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.