Entry 1

This peice is meant to illustrate certain concepts which help to collectively constitute the conceot of beauty in Islam. One such notion, for example, is the idea of Allah as beautiful; in Islam, Allah himself is beautiful and loves beauty, resulting in the emergence of the Islamic emphasis on aesthetics. Beauty becomes central to understanding Allah and oneself. This piece demonstrates this in that emphasis on aesthetics with its positioning of the image of an eye in the top right corner of the painting; aesthetics begin with physical senses. In this, the human can observe (and hear) the natural beauty around them–that is, the beauty which is seen in the natural earth. This idea is represented by the flowers and vines which punctuate the painting; they are meant to illustrate the Islamic idea of God’s presence in nature. A less physical, still more important Islamic ideal surrounding beauty is the notion of Ishan, which is the idea of becoming a beautiful person. This requires spiritual and metaphysical understanding of oneself, which is illustrated by the anatomical heart in the painting. This heart is meant to represent the internal quest for beauty within oneself, but also the fundamental morality of humans; thus, in their search for beauty, they must understand that, though they are striving to reach a good relationship with Allah, they are, ultimately, of this earth, and thus, moral. The painting also emphasizes human creation of beauty–that is, it illustrates the existence of an important role of artists in Islam. This idea is represented by the images of Frida Khalo, a famous Mexican artist. Finally, the piece is, ultimately a collage, consisting of multiple different mediums, and references to multiple cultures and societies, including modern day (represented by images of Kim Kardashian). This is meant to illustrate the subjectivity of the idea of beauty, and the inclusive nature of the Islamic understanding of beauty. Islam is incljusive because irt recognizes this subjectivity of experience; people of different cultures experience and engage with Islam in widely varying ways, speaking to the inherently variable nature of beauty as a concept.

Leave a Comment

Log in