Originally a disused church building, the transformation into the Sultan of Lancaster has restored the structural magnificence of the building. The structure is of outstanding beauty and is regarded as one of the focal points in Lancaster. The ornamentation and decoration is of original design created within the Islamic code of practice and adapted to regional influences.
Art has always been used to express religious feelings and passion. When Islam was proclaimed, in the 7th century A.D., Islamic art emerged, spreading rapidly to the west from Arabia to Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, and Spain, and East from Syria, Mesopotamia and Persia to India.
The styles of design varied according to the influences exerted by local traditions, yet in all these Islamic countries there remained one universal rule which was rarely departed from: the absolute prohibition of representation of men and animals.
Remarkable conceptions of geometric design evolved within these restrictions, completely original, reaching a very high degree of perfection in the 9th Century A.D. and culminating in the creation of the pointed arch with double curves from the 'ORGIVE' with the curves spreading at the sides. This original conception together with the decorative application of the moon and stars became very early symbols of the Islamic faith and culture.
In the field of medicine and nutrition, Muslims also excelled with their system of botanical medicine and dietetics developed by 'IBN SINA', Prince of Physicians, known in the west as 'AVICENNA'. His 'Canon of Medicine' is the most famous book in medical history and has maintained its authority for more than a thousand years. He pioneered a system shifting emphasis from treatment to prevention and maintenance of health.
His system can be condensed into a single statement:
'FOOD IS THE BEST MEDICINE'
Inshallah (God willing), we trust you will receive pleasure from observing the different styles of Islamic ornamentation and art, food and customary service provided by the Sultan of Lancaster.