Crescent Moon
Islamic art and civilisation in Southeast Asia
Bulan Sabit: Seni dan Peradaban Islam di Asia Tenggara

24 February – 28 May 2006

Introduction | themes | selected works | glossary | events


Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia 'Shield' 19th century,gold, iron, National Museum of Indonesia, JakartaBanjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Indonesia 'Ceremonial shield' 19th century, gold, iron, National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta  more detail



Allah is the one God of Islam.

Islam is a monotheistic religion which focuses on the belief in Allah as the one God. It is one of the world’s largest religions. Followers of Islam are known as Muslims. Muslims believe that God revealed His divine word directly to people through many prophets and that Muhammad was the final prophet of Islam.

Mecca The city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia is the holiest site of Islam. A pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam, required at least once in a lifetime of all able-bodied Muslims who can afford to go

Mosque is the main place of worship and prayer for Muslims.

Muhammad (c.570–632), also Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammed, and sometimes Mahomet, is believed by Muslims to be God's final prophet sent to guide all humans with the message of Islam.

Muslim (sometimes also spelled Moslem) is the name given to the followers of the religion of Islam.

Qur’an literally ‘the recitation’ (sometimes also spelled Quran, Quoran or Koran) is the holiest book of Islam. Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the literal word of God in Arabic and the culmination of God's revelation to humankind, revealed to Muhammad over a period of 23 years through the angel Jibreel (Gabriel).


There are a number of schools or denominations of Islam, each of which has significant theological and legal differences from the other but possesses essentially identical beliefs. The major schools of thought are Sunni and Shi’a, while Sufism is a mystical inflection of Islam:

Shi’ite is the anglicised form of the Arabic word Shi’i meaning a member of the Shi’a branch of Islam. The Shi’a give special status to the family of the Prophet in the succession of the caliph (khalif) or head of the Islamic community.

Sufism is a spiritual practice followed by both Sunni and Sh’ia which focuses on the more mystical aspects of Islam

Sunni (Arabic) is one who adheres to the customary practices or sunna of the Prophet Muhammad. The word is used to designate a major branch of Islam.


Further information can be obtained from the exhibition catalogue.