God is beautiful and He loves beauty

Technical Glossary


Literally means 'tower of silence,' and refers to a tower with a flat roof that is used to expose corpses. 


Technique of decorating metal with silver or gold inlay. 


A place where a lot of movement takes place. The word dar is used for a wide variety of buildings, however the most common usage of the term is to mean a house.  


An Arabized Persian word meaning a balustrade.  

Dar al-Hadith 

Educational institute for the study of Islamic hadith, Prophetic traditions. 

Dar al-Harb 

Refers to territories of war. This usually meant territories bordering Dar al-Islam that did not hold a peace treaty with Muslims. 

Dar al-Huffaz 

Institute for the study of Qur'an recitation. 

Dar al-Imara 

The building that houses the seat of authority. It is usually the palace of the governor. 

Dar al-Islam 

Refers to Muslim lands where sovereignty of Islamic law applies.  

Dar al-Shifa 

See Bimaristan


Arabic for alley or path.  

Darb Khayt 

A term used by craftsmen for the geometric patterns they carve on wood, marble, or any other medium.  


Means cenotaph but can also mean the tomb as a whole.  


Dervish. Persian for poor and means a Sufi. The Arabic equivalent is faqir.  


Kitchen or guard house in the fields. 


See Darwish


Literally means remembering or reminding. In general religious practice this denotes ways of reminding oneself of God, be it through prayer, praise, supplication, etc. It can also refer to the actual litanies and prayers of remembering, as well as the regular activity of remembrance, particularly in a Sufi context. 


People of the book; Christians, Jews, Sabaeans, Zoroastrians, Hindus and Buddhists. The term was used to describe those who had to pay the jizya (poll tax) and who were not forced to convert because they were adherents of other religions, unlike idolators.  


An Arabized Persian word meaning corridor.  


An elevated small structure with a flat top on which a person would be seated. Some are found in religious buildings for those reciting the Qur’an or some in markets for sellers to display their goods. They are made of wood, stone or marble. In religious buildings it can be referred to as dikkat al-mubaligh.  


See Diwan


Arabic script, primarily used in the administrative documents of the Ottoman Sultan's chancery. 


Originating from Persian, this term refers to a reception chamber, particularly in a palace or residence. It later came to mean ministry or government office. It can also mean anthology of poems placed in alphabetical order.  

Diwan al-'Amm 

Public reception hall for public audiences.  

Diwan al-Khass 

Private reception hall for private audiences. 


Inside lining of book cover; usually ornamental. 


A Persian composite word; dur meaning door and ka meaning place. A vestibule which is found in all kinds of buildings especially houses to ensure privacy.  


A covered small court (sahn) which interspaces two iwans or more. It is an essential element of a qa‘a, and thus an important feature of Burji Mamluk architecture.  


Mausoleum or shrine. 


A colloquial word derived from dar used in the Mamluk documents to mean court or garden.  


Small courtyard.