Ubiquitous Voice

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

Week 12: Our Little Mosque

Filed under: Uncategorized April 25, 2016 @ 1:03 am


(English calligraphy, line-varying fountain pen on parchment) In this piece, I experiment for the first time with copperplate calligraphy, a font whose curves and sways make it somewhat akin to Arabic script. I have used the placement of the words to symbolize the essence of Mohja Kahf’s poem, Little Mosque Poems.

In the poem, Kahf describes “My little mosque” to be an exclusive and judgmental institution, particularly for women. She writes, “My little mosque is poor yet/ every week we are asked to give/ to buy another curtain/ to partition off the women….” I have altered the phrase slightly, and have written “Our Little Mosque” across the center of the page; in this way, it acts as a physical partition, like the dividing curtains mentioned in the poem. This represents, as Kahf suggests, that the “little mosque” is a force that is dividing Muslims. I’ve replaced “my” with “our”, a more inclusive word, in a somewhat ironic way.

The poem describes an ideal mosque, bearing a sign that reads, “Bad Muslims/ welcome here.” The existing mosque in the poem rejects these “bad Muslims” and is quick to point out minute flaws, such as when “a woman entered… with a broken arm/ a broken heart/ and a very short skirt/ Everyone rushed over to her/ to make sure/ she was going to cover her legs.” Only pious-looking people get into the little mosque, and the men’s section is described as far grander than the very spartan women’s section. As such, I have written “Good men” (rather than “Good muslims”) and “Bad muslims” separated by the little mosque. This aligns with the spirit of Kahf’s poem by suggesting that women are necessarily in the “impious” group, partitioned away and hidden.

1 Comment »

  1. آیفون تصویری:

    very very nic website

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>