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Chain and Key to the Lock


Lock and Key

Week 2  Response: Quran as Sacred sound and God’s Word as Sacred Design

Medium: Color Pencils

In week 2 of the course, we read Michael Sells Approaching the Quran, in which he emphasizes how God revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad, as the final word of God.

“In seventh-century Arabia, a man named Muhammad began reciting what he said were revelations to him from God. These revelations referred to themselves as the Qur’an.” (pg 2, Michael Sells, Approaching the Quran)

God sent down the word of Quran to Muhammad who came from a long line of prophets. In class, we discussed the surah which mentions that there were prophets revealed to every nation, “Every nation has had a messenger” (10:42).

In week 4, lecture reading, Infidel of Love, we learned how there were prophets before Muhammad, a total of 1,24,000; some known and some unknown; some are explicitly mentioned in the Quran, others are derived from Hadiths and others are those whose names we don’t know.

“They present Muhammad as a prophet in the line of prophets stretching back from Jesus to Moses to Abraham” (pg 2, Michael Sells, Approaching the Quran)

In my illustration I reveal the chain of prophethood that started with Adam and ended with Muhammad where Muhammad was the key to Quran, the word of God. The Quran’s word is sacred text and I have depicted it as a lock that’s also drawn to look like the word Allah to show the importance of Quran in Islam. In class, we discussed how Quran is the final revealed scripture, acting as the lock to the chain of prophethood. In week 4, we also discussed the concept of  Krishna as the prophet and therefore I have put him in the chain to highlight how he was a prophet too. Some of the chains I left blank to show that there’s an endless line of Prophets, many of whose names, we don’t know about.

“Say: we believe in God and what has been revealed to us and what was revealed
to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the tribes, and in what was given to Moses,
Jesus, and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one and
another among them and to Him [God] do we submit [literally, before God we are
submitters (muslimun)] (3:84).

These verse taken from week 4 readings highlights how Quran is the culmination of God’s word. And that  Prophet Muhammad is the “Seal of the Prophets and ultimate culmination of Prophethood”. (pg. 115, Infidel of Love)

Overall, through my illustration, I have depicted the concept of Muhammad, as the “Seal of The Prophets” while also being the key to understanding the word of Quran, the perfect manifestation of God’s word. The Quran is like a lock with many layers and like an onion that needs to be peeled to get to the source of the truth. We saw in class that descendants of the Prophet(spiritual and physical descendants) have also served as the means to unlocking the secrets of holy book but all paths and underlying secrets must go through the big key (culmination of the chain) i.e the prophet himself.


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