Journal of studies in color world, Volume:7 Issue: 1, 2017
47 - 65  
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