[[File:Wayang Pandawa.jpg|thumb|right|225px|"[[Wayang Kulit]]", the Indonesian art of [[shadow puppet]]ry, reflects a melding of indigenous and Islamic sensibilities.]]
[[File:Behzad advice ascetic.jpg|thumb|right|225px|"Advice of the Ascetic", a 16th century Persian [[Persian miniature|miniature]] housed in [[Tehran]]'s [[Golestan Palace]].]]
[[Islam]]ic [[art]], a part of the [[Islamic studies]], has throughout history been mainly abstract and decorative, portraying geometric, floral, [[Arabesque]], and [[calligraphic]] designs. Unlike the strong tradition of portraying the human figure in [[Christian art]], Islamic art does not include depictions of living things, including human beings. The lack of [[portrait]]ure is due to the fact that early Islam forbade the painting of human beings, including [[Muhammad]], as Muslims believe this tempts them to engage in [[idolatry]]. This prohibition against human beings or icons is called [[aniconism]]. Over the past two centuries, especially given increased contact with [[Western culture|Western civilization]], this prohibition has relaxed to the point where only the most orthodox Muslims strongly oppose portraiture.
Islamic art is centered usually around [[Allah]], and since Allah cannot be represented by imagery ["All you believe him to be, he is not"], geometric patterns are used. The patterns are similar to the Arabesque style, which also involves repeating [[geometric]] designs, but is not necessarily used to express ideals of order and nature.