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Summer Time In Medina

A Blog By Hasani Hayden

Archive for March, 2018

Week 6 “Getting to WHY”

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20th, 2018

Week 6 Blog Post


This post was based on this passage from the Ismail R. Al-Faruqi text, “Misconceptions of the Nature of Islamic Art”. Here, on page 29 the author says “And yet Western scholars of Islamic art have been unfair in their overall assessment of its real value. For all their self-application their seriousness and brilliance, their hard work and perseverance, they have failed in the supreme effort of understanding the spirit of that art, of discerning and analyzing its Islamicness. For lack of any such understanding they fell upon the spirit of their own art (i.e. Western art) and, armed with that spirit as absolute norm of all art, they sought to bend Islamic art to its categories. And, when Islamic art naturally refused to be bent, their misunderstandings of it deepened.”

This passage here stood out to me. After reading it, my first takeaway was that although these Western art critics had analyzed the “What?” of the art and probably could conjure the “How?” of the process in which the art was created, I am afraid they were missing the most significant part of the works of art, the “Why?”. They lacked a deep and nuanced understanding of why the artist created these pieces the way that they did. Whether it be calligraphy, mosques, or pottery, all of these have deep religious meanings that one cannot gather from just simply observing. It requires developing an understanding of the Islamic faith and the particular subculture to really be able to appreciate the art. I wanted this collage to resemble that. By using a more standardized H and two more artistic letters on the outside I hope to juxtapose rules with expression, for such there are none.

Week 4 Blog Post “The Prophet Around Me”

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20th, 2018


This post is based on The Prophet Mohammad himself. In this post, I wanted to capture the various elements of his role in the Islamic faith. My intention is that the viewer will see each of these pictures and be reminded of a particular element of The Prophet Mohammad’s complete divine responsibility. The mailman represents The Prophet the Messenger (69:40). The gavel represents The Prophet the Authoritarian (7:157). The Compass represents The Prophet Muhammad, the Guidance (42:52). The football player who is blocking the defender represents The Prophet Muhammad the Intercessor (4:64). The last picture is of a woman who is looking up towards someone who serves as a spiritual role model, The Prophet as he has exalted character (21:07). Some people worry that a picture of The Prophet Muhammad can have an adverse effect on the faith and worship technique of the character in question, that they can become so consumed by the picture that they begin to worship that instead of The Prophet himself. As a result, discretion is advised. However, these pictures are not to serve as direct representations of The Prophet but simply reminders of his grace and power. The different pictures should also reflect the versatility of his character and provide us with a sense of appreciation for the breadth of The Prophet Muhammad’s abilities as God’s messenger. The hope of this collage is to also challenge us to see God in everything around us. I wanted to challenge viewers to be able to see how so much of our everyday lives return back to The Prophet and try to find him in the world around us as we go about our daily lives.

Week 2 Blog Post “Creations by The Holy Pen”

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20th, 2018

This post is based on the aesthetic significance of calligraphy in the Islamic faith. One of the things we discussed was how the Qur’an was created as an oral and aural recitation. The faith has a deep reverence for poetry and beauty which is evidence in the sounds and sights associated with the faith. One of those sights is calligraphy.  We find evidence of this in the Qur’an Sura 96 “In the name of your Lord who created: He created human from a clot. Recite! Your Lord is the Most Bountiful One who taught by [means of] the pen, who taught the human what he did not know. The pen is significant because it is what God used to create the world we know today. Therefore, I decided to include the pen in my collage. The pen represents the power of art and acknowledges that God himself is an artist. Another text that contributed to this piece is the famous hadith of the Prophet Muhammad that says “God is beautiful and He loves Beauty”. This is why I brought in the picture of the different beautiful birds. Each one is drastically different from the next. I could have listed 10,000 different breeds of birds and each one would have details unique to only their genus. I think that birds are the most gorgeous creatures created with their dynamic feather patterns, beautiful songs, and dizzying flight patterns. Each one created by God’s pen. Now humans can also create beauty themselves by mastering calligraphy and other art forms.