Islam has a rich history. It developed as a monotheistic religion after the message of the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (saw symbol) outside the city of Mecca in Arabia in 610 AD. He was then succeeded by the four Rightly Guided Caliphs. They, in turn, spread the Islamic faith through trade, diplomacy, pilgrimage and military expeditions, which contributed to the magnificence and advanced knowledge of the Muslim dynasties that emerged.
Islam is more than a religion; it is also a way of life that has bridged different cultures and artistic traditions. The Islamic world has seen the rise and fall of 14 major dynasties from North Africa to Southeast Asia. These became the major commercial and intellectual conduit between East and West. Islamic belief, synthesised with local traditions, led to the birth of a visual language that is known today as ‘Islamic art’. 14 Dynasties and a Region exhibition serves as a window on to the history and culture of the Muslim world.