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Arab and Islamic History: Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization Report

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Updated: May 30th, 2020


The rich tradition of Islamic-Arab history, verbal communication, deliberation, and culture arise from civilization. Islamic history concerns religious followers (Muslims) as well as the religious conviction in Islam. However, the Arabic word Muslim denotes an individual who is dedicated to the Creator. The ancient world history of military, economy, and politics transformed a great deal due to Islamic religion and Muslims in general. For instance, the religion called Islam is believed to have set its origin in the Middle East.

Nonetheless, non-believers supposed that this religion originated from Medina in Mecca during migration. The fraternity of Muslim supporters accepted that as true from the periods of Adam (Prophet) when Islamic religion had existed. The rapid spread of Islam in the world incorporated inhabitants of Islamic civilization and non-believers who resided in the same evolution (Alexander & Porter, 2009).

Such kind of civilization brought several changes in the lives of Muslims. In fact, several eminent and powerful world territories emerged. Besides, the period of civilization (Golden Age of Islam) produced several personalities with diverse dignities and cultural centers. These consisted of prominent academicians, nurses, medical practitioners, mathematicians, astronomers, and scientists.

The population became literate since they could access and read the Quran, which is deemed as a holy book. Furthermore, Islamic civilization enabled the development of infrastructure such as the erection of canals and irrigation system through increased technology. The traditional center of Islam weakened due to Black Death that resulted into the loss of population and the Mongol destructive invasion at the end of the middle ages (Christensen, 2010). However, the ascendancy of Islamic matters and characteristics strengthened in the twenty first century despite confrontations that Muslims faced from secularism and socialism philosophies.


According to Mahajan (2012), museum may denote an organization that preserves historical, cultural, arty, scientific, and relic anthology. In fact, Museums make significant historical collections accessible to the community by means of provisional or permanent exhibitions. According to scholars, only the major world cities accommodate superior museums. Nevertheless, other countryside small towns and cities host just local Museums.

Most of these museums serve a variety of individuals, public, professional, and pollsters. Thus, traditional museums are rapidly expanding in the contemporary world. Such museums aspire to possess images with high resolution along with virtual displays. As a result, there is easy internet search, study, and scrutiny owing to the speedy acceleration of IT (Information Technology), digitization and storage (Mahajan, 2012).

Other scholars and non-scholars tend to claim that a museum may be a societal, permanent, and nonprofit making organization. It provides ready and open services to the society in terms of exhibition, communication, conservation, and acquisition. The milieu where museums are situated provides enjoyment, edification, and scholarly use to the humanity and heritage including both intangible and tangible usages. According to WMC (World Museums Community), Mexico has the main museums (128) compared to the other nations (202) that host the available fifty five thousand (55,000) museums around the globe (Christensen, 2010).

The general functions of a Museum

Alexander and Porter (2009) claim that the past centuries have seen a considerable variation in the purpose and form of museums. Just to mention a few, the diversification of management, operational ways, and missions of museums are paramount. Most museums carryout research works, conservation, promotion, and documentation of artifacts. The most important function of museums relates to research analysis.

The management of most museums exploits laboratories, archives, libraries, and other tools in the museum account. Concerning conservation, museums always safeguard the gel in the sequence required for the works of art return as well as precautionary upkeep. Alternatively, the descriptions of corporate identity, guiding principles, policies of promotion, and communication are probable via the availability of national museums (Alexander & Porter, 2009).

The entire body of Museums is busy with dissimilar works. For Instance, the general national department of museums tends to promote museums digital network, catalogues, treasures of national heritage, and domes. Such kinds of museums are also known for their educational purposes. Their settings and exhibition objects provide educational importance to diverse organizations in divergent ways. Hence, museums entail communication, research, and preservation measures that encompass artifacts administration, maintenance, and acquirement.

Indeed, the visible functions of museums are evident in communication, display, and education. That is, the past decades have experienced several mediations in terms of education. The development and management notions of modern museums as compared to earlier museums create the other function of museums. The same applies to the architectural designs of museums that tend to disconcert the stability amid the functions of museums (Firestone, 2008).

Types, functions, and roles of Museums

There are mainly two categories of museums namely the modern and early museums. However, the existence of several types of museums having multifarious and decorative objects appears under these categories. For instance, the existing types of museums comprise of the Botanic gardens and Zoology parks, Virtual, Specialized, Science, Open air, Natural history as well as Warfare and military museums. The others are Maritime, Historic, Children’s, Biographical, and Art or Archaeological museums. All these museums vary from small organizations to larger ones with respect to prominent identity, location, or specific subject matter (Mahajan, 2012).

Botanic gardens and Zoology parks

Many individuals no longer regard botanic gardens and zoology parks as museums yet they are symbols of the renowned living museums. In fact, they face identical challenges that are commonly faced by other types of museums. This type of museum manages and builds up the collections, researches, inspires actions, and generally educates.

Virtual museums

These newly established types of museum try to provide the current physical museums with displaying places including internet curatorial or web presence. They organize for exhibitions and virtual tours via the usage of internet.

Specialized museums

Based on the assertions cited by Mahajan (2012), specialized museums deal with an assortment of topics like music, glass science, history, and art. The science of glass and music museums surveys tends to solve crimes and nurture talents and lives of different musicians around the world.

Science museums

This kind of museum deals with the narration and observable facts in scientific inventions. Through notion-provoking medium, interactive plans, and collective exhibitions, most of these science museums help in explaining the complex scientific inventions.

Open-air museums

The open-air museums set-ups appear as the past re-created sceneries. The museum is responsible for collecting and re-creating ancient structures at the huge al fresco sites.

Natural history museums

Bennett (1995) claims that natural science and history emphasizes on culture and nature of natural world. These museums focus on bio-diversity, ecological, and evolution matters. They tend to perform the work of educating people on anthropology, oceanography, zoology, dinosaurs, and natural history.

Warfare and military museums

The organization of warfare museum occurs on a nationwide viewpoint with specialties in the history of armed forces. It provides the public with the opportunity to view most wartime decorations, soldiers civilian verve, war propaganda, uniforms, and military weaponry.

Maritime museums

Mejcher-Atassi and Schwartz (2012) assert that maritime museum discovers the rapport linking particular water bodies to diverse cultures. They also function as the presenters of nautical archaeology, culture, and history of aquatic life.

Historic museums

According to Firestone (2008), historic museums such as the Living history, History, and Historic house present the exhibitors with empirical analysis of the past, present, and future histories. Besides, they replicate curatorial features of the ancient periods through re-creating historical sceneries.

Children museums

These non-profit making foundations offer infants with series and displays that nurture their understanding during unofficial education. In fact, children’s museums proffer and make various historical collections accessible to children for exhibitions.

Art and Archaeology museums

The archaeology and art gallery offers the archaeological and art artifacts such as the statues, photographs, watercolors, and visual arts. These types of museums perform the general roles of preserving the historical, cultural, arty, scientific, and relic anthology.

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

Study conducted by Firestone (2008) shows that Islamic Civilization Museum of Sharjah is a national heritage and a museum based in the UAE’s (United Arab Emirates) city of Sharjah. The center for historical events of Sharjah staged in Waterfront (Majjarah) was originally an indoor marketplace during the traditional times. The launching of this museum took place in the middle of the fiscal 2008. The heritage hosts more than five thousand Islamic historical objects collected from all corners of the world.

The instruments of science, metal works, scripts, glasses, coinages, earthenware, carvings, and calligraphy are some of the artifacts housed at Sharjah (Bennett, 1995). The golden arena in addition to the large dimension makes the historic site extremely conspicuous. The main aim of Sharjah initiation was to further develop, research, interpret, and display the ancient artifacts. On the other hand, the Sharjah Museum aspires to encourage the Islamic art gratification, positive reception, and familiarity to the worldwide, countrywide, and local viewers.

The systems and facilities of Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

Sharjah Museum accommodates several superb and global artifacts. The aspect is possible through the fully furnished facilities and systems it owns. The varied collections at the Museum get well displays on the account of specially made status, niche, and fortification. The exhibitors all fit into the design of this museum due to proper organization in its lighting systems, location, and narrow ambiance.

The Islamic Civilization Museum of Sharjah art objectively possesses several devices that function with the aid of water such as irrigation system, ship mill, and water clock. The facilities at Sharjah make it a better place to visit. It has Islamic masterwork facilities that range from Wi-Fi internet, gift shops, virtual tours, washrooms, refurbished parking lots, and prayer rooms like Mosque (Firestone, 2008).

In addition, other facilities at Sharjah museum encompass elevators, handicaps, café for snacks, cool drinks, tea, coffee, as well as baby care units. The system also contains stairs and lifts along with additional facilities such as wheelchairs specifically designed for the disabled persons. In the main, the museum is open from eight in the morning to eight in nighttime from Mondays to Thursdays. However, they are open from four in the twilight to eight in the hours of darkness all Fridays (Mejcher-Atassi & Schwartz, 2012). However, the traditional center of Islam weakened as Black Death and Mongols invasion claimed lives at the closing stages of middle ages.

The Islamic-Arab history and civilization on Sharjah Museum

The presentation of history and civilization in the Sharjah museum materializes in a number of ways. In this context, education as part of the Arab and Islamic history and civilization is effectively presented in the Sharjah museum. Actually, it is true that civilization enabled the rise of prominent academicians, nurses, medical practitioners, mathematicians, astronomers, and scientists through education.

The educational series of studies provided by Sharjah akin to the studies of Islam, history, and geography cover both the global and nationwide set of courses (Bennett, 1995). Furthermore, specialized tours, interactive classes, and group discussions are some of the diverse school programs offered at the museum. In fact, these museums continue to help parents in arranging for all-time experiences in learning.

Students who get the privilege to attend Sharjah Museum embrace pleasant and special methods of erudition that differ from the normal school setting. Through tours based on discussions carried out in the preferred museums, the experts in education engage students in the in-gallery workshops and activities.

Consequently, almost all gallery based programs and education curriculums augment the student’s knowledge wealth and shore up the subjects as well as set of courses. In general, more than seven outsized gallery complexes find accommodation at Sharjah museum (Mejcher-Atassi & Schwartz, 2012). These take account of the special international and national visiting exhibitions, four Islamic Art galleries, the Science and Technology Al Haithan gallery, as well as the Islamic Faith Abu Bakr gallery.


Alexander, M. & Porter, A. (2009). Museums in motion: An introduction to the history and functions of museums. London, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Press.

Bennett, T. (1995). The birth of the museum. New York, NY: Routledge Press.

Christensen, S. (2010). Frommer’s Dubai. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Firestone, R. (2008). An introduction to Islam for Jews. Philadelphia, USA: JPS/Jewish Publication Society.

Mahajan, V. (2012).The Arab world unbound: Tapping into the power of 350 million consumers. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Mejcher-Atassi, S. & Schwartz, J. (2012). Archives, museums and collecting practices in the modern Arab world. Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

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