Project #3: Depiction of Muslim life in a Vibrant City

Through discussion and our Islamic Art video, it came to my attention that people tend to continually mistake the word “islamic” as being synonymous with the word “arab.” To make this claim would be to completely ignore the millions of Muslims that are not Arab and are scattered across the whole globe. These Muslims all have influenced the religion in one way or another (whether that be at a local scale or global) by infusing their culture into the beliefs and impacting their social and physical environments. With this in mind and my own background, I decided to make one of my projects about Muslims living in a typical city in the West.

My drawing demonstrates a city corner where people are going about their day and conducting their business, riding bikes, or even buying lemonade! For the buildings in the back of the picture, I decorated them with geometric patterns in order to create a vision of Islamic art as we read in “The Topkapi Scroll – Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture.” Through the use of mimicking various arabesque tiles and other patterns, a sense of a little “Islamic world” is brought to this Western city, again displaying the impact Muslims have around the world. However, the focal point of the drawing is of a man, who is standing in the middle of the sidewalk and disregarding everything that is going on around him, and is praying. My idea was centralized around our discussions in class and section about the mi’raj, Muhammad’s journey in the night on the buraq creature. In addition to being greeted by angels and other prophets during his ascension to the heavens, this journey signals the day that the Prophet received word that Muslims should pray five times a day. Even years later, Muslims, regardless of where they’re from, still stop what they are doing in order to remember Allah. This picture highlights the importance of this practice to Muslims as they will be pray anywhere in order to complete their prayers on time.

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