About The Museum
The first Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization opened its doors in the Heritage Area in 1996. Later, its extensive collections were moved to the impressive building of the traditional Souq Al Majarrah, as directed by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, to be reinterpreted and redisplayed. The new Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization was opened to the public on June 6, 2008.
Why visit the museum?
Don’t miss out on that spiritual experience. At Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, history almost becomes visible with thousands of rare and important Islamic artifacts depicting the timeless achievements of Islamic civilization and its universality. Browse aspects of Islamic faith, science, discoveries and culture, and cherish the beauty of Islamic art.
Admire the beauty of more than five thousand historical artifacts representative of Islamic civilization
Situated in the historical heart of Sharjah on the Majarrah Waterfront, this fascinating museum is housed in what was once a traditional Middle Eastern souq or indoor market. The new Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization exhibits more than five thousand exquisite Islamic artifacts from all over the Islamic World, arranged according to themes and spread over seven spacious galleries and display areas.
The museum comprises seven spacious galleries and display areas; its permanent collection is organised as follows:
The Abu Bakr Gallery of Islamic Faith
Instantly engaging your soul, this section presents an introduction to Islam and the Holy Quran. It presents the five pillars of Islam, important principles of Islamic doctrine and a fascinating account of the Hajj or Islamic pilgrimage. It holds a collection of outstanding artifacts including monumental sections from the Kiswah, which covers the Ka’aba in Makkah, rare historical Quran manuscripts as well as models, photographs, presentations and important facts about mosque architecture from all around the world.
The Ibn Al-Haytham Gallery of Science and Technology
This Gallery depicts some of the most influential Islamic scientific achievements, and the contributions the great Islamic scholars have made to enrich world civilization. Sophisticated three-dimensional models, audiovisuals and extensive information panels chart some of the most outstanding discoveries, inventions and theories developed by Islamic scholars in all fields, including astronomy, medicine, geography, architecture, mathematics, chemistry, military technology, marine navigation and engineering.
Islamic Art Gallery 1
This gallery shows a wide range of Islamic artefacts such as pottery, metalwork, woodcarving, manuscripts and textiles that date back to 1st-7th centuries AH (7th-13th centuries AD).
That early period marked the expansion of Islamic civilization and culture from the Arabian Peninsula to the Atlantic in the West and the borders of China in the East, resulting in the formation of a unique cultural blend comprising ancient Hellenistic and Persian cultures along with the religious values of the rising Islamic power. Gradually, a new design style emerged mixing the Arab-Islamic style with geometric and floral decoration.
Islamic Art Gallery 2
This gallery features important Islamic artworks dating back to 7th – 13th centuries AH (12th – 19th centuries AD).
They include objects of post-Mongol invasion of the eastern Islamic world in the 13th century, as well as a selective collection depicting the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal civilizations, the three main competing Empires that dominated the Islamic world at the time, and that were based in the Mediterranean, Iran and South Asia. That period witnessed a remarkable flourishing of global trade and economic growth as well as a marked expansion of artistic, cultural and religious cross-pollination between different communities.
Islamic Art Galleries 3-4
These galleries exhibit mainly Islamic arts, crafts and weapons used between 13th – 14th centuries AH (19th – 20th centuries AD).
That period was characterized by an influx of European ideas and wares. Local markets, artisans and craftsmen were in fierce competition with their Western peers who offered cheaper and mass-produced goods. Local arts and crafts started to address tourists’ tastes and demands, leading to visible changes in their finished styling and quality. Traditional weapons continued to be popular among local populations and tourists alike; they were no longer used in combat, but rather in ceremonial parades, as part of male formal costumes, as honorable gifts to dignitaries or indeed as collectible artefacts in their own right.
Islamic Coins Display
The museum’s outstanding early Islamic coin collections are displayed in the atrium outside the Al Majarrah Gallery.
The Al Majarrah Temporary Exhibition Gallery
In this gallery, the museum hosts temporary world-class exhibitions twice a year.