In the Islamic culture the **circle** is a unit of measure. The circle is the basis for the organization of space. It is a starting point in architecture, poetry, music and even calligraphy. From a circle it is possible to construct many regular polygons.
The decimal system we use did not appear as a standard until the eighth century A.D. Before exact units of measurement were used, the scale from one building's plan was used to create another building by referring to the **geometric patterns**. Egyptian rope-stretchers and temple surveyors developed a reproducible method by using pegs and cords to trace circles and straight lines on sand. They established geometric procedures for generating precise and accurate constructions.

Perfect interrelationships between the parts and the whole of the composition were attained irrespective of mode, form, or scale of expression. A universality was achieved in the Islamic world, consistent with the Islamic belief that all creations are harmoniously interrelated.

Summarized from information found in

*Geometric Concepts in Islamic Art*

by Issam El-Said and Ayse Parman

Dale Seymour Publications

ISBN 0-905035-03-8