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Introductory Essay

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8th, 2014


I have always been entranced with art as a way of opening up a different and innovative type of space. A space that no matter what, prompts one to be more creative, more open, and more apt to delve into and find truths whether spiritual or not. In one of our sections this past semester, we discussed the art form of the Ta’ziyeh, a theater art piece, or Passion Play depicting the story of Hassan and Hussein. The idea came up during our discussion of “art as a gateway to revelation,” art as a way of accessing spaces, as a way to access our imagination in a way that can be revelatory. Throughout this course we have delved into the cultures, practices, art, and societies of Islam using the Cultural Studies Approach. Diane L. Moore when describing the Cultural Studies Approach articulates how this method


is multi and inter-disciplinary and recognizes how political, economic, and cultural lenses are fundamentally entwined rather than discrete. This approach assumes, for example, that economic or political dimensions of human experience cannot be accurately understood without understanding the religious and other ideological influences that shape the cultural context out of which particular political or economic actions and motivations arise. (Moore, Diane L.



This definition brings up questions of how does one develop this lens that incorporates the political, economic, and cultural? How is one prompted to see through this lens? And how can one fully see the way “the religious and other ideological influences” shape these cultural contexts? Often, it is difficult for one to understand the how’s and why’s of how concepts such as culture, politics, and religion intersect. One way to begin to see these intersections in full, is to view them not only through art, but through the actual process of creating art. It is by creating that one has the opportunity to experience something revelatory in religion, even in a religion not one’s own.

This type of experience allows one to unlock creative parts of the mind that can become more open to experiencing how different contexts overlap. It also allows one a revelatory experience outside of their own religion, building a solid, stable ground for a true acceptance of other traditions that moves all to a space beyond tolerance.

My blog revolves around the theme of looking for revelation in different areas of Islam, through the act of creating art. These areas include Calligraphy, one’s relationship with Muhammad, the idea of “intoxication” within worship and theology, one’s relationship with Allah, the role of poetry in Islam, and the Ta’ziyeh.

The first post addresses an attempt to understand Allah as “all knowing” and “omnipresent,” while also investigating the importance of calligraphy. Through working on this collaged piece, I worked to find a way to relate to the feeling of knowing an omnipresent God. In this process I realized that for me, getting to know a God that is omnipresent, is learning to know a God that holds you, a God in which you feel held. I began this piece with the concept of wanting to portray the attempt to feel God in everything by showing hands both holding and trying to hold pieces of the world, pieces of Allah. After I had completed the piece I realized that in my effort to show this “grasp for God,” I had found in part how I grasp this idea conceptually and how for me being held is in part wanting to know a God in all, that if felt, would hold. This was my first entryway into thinking about Islam, not just as a religion or faith to be studied, but a faith to be felt, a faith to be experienced through art and possibly through an artistic gateway.

The next work shown on the blog is a response to the painting “Allegory of Drunkenness.” It explores questions of spiritual drunkenness, the want to be full, and spiritual practice. I find that a common misperception of many religions is that inherent in them is a certain “staticness,” a clinging to old and outdated views and beliefs that are always perceived as almost Puritan in nature, regardless of their affiliations to Christianity and the actual Puritans. I choose to respond to this art piece, as it demonstrates an almost insane motion of drunkenness. I experimented with this motion by putting it into a different scape, trying to place “drunken spirituality,” in another context to understand it better. I describe the viewing process in my blog “As both a viewer and reader of this painting, one can see the “spiritual transformation,” the idea of developing awakened love, and how all of this revelation is often only visible when “intoxicated.” In an attempt to feel this transformation, in an attempt to “artistically intoxicate,” I created this piece by changing the scape of a tall house to a bodyscape, a headshot almost.” This process allowed me a tiny start to building an artistic gateway, building and creating art with Islamic thought and influence in a context of my own.

In the next blog entry I talk of how “This art piece seeks to simultaneously explore one’s relationship to Muhammad as a yearned for beloved and Muhammad as prophet.” Not only does this piece explore the relationship mentioned above, but also my relationship to an idea of a “prophet.” Growing up in a Unitarian Universalist context, it’s difficult for me to fully understand the idea of a religious prophet. Part of my want to access revelation, is a want to see the revelation that others see. For many practitioners of Islam the prophet Muhammad holds great importance as a “revealer,” as one that has heard from and has been spoken to by God. Part of me is jealous of those who believe in, who have prophets. God for all is difficult to access, but to have a prophet provides a concrete, familiar, access point to God. This art piece though I didn’t recognize it at first, not only represents a general want for and search for a prophet, but my own personal want and search for a prophet. Here as well, the assistance of text, or taking hadiths briefly out of contexts and using them in an artistic context, allows for a construction, and a visualization of artistic gateways, a way into feeling, at least in pieces, part of Islam.

The next entry focuses on building this gateway via an examination of calligraphy and its both artistic and spiritual components. Calligraphy as I discuss in this entry is described in the context of Islam as “not only as a form that restructures visualization of a language, but as a art form that has a rhythm and that is in motion as it creates a image from a letter.” Again, though perhaps not consciously, I tackle another component of Islam that some, not all, see as a spiritual and important aspect to their faith and spirituality. Struggling with locating the possible meaning of calligraphy in my own context I work to create an art piece that opens an overlap of worlds in which one can begin to see calligraphy in not only its immediate aesthetic beauty, but in a beauty that transcends the worldly. In this piece I attempt to give “the text a physical motion that not only is represented in the mobility of the strung up flowers, but also in their motion of possibility as they give the idea that they could unfurl more, the possibility that they might bloom. Here, the flowers represent the beauty and mobility of the calligraphy instead of giving the text the beauty and flow of calligraphic design, I have given it flowers.”

The next entry focuses on the literary work of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and the insight to be gained through this piece of art. Even if I do not consider myself to be part of the population that discriminated against and nourished hatred and anger during and post the events of 9/11, there is a difference between being sympathetic and truly garnering sympathy. Though there were times after September 11th when the stories I heard attempted to draw out empathy, but left me feeling more sympathetic. There is however, a difference between feeling empathetic and sympathetic. Often, people talk about empathy being a form of sympathy with more of an understanding attached, a greater ability to share in someone’s loss or pain as opposed to just feel bad for them. Garnering empathy is feeling not regretful for someone, but feeling awful or possibly regretful with them.

With the understanding that it is difficult to feel empathy in full for someone who has had a experience one has not experienced themselves, I do think that often people come close to feeling empathic in situations outside of their own, when they are allowed a space to attempt to feel another’s suffering. Often when art or story is coupled with a story of someone else’s pain, the outsider has a better chance of feeling a part of something, or at least seeing the view a bit differently. This art piece explores my experience with trying to and wanting to be empathetic in the context of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

The second to last blog entry focuses on a public art piece still in progress. This piece again engages with the theme of art not only as a gateway, but a way of accessing space for productive ways of seeing Islam, and a productive way of talking. The public art piece stands as both a personal piece of art, yet engages with the wider community. The piece centers on the idea of a whirling dervish whirling in order to launch oneself from sleep away from the self, away from attachment, to a space of the divine. This piece engages with the poetry of Rumi and the whirling dervish to “launch” not only the artist herself, but to launch others in the outside community.

            The next blog post has a similar theme of exploring the idea of empathy in the context of the statement of “what I would like others to know…” in reference to the concepts and materials covered in this class. As one of the realms I operate in, is one of an aspiring minister, I constructed a service that focuses on the idea of Ta’ziyeh as a possible space for building empathy and as a performance that creates space in which to step outside oneself and experience not only another culture, but another way of being. Though many Unitarian Universalists consider themselves to be tolerant and accepting of different cultures as both individuals and communities, we are of course as fallible to intolerance as anyone else. Just because most UU’s pride themselves as being part of a “liberal” tradition, as part of a culture that as a whole has grown up in a middle-upper class racially white U.S. context, we are not automatically transformed into a group with no racist ideals or beliefs, in fact we as a group have many.

The service outlined in the blog post harkens back to the idea of building true empathy and understanding in a construction of art as a gateway. Traditionally, many UU ministers border on the line of cultural appropriation when they pick from different traditions what is most useful to them at the time of their Sunday morning sermon. Few services revolve around one religion outside of a Judeo-Christian context, though other religious thoughts, words, and scriptures are often just thrown into the mix of any sermon if the content is “relevant”. The service outlined in the post focuses on building a space to simulate a Ta’ziyeh as a way to open up a space of radical empathy. The Ta’ziyeh opens up space not only for a dramatic performance between an audience and actors, but a space where that very line is blurred. The service is structured with the goals of: 1.) Allowing participants to step outside their comfort zones and to actively participate in the service, 2.) Creating a space for one aspect of a varied and complex religious tradition to be experienced, 3.) Developing a radical empathy in a familiar context.

As is true in the context of many Ta’ziyeh dramas, the congregants will be asked to bring refreshments and there will three groups that will work prior to the performance practicing parts of the play that they choose and then make their own, in an attempt to achieve the feel articulated by Peter J. Chelkowski of “There are no barriers of time and space.” (9) The pieces performed by the congregants will be interspersed with musical pieces as well as a homily on empathy. The homily not only points to an empathy that arrives when there is suffering, but an empathy that unites people on the basis of all of our suffering, and from this place prepares us to love and support those who are different or who move in different worlds, when they suffer or when we do.

All of these pieces revolve around the concept of developing understanding of another religion not only through the different spheres and art forms it operates in and is shown within, but through the construction of an artistic gateway. A gateway that all of us in one way or another build, whether we choose to acknowledge it. When we see the gateways that we build, we can choose how we build them and delve in with a want to understand all the beauty that goes on around us and moves between and within us.

Performing Ta’ziyeh, Performing Empathy

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8th, 2014

Below is an outline of a religious service about empathy and the Ta’ziyeh created for, but not limited to, the Unitarian Universalist tradition. The service below, not only would be a service for a Sunday, but also would require a process beforehand to deepen the congregation’s knowledge of Islam and the art form of the Ta’ziyeh. Prior to the service, the congregation would be split into three groups. One of the amazing aspects about Ta’ziyeh is the audience’s full participation in it. All three groups would meet four weeks prior to not only delve into and practice a part of the Ta’ziyeh drama, but to make it relevant and their own. They would be given a set of tasks of how to deal with the text that would include discussion questions, informational workshops about the Ta’ziyeh’s, and lectures from scholars or practitioners as well as a process on how to develop their theatrical performances.


This service has the goal of using Ta’ziyeh as a way to open up a different type of space in which to not only learn more about this particular type of theater, but to also open up a space conducive to furthering discourse and a deep understanding of another’s culture and religion that will allow for the participants to become more compassionate towards those of any differing faith. The service consists of a mixture of a few UU traditions as well as drawing upon sources that range from readings of the Qur’an to a reading of a ghazal, to music from different sources. Also present in the service is a homily that serves as a guiding piece for the purpose and significance of this type of worship.


Performing Ta’ziyeh, Performing Empathy


Opening Words: Milan Kundera wrote in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, “there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.” In the spirit of feeling compassion whether light or heavy, in the spirit of the difficulties that imagination may lead to, and in the spirit and lending an ear to a hundred echoes and the pain that continually echoes, I welcome you into this space. A space of hopeful enlightenment and small pieces of revelation.


Chalice Lighting from the Qur’an

“By the sun and its brightness

And [by] the moon when it follows it

And [by] the day when it displays it

And [by] the night when it covers it

And [by] the sky and He who constructed it

And [by] the earth and He who spread it

And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it

And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness,

He has succeeded who purifies it,

And he has failed who instills it [with corruption].


1st performance of the Ta’ziyeh




A Ghazal Read by the Children of the Congregation in both Urdu and English:



Through passion, through love, the state found the relish of life

It found a cure for pain; it found a pain without cure


2nd performance of the Ta’ziyeh




The cafeteria at my High School was spacious, light, filled with wooden floors and long tables, a fireplace stood somewhat awkwardly, but still with majesty at in the middle of the room. Though such a beautiful dining hall, I often grabbed my lunch and sat with friends for whatever reason outside the bathrooms. I did this most days, except for the time of Ramadan that came after September 11th. A liberal and artsy high school packed with primarily white students who prided themselves on being politically active and in the know, we were upset and angry at the treatment of Muslims after that bright and sunny day when a plane crashed into the two towers. To demonstrate our solidarity, many of us fasted from sunrise to sunset during this month to honor Ramadan, sitting at tables in the dining room, feeling hungry and somewhat lost. Though I participated in this I do not know if I ever got to a point of feeling true empathy. I wanted to. Or did I really want to? Did I want to truly feel the confused pain and complicated emotions of being a Muslim in the U.S. after September 11th? Probably not.


So many of us want to be close to people, not just the people we love who are near us, but to all people, to feel with full heart all of the complications that exist between and within us. Yet, so often coupled with this want to feel and to be with people, is a want to stay away from the other who is different, the other who believes in something different than us? Today we explore the art form of the Ta’ziyeh. The word Ta’ziyeh refers to manifestations of sympathy, mourning and solace, but is also a dramatic performance that is enjoyed and celebrated by some Muslims in Iran. Today we have already started to delve into this piece, a drama that though not our own, tells a story in a form we are familiar with and calls upon us to question the roles of the audience and actors, ask ourselves if this piece fits into what we have thought of as Islam, and finally ask if art pieces such as these help us build empathy and a greater compassion?


Often, when we explore, study, and delve into other religions, we have full intention of understanding them to further our spirituality, views, and studies, but also to expand our tolerance, move beyond it, so that we can develop true compassion towards those who may not share our spirituality, but share a part of the path in a walk to divine. In order to develop this compassion, we must also work to develop empathy. Developing a sense of a wider family in a real way in which we can recognize all the roots that we come from.


Aspen trees have beautiful white bark with more of a rough patch at the bottom to discourage deer from eating it. This past March my friend Justin and I went driving in the Rockies. He told me that Aspen trees have interconnected root structures that connect them all. A forest of Aspen trees though at first glance looks like a cluster of trees, is in fact much more connected than one might see. An attempt to uproot an Aspen tree is in fact an attempt to uproot an entire forest.


Ideally, family would be similar to an Aspen forest. A group of interconnected individuals that stand strong and separate, yet at the roots, are intricately connected. Not only intricately connected, but within this connection, protected. If one is uprooted we all become a little uprooted. Of course, family is not always like this. The roots we grew up out of, the roots we put down, do not always connect and interconnect the way we desire, they often have minds of their own, roots and shoots that interact differently with others, creating a more complex structure, a more complex forest than that of an aspen tree. In this root complex we cannot ignore the roots of others, we cannot ignore the complexities, even when these roots are hard to access or difficult for us to see. Often when it is difficult for us to see our ignorance, it is useful to use art as a gateway, to use performance, drama, and dance to engage with a space that not only educates us about spirituality outside the one we know, but to creatively open our minds for the possibility of revelation. And with that, we go back in to the Ta’ziyeh.


3rd performance from the Ta’ziyeh




Closing Words: All Rivers Run to the Sea by Kayle Rice

It starts with a drop,

Then a trickle…

A burble, a rush of water,

bubbling toward its destination;

And finally the wide, endless sea.

All rivers run to the sea.

Today you brought water

Poured it into a common bowl.

Though our experiences have differed,

These waters mingle,

signifying our common humanity.

Today you came;

And shared in this sacred community.

May you depart this sacred space,

Hearts filled with hope for new beginnings;

A fresh start.

Go forth, but return to this community,

Where rivers of tears may be shed,

Where dry souls are watered,

Where your joy bubbles,

Where your life cup overflows,

Where deep in your spirit you have found in this place a home.

All rivers run to the sea.



Go in Peace.

Lung Propelled Empathy

Posted in Uncategorized on May 6th, 2014


There is a part in the Reluctant Fundamentalist, when Erica is trying to describe her current state to Changez. She describes it as feeling as if in a sort of waking sleep. A sleep similar to how one feels when they step off an airplane and their ears have not yet popped, yet her hearing was fine, her eardrums intact. When reading this book, even prior to Erica’s articulation of this particular state, I also felt fuzzy, disconnected for no reason, as if my ears hadn’t popped from a plane I hadn’t been on. It is of course possible that this state came about for other reasons, but I feel there is a chance that the book had a part to play as well.


Throughout the book I felt a strong loneliness emanating both from the main character’s relationship to America and to Erica. Not only a sense of heartbreak, but a rejection of belonging to a person and to a country. Part of the power I see in the Cultural Studies Approach and an artistic literary approach to learning, is a widening of opportunities for outsiders to see ways in which their world overlaps with others. For me, Cultural Studies allows a lens in which one can see world’s overlap, and art or literature allows one to feel this overlap and to feel the difference and alikeness of these worlds and their overlaps.


This art piece explores the overlap of worlds I felt when reading this book, the overlap that allowed me into the main character’s world, drew upon feelings I know, then grounded these feelings in a experience different from mine, resulting in feelings of empathy. The piece is a rough self-portrait of me closing my eyes and framing my face and neck with my hands. My lungs are exposed and my heart is in the middle almost floating in a ribbon. My eyes are closed to represent a want not to be in that space of a waking sleep, so my eyes are closed in an attempt to sleep, in an attempt to make the waking sleep just sleep. But it is this space of fuzzy haziness of not quite sleep, depicted by the white photo-edited fog, where one’s heart can often become not only exposed, but also mobile. Mobile and able to be put into motion with the breath in the lungs. This piece expressed the empathy I garnered through reading the Reluctant Fundamentalist, an empathy developed through the haze one gets one they are drawn into a work of fiction. Empathy developed for the main character and extended to all outsiders specifically in the context of September 11th and its aftermath. The odd haze introduced through the art of this book’s words, the want to close your eyes, but the mobility of heart that opens space for a move beyond the regular ask for “tolerance.”

Calligraphy Blooming

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24th, 2014

Calligraphy has been described as “the art of the linear graphic; it restructures one’s visualization of a language and its topography.” (6) Abedelkebir Khatibi and Mohammed Sijelmassi in their article on the Splendor of Islamic Calligraphy, also note that “calligraphy reveals the plastic scenography of a text: that of a letter turned into image, caught in the physical act of creating a line which is animated and led onwards by an inner rhythm. This art works by taking a text as a score consisting of strokes created by the graphic artist.” (6)


Calligraphy is described here not only as a form that restructures visualization of a language, but as a art form that has a rhythm and that is in motion as it creates a image from a letter. In order to both show the motion of calligraphy as well as the unfurling of beauty, this piece uses paper flowers to illustrate both motion and a motion of unfurling beauty.


Each magnolia has written on it a piece from the Qur’an, because of my own lack of skill to truly create the “art” of calligraphy, the verse is written on a flower. These flowers hang free form moved by wind or air, but ideally not losing their form or shape, to demonstrate beauty in motion, and a shifting and changing of verse to art. After reading the article on the Splendor of Islamic Calligraphy, one gets a sense of how calligraphy is not just a “beautification” of the text of the Qur’an, but an attempt to unveil the divine in the Qur’an, a way in which to create art and beauty that is in motion as the Qur’an, as a revealed text.

This piece gives the text a physical motion that not only is represented in the mobility of the strung up flowers, but also in their motion of possibility as they give the idea that they could unfurl more, the possibility that they might bloom. Here, the flowers represent the beauty and mobility of the calligraphy instead of giving the text the beauty and flow of calligraphic design, I have given it flowers.

Reaching for Muhammad in 4’s

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23rd, 2014

O love-intoxicated Muhammad, meet your yearning lovers.

Countless beings have sacrificed themselves, Muhammad, meet your

yearning lovers


In the chapter In Praise of Muhammad: Sindhi and Urdu Poems, tears, yearning, unrest, absence, beloved, and distance, all become important ways of describing a poet’s relationship to Muhammad. Ali Asani in this chapter discusses the Sindhi poem in praise of Muhammad as a poem that attempts to “assimilate the figure of the Prophet Muhammad to the local Sindhi milieu…many Sindhi poets adopt into their eulogies the symbol of the virahini, a loving and yearning young woman, usually a young bride-to-be, who is tormented by the absence of her husband or beloved.” (161)


This art piece seeks to simultaneously explore one’s relationship to Muhammad as a yearned for beloved and Muhammad as prophet. Four of the panels depict Muhammad as a falling dark shadow, while human bones reach for the prophet, a showing of a human stripped down reaching for the divine. These four panels attempt with the Quadsi Hadiths and poetry to “catch” the falling Muhammad whose prophethood is never quite within one’s grasp. In these four panels different texts go between the soul and the falling Muhammad. They switch off between poems that long for Muhammad and the saying “and the Prophet said,” a phrase that a companion of Muhammad would say before a Quadsi Hadith. I choose this phrase to activate Muhammad as a revealer of the text, a core part of his “Prophethood.”


The included poem pieces are from the Mauluds of Abdu r-Ra Bhatt, they include:


I am love-sick, beloved, may you be my health! Maulaud 49 And

Difficult desolate distances, dear Punhun makes me travel. Maulaud 45


I used these verses to first establish the idea of “love-sickness,” a sickness that makes one feel the distance between one and the prophet as “difficult” and “desolate.”


The last panel is a reaching, a hand stretching out to a form of Muhammad that is no longer falling and instead sitting, giving the last panel both a sense of calm as well as an eeriness combined with another piece of poetry from the Mauluds of Abdu r-Ra Bhatt that reads: “The sweetest of relationships is that with the Prophet;/all the rest are meaningless!” Maulud I The last panel though words are included, speaks to how perhaps the best way to relate to, to aspire to the prophet is more a process of soul and heart, a filling in or covering of our bare bones, rather than an establishment or analysis of what one’s relationship to the Prophet truly consists of. Though poetry and a following of the Hadiths may help one to attain a closeness to the divine, to obtain true closeness it is not through the writing of poems or following of hadiths but a re-writing of soul and a following of heart, the true skin and flesh to cover our bones.

Artistic Intoxication

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23rd, 2014

In the article on Hafiz’s Ghazals and Sultan Muhammad’s “Allegory of Drunkenness,” J.W. Morris articulates how these two works “provides us with an extraordinarily condensed representation of the entire Qur’anic world-view…” This painted worldview described by Morris is situated on an architecturalscape. Angels and perfected spirits rest at the top of the house, while at the next level, as identified by Morris, the realm of imagination followed by all of the “divine knowers and friends” reside. Much occurs both visually and spiritually in this cosmicscape, but Morris points to a particular decisiveness in the image of a:


spiritually central transformation of our experience and scattered practical loves into true inner knowing (the “exaltation” aspect), along with the illumination and awakened love that flows from its “lowering” revelation to the historical, social world, are only visible and recognized here by those particular already intoxicated lovers/seekers who are already inwardly standing outside in the promised “Gardens.”’


As both a viewer and reader of this painting, one can see the “spiritual transformation,” the idea of developing awakened love, and how all of this revelation is often only visible when “intoxicated.” In an attempt to feel this transformation, in an attempt to “artistically intoxicate,” I created this piece by changing the scape of a tall house to a bodyscape, a headshot almost. I altered the scape to one of a body in hopes that “filling” a bodyscape with this scene would intoxicate. This piece explores the newness and unknown aspect of revelation, filling a body with layers and pieces, a body usually does not possess.


This piece explores truly feeling or wanting to feel “full of it all”. The bodyscape is drawn so that it looks as if it might be receiving the “pitcher of delight” described in the line of the ghazal “The Angel of divine Love grasped the pitcher of delight.” This adds to the purpose of the piece being an attempt to receive and feel revelation though positioning oneself as a receiver of delight grounded in levels of knowledge of angels and knowers.

Being Held by the All Knowing

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20th, 2014



We all want to be held. To be held in arms that will care for us with forgiveness, mercy, and a deep and vast love. Many turn to religion, turning to G-d, to the divine, to be held by, to be understood. Often in many people’s quest to be held, there is comfort in holding the tangible pieces of beauty, holding the  G-d, the divine, or just the beauty present in the everyday, in nature, in us. This piece explores the theme of being held in G-d,specifically in Allah as the all-encompassing, the all-knowing.

The Qur’an speaks of Allah being everything, creator of all, and in it all. English translations of this acknowledgement of Allah “as all” span from “The East and the West belong to God. Wherever you turn, you are always in the presence of God. God is Munificent and Omniscient.” to “And to Allah belongs the east and the west. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” This piece features hands attempting to hold G-d by holding flowers, petals, and stems, grasping at pieces of Allah, of pieces of G-d.

As the viewer’s eye travels across the piece, the hope is that one experiences both sights of “grasping at G-d” and of holding on to beauty, of pieces of G-d. The eyes then rest on an un-human hand; a representation of a hand and only this hand holds the calligraphy that spells out “Allah.” This work explores the idea of Allah being everywhere and the strong emotion of how wanting to be held can relate to this idea of G-d’s omnipresence. This want to be held and knowledge of Allah in everyone and everything,  is coupled with the belief that no human, no person can ever really understand or fully hold G-d, symbolized in the contrast of photocopied hands and the cut out textured symbolic hand. However, the script does point towards the photocopied hands that attempt to grasp Allah, pointing the way with its grace-filled letters to the presence of Allah in everything, in everyone.

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20th, 2014

Welcome to Weblogs at Harvard Law School. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!