Ubiquitous Voice

An artistic reply to "the Love of God and His Prophet"

Week 3: The Word, the World

Filed under: Uncategorized February 29, 2016 @ 6:01 am

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(Arabic calligraphy, brush) To Muslims, the power of the Qur’an goes beyond the written text. The true beauty of this holy text is expressed only in its sound during oral recitation, when the voice of the reciter mimics the voice of God which revealed the same words to the Prophet. Indeed, as Kristina Nelson points out inĀ The Sound of the Divine in Daily Life, “Most Westerners find the claim to the Qur’an’s inimitable beauty baffling, for they have had access only to the written text… The ears hear more than the eyes see in the written text, and it is only in the sound that the full miracle is realized,” (Nelson 258).

In this piece, I aim to highlight the miraculous power of the sound of God’s voice. Just like the way “The meaning of the Qur’an is not restricted to the words; the meaning transcends the words… one hears not only a particular narrative but the sound of the Divine, a moment of revelation” (Nelson 259-260), I depicted nature as a collection of words (the mountains are formed from the word “mountain”, etc.) This reflects the story of Creation in the Taurat in which God brought the many features of the world into existence by declaring them into being. In the center of the sky, I’ve written the word for “voice” in gold, representing the sun (divine light) and the reigning power of God’s voice that has revealed the world.

Nelson points out that, for the Qur’anic reciter, “recitation can be transforming, the participants touched and changed,” (Nelson 258). Here I hope to symbolize the transformative power of the divine Voice by representing its magnificent power to create and to beautify both the minds of listeners and the world they live in.

 

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