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Beauty and love inspired by the Qur’an

  • Published at 11:01 am June 7th, 2018
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Infinite inspiration / BIGSTOCK

For 1,400 years, the Qur’an has inspired a vast spectrum of creativity

It was said unto her: Enter the hall. 

And when she saw it she deemed it a pool and bared her legs.

Solomon said: Lo! It is a hall, made smooth, of glass. 

She said: My Lord! Lo! I have wronged myself, 

And I surrender with Solomon unto Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

-- Qur’an, 27:44, translation by William Pickthall 

The above verse from the Qur’an (a conversation between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba) inspired centuries of Islamic architecture and literature. 

The pool of water in which one can see the Taj Mahal’s reflection is such an example. 

The reflection in the pool serves as a symbol of the mirror (our soul) and the paradigm shift that results from this reflection (not this, nor that, just oneness; soul, self, the planet, the cosmos). 

I asked a child who was carrying a lighted candle, “Where does this light come from?” The child blew out the candle and asked me, “Tell me where it has gone and I will tell you where it came from.”

-- Shaykh Sinai, teacher of Rumi

We may not know where our souls come from, but it is certainly drawn to beauty, love, creativity -- the arts and sciences, the finest expression of our souls (irrespective of gender, class, and sexual orientation, we are bent this way). 

For about 1,400 years, the Qur’an has inspired a vast spectrum of creativity to make pieces in a variety of mediums, hinting towards the beauty, depth, and mystery of existence. 

This Ramadan, let us support artists, engineers, designers, architects -- anyone in the field of creativity. 

Let us be creators ourselves. In creating or commissioning master works, we come closer to the Beloved. 

When you looked at my polished heart’s shine

you just saw your own reflected in mine

And baring your legs, you hiked up your soul

to wade in my water, so clear and so cold

But I’m too jealous to let you baptize

your body in anything else but my eyes

So you’ll walk on water, just like the Messiah

and dance across skies, like sunset’s smooth fires

You sounded the depths, and to your surprise

found it but a trick to uncover your thighs

The clothes that you bought, all the things that you thought

in my mirror’s undertow, are all swept aside

And so now you walk with my heart underfoot

we’re all alone, lift your head up love and look

Let me lift off that veil, since it’s just you and I

it’s cold out there darling, come into my eyes …

-- Solomon’s Pool, by Sulayman Ibn Qiddees

Shireen Pasha is a contributor.