Islamic art encompasses the visual arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people who lived within the territory that was inhabited by or ruled by culturally Islamic populations. It is thus a very difficult art to define because it covers many lands and various peoples over some 1400 years; it is not art specifically of a religion, or of a time, or of a place, or of a single medium like painting. The huge field of Islamic architecture is the subject of a separate article, leaving fields as varied as calligraphy, painting, glass, ceramics, and textiles, among others.
Islamic art is not at all restricted to religious art, but includes all the art of the rich and varied cultures of Islamic societies as well. It frequently includes secular elements and elements that are frowned upon, if not forbidden, by some Islamic theologians. Apart from the ever-present calligraphic inscriptions, specifically religious art is actually less prominent in Islamic art than in Western medieval art, with the exception of Islamic architecture where mosques and their complexes of surrounding buildings are the most common remains. Figurative painting may cover religious scenes, but normally in essentially secular contexts such as the walls of palaces or illuminated books of poetry. The calligraphy and decoration of manuscript Qu'rans is an important aspect, but other religious art such as glass mosque lamps and other mosque fittings such as tiles (e.g. Girih tiles), woodwork and carpets usually have the same style and motifs as contemporary secular art, although with religious inscriptions even more prominent.
"Islamic art developed from many sources: Roman, Early Christian art, and Byzantine styles were taken over in early Islamic art and architecture; the influence of the Sassanian art of pre-Islamic Persia was of paramount significance; Central Asian styles were brought in with various nomadic incursions; and Chinese influences had a formative effect on Islamic painting, pottery, and textiles." Though the whole concept of "Islamic art" has been criticised by some modern art historians, calling it a "figment of imagination" or a "mirage", the similarities between art produced at widely different times and places in the Islamic world have been sufficient to keep the term in wide use by scholars.
Morocco (Arabic: المغرب al-Maghrib ; Berber: ⴰⵎⵕⵕⵓⴽ or ⵍⵎⴰⵖⵔⵉⴱ Ameṛṛuk or Lmaġrib; French: Maroc), officially the Kingdom of Morocco. Arabic name al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiyyah (Arabic: المملكة المغربية) translates to "The Western Kingdom". Al-Maghrib (Arabic: المغرب), or Maghreb, meaning "The West", is commonly used. The Kingdom of Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries. It has Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, and a rugged mountain interior.
Morocco has a population of over 32 million and an area of 446,550 km2 (172,410 sq mi); if Western Sahara is included that would be 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi). The political capital is Rabat, although the largest city is Casablanca; other major cities include Marrakesh, Tangier, Tetouan, Salé, Fes, Agadir, Meknes, Oujda, Kenitra, and Nador. Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbours. Its rich culture is a blend of Arab, Berber (indigenous African) and also other African and European influences.