calligraphy project

In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created man out of a mere blood clot.


Have not those who disbelieve seen that the heavens and the Earth were of one connected entity, then We separated them, and We made every living thing out of water? Will they then believe?


Allah has created every animal out of water. Of them one walks upon its belly, another walks upon two legs, and a third which walks upon four.


In lecture Prof. Asani has talked about how out of all of the world’s diversity there can be found a certain unity. Since I study evolutionary biology, this reminded me of the unity that can be found if one goes far enough back on the evolutionary timeline. The idea that all of the world’s organismal diversity is derived from a unified point of origin has always been beautiful to me, so I decided to make Allah’s name into a phylogenetic tree. Phylogenetics is the study of how organisms are linked through evolutionary descent. This particular tree shows the relationships between select eukaryotic organisms found on Earth. The alif, lam, lam, and ha are branches of the tree. The alif is also the root of the phylogenetic tree, which represents a common ancestor to all life, just as Allah represents the unity that ties the world together. The Qur’an mentions that God created all animals out of water, and the root could represent this origin. The branch between fungi and plants is slightly delineated so as to make each of the letters more legible. This depiction also shows that evolution and other lines of scientific thought are not in direct conflict with Islamic thought. The Qur’an talks about how how Allah created man out of a blood clot, or in other translations a living cell; this could be interpreted as “Allah created life.” If Allah created life, then evolution could certainly explain how organisms have become as complex and varied as they are today.

Medium: pen & ink