Week 4:Muhammad as an Amulet


“You are God’s pure light, the master of the universe, the prince, /[Yours] is the rule of the two worlds, the luminous heart of the morning sun; / You are the refuge of sinners; the minister of the One and Only;/ Be mindful of me, efface this sorrow; listen to my supplication, O Ahmad!/ O master, I remember you! Gaurdian, I long for you!/ In trouble and distress I think of no one else by you;/ O perfect one!  My eyes look toward you, with clasped hands I lament;/ O master, listen to my urgent cry; pay heed, O prophet, the guide.”

-Faqir Gulam Haidar


This is an excerpt of a poem written in praise of Muhammad from In Praise of Muhammad: Sindhi and Urdu Poems by Ali Asani.  This an many other poems capture the many qualities of Muhammad and his importance in Islam.  Muhammad is described as a prophet and messenger, role model and exemplar, beloved intercessor, and mystic and God’s beloved.  Muhammad is often described as “the light” or “the guide” for Muslims.  The practices of Muhammad and the way of life that Muslims are taught to follow is known as the sunnah.  Muhammad is seen as not just an important figure in Islam, but one of the most significant.  These powerful poems, demonstrating the devoutness and love for the poems inspired me to try and translate this into a reminder to Muslims.

I thought back to the first week when we learned about shukr, which translates to gratitude.  The faith and remembrance of God is an important concept in Islam and showing that gratitude, whether that be in praying, recitation, visual art, or performing, is key in expressing that remembrance.  We also learned about the history and various amulets.  I referred back to the “Amulet of Anzarunni” story from Miracles of Muhammad and was inspired to make a Muhammad amulet.  I used one piece of wire to make each Muhammad to reflect the one God and his Muhammad as an intercessor.  I did not want to venture into the depiction of the prophet’s face so I basically made a skeletal version of him.  Even though and outsider would not be able to tell who it is, it is about the wearer’s relationship to Muhammad. I painted it gold to represent Muhammad as “the light”.  This amulet serves as a reminder to follow the sunnah, the customs of Muhammad.

Muhammad lived out the teachings of the Qur’an.  By the wearing of Muhammad amulets on your chest/heart or wrist there is a reminder of his role in Muslim devotional life.

Comment (1)

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    Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 9:50 am #