Aniqa Hassan's Blog

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What I wish others to know…

If there is one thing I learned in this class, it is that there is no defined singular Islam. Islam is very much a product of the culture and context surrounding the individual and consequently is a very individual experience. The important questions to ask when one says according to Islam is — whose Islam? Depending on who you talk to Islam can be very different. The same practice or tradition can be performed incredibly differently between two people based upon their beliefs.

For my artistic response to this question I chose to do a series of portraits of Muslims throughout the campus and ask them one question “What is your Islam?” This took a surprisingly long time as many individuals are busy with work but at the same time this was a very fun project. Its always fun to do a photo shoot and capture the moments that people weren’t exactly expecting to be on camera. I picked the picture that captured the moment, the feeling, or the personality of the individual. Here are some of the pictures taken (out of approximately 500).

I really do like how these photos turned out because a lot of them were candid. Unfortunately I could not include all of them in this particular post but they will be available if people would like to see them. What I found most interesting about the prompt was that its a genuinely hard question to answer. Though a lot of the responses were comic some of them do reveal something greater. For certain individuals Islam is truly a lifestyle and a religion whereas for others its something they grew up with and it’s more of a culture than a religion. For others this photo captured a moment in their spiritual journey where they still cant’ quite answer what their Islam is. A friend took the portrait of me.




It’s always changing. Some days its a source of peace and comfort, on other days its completely implausible, and sometimes its just irrelevant.


A: But all the good things have already been said. J: Maybe we should google it? A: Yeah, let’s google it! Me: This is your quote by the way.


It’s a way to stay chill cause haters gonna hate.




It’s a culture– a way of life I’ve been taught to live.


It’s a path to peace — oneness with my world, myself, and what’s greater than me. It’s a way to be my best me, God willing.


It’s not just a religion, it’s a way of life.


I have to make this good or they’ll make fun of me!


I’m still figuring it out.

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