Monthly Archives: July 2007

Islamic Artist Interview

Wasalamalaikum. Aaminah at Writeous Sister Speak did an interesting interview of Islamic Artist Ruh, you can read it here.

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Filed under Contemporary Islamic Art, Visual Arts

La Romance des Mondes (the painting)

Wasalamalaikum. Al hamdulillah I just completed the new painting I had been working on for a little while: “La Romance des Mondes” it translates to “Romance of the Worlds”… Its imagery came from a poem of the same title I wrote in French. I’m going to translate it tomorrow inshAllah for my English speaking people … It was really soothing to work on this piece, a celebration of the Alignment our soul constantly invites us to; it is this Alignment that all the worlds visible and invisible reflect out of surrender to The Divine … read more

“The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; And yet ye understand not how they declare His glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbear, Most Forgiving!” (~Qur’an 17: 44)

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Filed under Contemporary Islamic Art, Islam, Oil Painting, poesie visuelle, Spiritual Art, Sufi Poetry, Sufism, Tasawwuf

Neptune Zikr

Neptune Zikr (zuhrtime graphic)

Carpets of scented Water,
my many feet suspended

in no where’s incandescence;

some pregnant obscurity
clothes this milky station!

Hands loose to wander
sacred Strings of Blueness,

O, Rapture upon Rapture!
I do not know what to do,

I do not know where to look
for my self, it has gone!

copyrights 2007 Aida Toure

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Filed under Contemporary Islamic Art, Islam, Spiritual Art, Sufi Poetry, Sufism, Tasawwuf

“Save” Africa Campaigns

Wasalamalaikum. I found this interesting article by Uzodinma Iweala that is truly relevant. With all these campaigns to “save Africa” I’m sure they generate a lot of money which fattens the pockets of some elite somewhere but all populations need help, not just Africans. All masses across the globe need assistance because they all are at the mercy of the same exploitative, elitist force and this beyond the notion of borders, color or nationality.

I think that what would truly help the African continent is a more humane system (shaped by our African reality, and not by our self-serving former colonies) that would allow the masses to finally benefit from the revenues of their natural resources. But of course we know that our “former” colonies diligently put in power leaders that do just the opposite… And it seems that when the people are blessed with a leader who implements structures for the welfare of the masses, he gets assassinated so when there is all this talk about “saving” Africa, it really is difficult to take it seriously when that hand that claims to want to “save” is the same one that deliberately causes the starving and suffering of children and humanity. When I see how some of the citizens of developed countries suffer the harsh reality of exclusion, exploitation and oppression, and this at the hands of those same ones who claim to want to “save” Africa, I realize that indeed the masses all are insignificant to the elite’s eyes.

The continent of Africa is still trying to recover from centuries of multidimensional plundering (including slavery, colonization and all the political corruption they imported) so the best way to help African nations would be to free them from the clutches of this fierce exploitative system that has actually supported the expansion of western nations at the expanse of Africans for centuries. I painted a piece about this theme whose title is “The Luminous, The Coveted“.

Sincere help is always appreciated of course, yet at the same time what we’re more in need of is love, honesty, justice, equality, compassion, truth globally and even more so in our institutions and bureaucracies…

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Filed under Save Africa, social justice

I painted my next Piece to Yohosame’s Music

Wasalamalaikum, I have been exploring oil paint and I immensely enjoy it because color goes a long way, it sort of allowed me to uncover new layers of depth to the canvas… Oil takes longer to dry so I’m spending even more time on my pieces now! InshAllah soon, I’m going to post the pictures of the painting I have been working on entitled “La Romance des Mondes“… It was inspired from a Sufi poem I composed in French. I painted it while listening to the music of a gifted Muslim musician named Yohosame. Those who feel deeply spiritual music should check him out on myspace, his sense of musicality is out of this world and it will move you like some Sound you heard in the farthest place, a dim memory from Way before … personally, its fluidity reminds me of prayer, contemplation, not-being… al hamdulillah! When music’s true purpose is honored, it can be one of the most beautiful experience to discover it as it enhances our grace!

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Filed under Music, Spiritual Art, Sufi Poetry, Sufism, Tasawwuf, World Music

Backwardness of Ego-Based Systems

Wasalamalaikum. The greatest obstacle to evolution is the greedy ego. When society’s institutions are based upon ego standards, it is the whole community of men that is molded to abide by false standards of living. Currently, advancement is generally observed in external, material terms. We spend much time on polishing our looks, our appearance, our homes yet if we dedicated only half of that time to polishing ourselves inwardly as well, our world would be much more balanced and harmonious.

This culture of pride is encouraged, we mask our shortcomings and insecurities by colossal external means instead of working at alleviating them by going at the root of our distress which is the ego’s domination. As long as the ego dominates, we are always seduced by the suggestion of “solutions” that actually create even more difficulty for us. All these misleading schemes we keep coming up with only reflect the ego’s domination, the greatest impediment to our Freedom as souls.

We are conditioned at a young age to nurture ego’s thriving, education system plays a major role in this as well. In school, we diligently learn to:

- see our fellow creatures as threats and thus fiercely compete with them in order to “advance” whereas we all are unique with a divinely defined purpose for each of us as we are,

- repress individuality and relinquish independent thinking and this behavior is rewarded by our teachers too!

- discourage or oppress talents that will not be assets to the established oppressive system’s expansion,

- abide by man-made rules even as they oppose the Divine Rule,

- attack in order to quench the ego’s violent delusions,

- suppress peacefulness, intuition, harmonious feelings and emotions. For instance, a child who acts from love because s/he is sensitive with a deep feeling nature is often viewed as “weak”, immature or inept to function socially; the educative institutions nourish this falsehood and therefore change who children are by fragmenting their innate disposition, they basically expect those children to adapt to structures that violate their nature… do you see how backward that is?

How about allowing the heart to be more part of our systemic daily lives? How about being more humane and less like robots in our bureaucracies? How about allowing room for more of the kindness we are made of? This is the natural way, just look at how gentle, peaceful we all were when we were born! Our world’s structures resist the soul’s qualities so strongly, it is jarring, unnatural, even abnormal. How can we tolerate diversity in humanity and have any compassion for our fellow creatures if our lives are based upon illusory standards that take away from our innate potential? The nourishing of pride is the root cause of all our world troubles.

“Do they not look at Allah’s creation, (even) among (inanimate) things,- How their (very) shadows turn round, from the right and the left, prostrating themselves to Allah, and that in the humblest manner?

And to Allah doth obeisance all that is in the heavens and on earth, whether moving (living) creatures or the angels: for none are arrogant (before their Lord).”

~ 16:48-49 Holy Qur’an

copyrights 2007 Aida Toure

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Filed under Holy Qur'an, Inner Reality, Islam, Spiritual Art, Sufi Prose, Sufism, Tasawwuf

Atoms of Praise

Bismillah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim,
Lights out… wo! Light gets in…
The lover’s head always bows
when Mercy’s particles near,
he rejoices at their familiarity,
and his inner eye opens
to the latitude within,
worlds step out of
his chest to dance with
the atoms of praise.
The Pen inscribes the Shahada
upon his prostrating soul,
and Mary (as) nearby
cuddles his fears until
they vanish in beauty…
Love is the quiet kiss laid
upon the corner of his lips
while he recites the Qur’an,
angels wings flutter over him
to gently pull him toward
the tenderness he is made of,
he is loved in ways
he has yet to fathom.
He stands there in ripples
arising from his own center,
swirling he mumbles all he hears:
“Allahu Akbar!
Sit by this feeling
in your heart, it is the Truth.”

copyrights 2007 Aida Toure

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Filed under Inner Reality, Islam, Spiritual Art, Sufi Poetry, Sufism, Tasawwuf, the prophets (as)