The Aesthetics of Commemoration: The Mausoleum of Imam al-Shafi’i Over 800 Years
Exhibition: The Aesthetics of Commemoration: The Mausoleum of Imam al-Shafi’i Over 800 Years
Date: 8 June–1 November 2018
Venue: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
The exhibition reflects the splendour of design and architecture that has defined the mausoleum’s physical presence in Cairo as well as the lasting memory of Imam al-Shafi’i whose influence as a scholar and legal theorist remains immensely relevant to Muslims today. Constructed in the 13th century by the Ayyubid sultan Al-Malik Al-Kamil, the mausoleum of Imam al-Shafi’i straddled numerous art traditions throughout its existence. Its interior encompasses a variety of decorative designs and architectural forms which manifest the highest subtlety of Islamic art that is universal in meaning, yet local in inspiration. However, the foundation and architecture of the mausoleum itself speaks of the elevated position in which Imam al-Shafi’i—the founder of one of the four schools of jurisprudence in Islam—has been held by many Muslim communities across history.