Thursday, December 30, 2004

 

Refuge for the Nomad

Asalamalaikum to one and all -

I bring you sincere Greetings of Peace and Tranquil Salutations from the depths of my heart and soul :)

Praying that the readers of this nomadic journal are safe both in their physical realm as well as thier spiritual one. Ameen.


I did a quick Google on 'refuge' and picked the first link:
(ps - Im not supporting the links etc on this link.. just using the definitions here!)


refuge
1: a safe place;
2: something or someone turned to for assistance or security:
3: a shelter from danger or hardship
4: act of turning to for assistance

...and further continuing to say...

1. Shelter or protection from danger or distress
2. That which shelters or protects from danger, or from distress or calamity; a stronghold which protects by its strength, or a sanctuary which secures safety by its sacredness; a place inaccessible to an enemy


Speaking on purely spiritual terms - we come to realise that the Protector and Giver of Shelter; the One who provides the Sanctuary; Assistance and Security is no other than the Creator Himself.

The Divine.
The Lord of the Heavans.
The Lord of the Earth.
And the Lord of all that is between the two; including what it is that you are seeking 'refuge' from.


A change of direction... or perhaps not:

The artwork I intend to donate for auctioning to Sundays' EidMela fundraiser for Sudan is a piece which I called R E F U G E.

The piece shown below is the 'Verse of The Throne' or Ayat -al-Kursi which is also known as the 'Greatest verse in the Quran'. There are many virtues of this verse.

I believe all of humanitys' problems can be solved so easily that its laughable. The enemy - or rather THE ENEMY that is harrassing the Children of Adam (Alaisalam) is the devil. And from well-known narrations we are taught by the Final Prophet (Alaisalam) that the Verse of The Throne is sufficient to drive the devil from the home!

Thus my proposed solution to bring back tranquility and harmony into our spiritual, social, physical and mental spheres of life is the oft-recitation of these beautiful yet powerful words.

The artwork was also featured in the recent 'Tranquil Minds' artshow as part of the 'Celebrating Spirit' element of the show. The show aimed to look at Muslim spirituality in modern time Britain and highlighted the journey of a spirit en route to seek the Divine.

The 'Celebrating Spirit' is a state when one finds the peace and security we yearn so long and hard for. It is a state wherein ones' whole life falls 'into place'. A state where one is at complete contentment with the Creators' decree and with their focus in life.

It is also when one doesn't get 'caught up' in trivialities. Work is work, family is a blessing and friends are great pals :) Life, thus becomes simple. This simplicity takes away the 'stress' often associated with eg work etc. An individual becomes a dependent on the Creator; in realisation that in essence it is only the Creator who has the Absolute Power.

In this way, the individual admits their helplessness to the Divine and seeks refuge from the Divine. For the individual realises that it only the Divine can provide the Security. Therefore this piece of work relates to this philosophy of seeking Help from the Creator, and recognising that despite being in a state of peace; we are still in need of Security.

The green is representative of Paradise and our true belonging. It is an expression of the work I have started doing (including thinking about) regards 'The Garden'. We come to realise that this was a feature of centuries of Islamic art which were produced from Baghdad to Cordoba.

...

At times we wonder aimlessly through life;

..seeking.

We are in 'search' for something which will satisfy the spiritual emptiness many people in modern times feel succumb to. We go through our lives with all the material fulfillments and much much more; but no matter how many times you buy a new designer outfit, perfume or jewellery - theres still space for more - because you are trying to fill a 'gap' ...

No matter how high up the economic ladder you get - you will still feel you are not high enough.

So much so - that life itself becomes a burden - the burden of having to live each day; in the hope that it will get you through the next, and one-by-one; all that you have remaining here on Gods' earth.

But what we tend to fall short of is the ability to recognise.

To recognise that within each one of us is the essence of our Father Adam (Alaislam) and Mother Eve (Alaislam). And the origins of our common parents are from a place which is where real peace is to be found. It is where the real tranquility resides. An abode which is our abode - to which we rightly belong and InshaAllah (God-Willing) where will be the return.

This is why throughout lifes' little adventures (whether we have ever felt that it is a 'burden' on us or whether we have been 'spiritually unsatisfied') we hear the continuous call to our celestial abode. The Call of the Heavans follows us throughout our life, in the hope that we will listen - so that we shall find -

our refuge.

Good night & God Bless
May God Almighty bless every reader with a thousand and more angels to protect them. ameen.

Peace & Prayers

Wasalam, Duas

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Tranquilart hopes to see everyone at the EidMela on 2nd January 2005 12.30-5.30 at the Rex Centre, Coventry Road, Birmingham. The organisers intend to raise 300 Thousand pounds to help build and maintain a village in Sudan. A country where the worst human tragedy is being witnessed by people around the world. An estimated 2 million people have fled their homes and tens of thousands have been killed. Although this is only an attempt - perhaps this effort will reap within it, of the Divine Grace blanketing the world? God knows best - but every little helps. More info for this event: www.islamicevents.co.uk See you all there with smiley faces and heavy wallets :)
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Last years' auction item for Islamic Cultural Fair, December 2003.. a kind soul from Oxford paid £550 for this - which was intended for an Orphanage in Afghanistan.
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A close-up :)
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And another :)
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Here is the piece I have donated. Its Known as the Ayat Al-Kursi or Verse of The Throne... Powerful words recited by Muslims daily to seek refuge and protection from all sorts of harm and inconveniences which may upset the spiritual harmony we exist in. I called this piece 'Refuge'.
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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

 

A close-up image of the fusion of colour on glass.. so light, transparent and almost; free - like a celebrating spirit should be!
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Lead ... not all that glitters is gold.. there are other glittery things here also
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A view of the 'lead' on the glass prior to being painted.. Gold is the main coloured lead which has been used. Other colours that have been used include: silver, copper, grey, green, white, orange, bronze and a couple more I think...
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It was a hot Julys' day when I was forced to take my painting kit into the back yard under strict orders of the Sergeant in-charge of our household aromas.. Yes mummy! This was the time when I received my final ultimatum - obey or get out! That is, either quit painting in your room or do it outside.. so me took the latter option. And there was I, under the scorching heat, with a sweaty forehead; I had to quicken with the paint aswell because I had to apply the next colour immediately after the first so that I could 'fuse' the paint easily.. In total there were about 5-7 different shades of green if I remember correctly! Oh, and that lovely pink dress - summer days eh :P
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And the complete Masterpiece again... This verse is known as the 'Greatest verse in the whole Quran' ... Just looking at it is such a powerful experience. I testify to its' weight.
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Aah yes.. and another close-up of my sweety-pie. How I will miss you babe.. I pray you go into the home of some kind, loving caring people. I will miss you hun *tear
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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

 

OK - so its the final day and here are some shoots for all :)
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Artist Descussion: Farouq Molloy - Tranquil Heart: The Key To A Tranquil Mind.
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We are absolutely enchanted... SubhanAllah
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A break from the discussion... and our camera lady wants to get some responses...
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Ready...
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Artist Discussion: Abid Baig - The Celestial Call. We are reminded of the Unseen amongst us... SubhanAllah
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Some final celestial calls before the show ends?
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Farouq inspires again.. this time - the younger folk ;)
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Getting a head start ... tips from the expert :)
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Well this place looks tranquil enough... here starts the journey - thanks to our model - enjoy the rest of the shots people! :)
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Modern Living & Spirituality By Salma Ravat - Im looking at 'Left Behind' and thats 'Tower' to my right. Hey, rumour has it that some of this stuff is gonna be made available on miss tranquils' catalogue... shhhh...
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Spiritual Change by Aerosol Arabic Ali - hmmm... that blue piece is ideal for the new office.. and its written in english - so all my colleagues will be able to read it! Yippee!
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Asmas' 'Fulfilled Souls' .. yeah.. I can actually see the connection now!
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She says the 'Celebrating Spirit' can be understood by looking at the jaundiced triplets.. I mean the 3 yellow pieces. Ask me - I think they look cool - zesty man! Shes' called this piece the 'Completion of Faith' and something to do with hajj and also the 5 pillars - but where are the other 2?
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OK - so is this really the Celebrating Spirit?.. looks more like garlic! ... oops shouldn't say that to 'art' ... alright let me move onto that blue one.... erm.. very mystifying indeed - cloud 9?
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This Farouq fella seems to be a deep ocean.. I must take his card for some discussions later.. His 30 day visual journey of Ramadhan is mind-blowing!
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Hmm.. what have we here.. Is this supposed to depict some Celestial droplets onto this tacky carpet? Is this a reflection of the Heavans man seeks to reach from the earthly ladder? Much thought and discourse for philosophy indeed? Stones, mirrors, organza, petals and fragrance... hmmm..
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And to know that the brain behind the show found much of her inspiration in Granada... This door sure looks good for my frontroom.. lets take another look.. hmmm
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OK so where do I start... hmm.. I sure can use these Ulfah Arts leaflets for some inspiration I guess.. I can't believe it - Im already feeling like an artist!
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Oh Gosh! Will I find a place to put my masterpiece??.. That genie is giving me the creeps aswell...
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Aha! That looks wicked! My own mark on the show! Doesnt it look so cool beneath that butterfly? ...
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Whey - that brother Aerosol sure has changed from his early days ... and this Modern Living stuff seems quite an interesting read..
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Woah! Cool - she actually is NOT from an arts background! AAmaze - ing!
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Yes.. in here it goes! .. ooh yes i did leave my contact details on that Mailing List on the right! Ta-rah then!
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Sunday, December 19, 2004

 

In Sickness & In Health I said: "I Do!"

Asalamalaikum to everyone after A-ges! Greetings & Blessings of peace from the depth of my heart, liver, stomach, ribs and yes everything else 'in there' .. as well as my dear soul :)

Praying everyone is in the bestestest of health (physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual) and highest state of belief and faith - ameen :)

Regards myself - well, me has recovered (tell a lie - semi/recovered) from one of God Almightys' tests on the physical plains of my being. Yes - I had the B U G .. was down from Thursday evening till this morningish.. feel lots better better now now!

Alhamdulila Thank God Almighty for illness - for it extinguishes much.

The Prophet Alaislam is reported to have said:

The sick person's sleep is considered as worship and his moaning as litany of praise to Allah. He is rewarded as though he is performing his usual prayers when he was healthy although he is unable to do so now. His supplications are accepted, his sins are forgiven, all his mistakes and wrong-doings recorded in his book are deleted, and he is told `Very well, start your new life with an absolutely clean book!'

Islamic societies never frowned upon the ill or infirm.

The Islamic civilization gave rise to a wealth of of medical knowledge and practise, unheard of in the, then, 'barbaric' west. Whilst the world was asleep in the 'Dark Ages' Islamic societies saw the flourishing empire of physicians. Health was a blessing from God Almighty just like wealth, children or a business. And thus they spent so much energy in mastering how to look after this trust from the Creator.

However - it is ironic to find that we only consider health to be a 'test' when there is the absence of it. Or let me put it another way..
WHY is it that we consider ill health a test? and not good health?

Similarly - why are only people with financial problems considered to be undergoing tests?

why do we say only the infertile couple are being tested?

or the one who loses his business?

or the one who cant find the job s/he desires?

or the one ... ? & moi list est continuez :)


I came to this conclusion several years ago:

EV-rything is a test!

Sometimes God Almighty will test you by giving you one of His bounties. At other times He will test you by taking that bounty away from you.

I made a conscious decision to believe in God Almighty. Thus, in our contract it is not only in sickness, but also in health that I should say "I Do!" to His Decree.

Good Night, God Bless

*news from the desert - My camel herd (for those who can recall.. they went to the Sacred Saudi cities for Ramadhan) are almost home :) They were kidnapped along the way as they tried to cross the harsh desert sands.. they wanted to cross to other lands to see their relatatives before returning. But thankfully - the kidnappers' hearts melted since they explained how I was anxious to see them before they perform the hajj. So I am expecting to re-unite with them anytime this week.

My herd are hoping to perform Hajj this year and then, some will undergo the sacrifice in memory of Prophet Ibrahim Alaisalam. So ... this may be the final moment to see some of them :)

Anyhow -
Peace & Prayers
Wasalam, duas



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Saturday, December 04, 2004

 

Haji Noor Deen Mi Guangjiang, eminent master of Arabic calligraphy. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK. Saturday 4th December 2004: 1-5pm. *text has been taken from the website :)


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The tools...
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http://www.hajinoordeen.com - "God loves the beauty makers."

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In a country that almost reveres the art of the beautifully written word, it is not rare to find a calligrapher that possesses the talent and creativity inherent to the practice of Chinese calligraphy, an intuitive and freely flowing art form in which the way a word is written can convey as much meaning as the word itself

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However, it is rare to find a calligrapher that marries the spontaneous, water-like quality of Chinese calligraphy to the measured cerebrality and refined restraint of Arabic calligraphy. The Chinese and Arabic calligraphic traditions have often been compared as the two of the world's finest manifestations of the written word, but never likened; indeed, they are at once opposites and complements.

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When combined, the stunning simplicity of Chinese calligraphy softens the artistic deliberateness of Arabic calligraphy, while the Arabic informs the Chinese counterpart with its increased structurality. In the end, the result is calligraphy that blends the two greatest calligraphy traditions in an artistic piece that is a work of incredibly unique beauty, and a testimony to man's synthesizing genius. Haji Noor Deen Mi Guang jiang is such a calligrapher; trained by the finest schools and teachers that either tradition has to offer in both the ancient arts of Chinese and Arabic calligraphy, he brings immense learning in traditional thought and art to a modern audience and juxtaposes them in a calligraphic style all his own, both Eastern and Western. He is perhaps our new Renaissance man; versed in the classics, spanning cultures and times, outstanding in his field, and an embodiment of the pluralism our nation represents.

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Endowed with not only intense intellect but also fantastic energy and the ability to convey his knowledge, Haji Noor Deen is one who is capable and ever willing to teach and impart his long perfected technique, as well as moral and material support; indeed, calligraphy is only secondarily a profession for him. First and foremost, calligraphy is an act of faith.

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Through this art form, he is free to render in ink an expression of conflated cosmologies, and guide a new generation of artist-scholars. By working to impart beauty under the complete guidance of faith, Haji Noor Deen leaves his mark on the world as a giver of incredible aesthetic beauty as well as the beauty of moral excellence.

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Makes me wanna let my spirit flow!
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SubhanAllah, beautiful close-up
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Haji Noor Deen concentrates on a piece for us..
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Haji Noor Deen lectures on the art of Arabic calligraphy at the Islamic College in Zhen Zhou, where he has also established a correspondence course to enable students from all areas of China to study Arabic calligraphy.

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In addition, he researches Islamic culture at the Henan Academy of Sciences. In 1997, Haji Noor Deen was the first Chinese Muslim to be awarded the Egyptian Certificate of Arabic Calligraphy and to be admitted as a member of the Association of Egyptian Calligraphy.

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Haji Noor Deen's extraordinary mastery and genius in the art of Arabic calligraphy along with his unique ability to spectacularly deliver his craft to an audience has brought him lecture and workshop invitations from some of the most renowned and prestigious institutions around the world, including: Harvard University, Cambridge University, University of California-Berkley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Tufts University, the Bukhari Institute and the Zaytuna Institute, amongst a few.

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The masterpiece is complete!
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