Monthly Archives: August 2007

Behind the Voice

Wasalamalaikum. I was having a conversation earlier with a soul dear to me, we were speaking about the voice and its mysterious manifestations. I think that the voice is a transparent veil to the soul, every emotional state transpires through the voice even when we think we can dissimulate them. Being a lover of silence, I tend to get to know people by just listening to their voices (and not necessarily the words because they don’t always express what we truly feel) so the voice to me is it because it is life, it conveys the Breath and all the treasures-currents inherent to our soul.

I met one of my closest friends over the internet years ago. When we first spoke on the phone, his voice was so gentle, calm and soft, it was just easy to attune to him because he was clear so I knew right then we would be beautiful friends. I also have a friend whose voice is kind of restless and overwhelming and he often complains about having the impression that people shy way from him, so it’s true that the energies our voice carries matter.

The way a person’s voice conveys the Breath can also reveal much about the harmony or chaos in their lives, that’s why I always advice on breathing well, slow and deep whenever we can, preferably when alone so that we stay focused longer. Doing this exercise helps clarify any fogginess in us, it also allows us to be aware of the dormant negative feelings we may have and to work on them which eventually betters the quality of our lives and relationships with others.

copyrights 2007 Aida Touré

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Filed under Inner Reality, Music, Spirituality, Sufi Prose, Sufism, Tasawwuf

Cosmic Islamic Spectacle

The quintessential spirit of Islam adorns the Universe like light itself, wherever one turns it is right there, even in the deepest obscurity, it is there, present of all its gentleness. The Cosmos reflects the Islamic spirit with perfection so in truth there is no excuse for us to stray from the observance of authentic Islam: a constant reality.

The first Light (saw) created remained in a state of prostration before his Creator Allah (swt) as his very first activity; we all were created from this prostrating light’s state so it is only natural to return to it.

As humans we omit to turn our sight upward where celestial bodies exude their emphatic testimony of Surrender, of Islam to The Most Beautiful. Our immediate environment, Nature reflects its Islam as well so the Cosmic Muslim spectacle cannot be missed unless our heart is sealed by the Divine Will itself.

The music of the spheres is also a sign of this Cosmic Islam we tend to be distracted from, no one can be unmoved by this Sound of praise that pervades us all knowingly or not, we are indeed instruments made to echo this sonar luminousness. This is the reason why the Sound of the Qur’an has such a miraculous effect upon sensible beings, it’s a Reminder of the sublime Station they innately belong to and this Remembrance deeply resonates with them, it completes them… it is such a pristine, nurturing experience, that the wise ones live to bask in those moments; all this for the sake of Allah (swt) only.

Love and grace pervade the quintessence of Islam, they can never be extracted from it even after centuries of historical schemes or deliberate human misrepresentation, Islam is a multidimensional reality that continually circulate from the Upper parts of the Worlds seen and unseen, all the way to their lower parts so it’s present and intact by the permission of Allah (swt).

The greatest threat to self-serving forces on Earth is the integrity of this transcendent Islam because if sincerely observed, it can progressively lead mankind to complete Freedom and therefore to independence from all false systems that thrive through repression of the light of humanity. Islam pulls mankind toward its full potential, it allows us to follow the prophets’ (as) footprints which implies living in and with the Truth that sustains the Universe.

Eventually this state of beingness in Surrender/Islam cannot be avoided, at some point it’s always acknowledged, be it through life or through the rude awakening of death, it’s only a matter of time before we embrace our state of Islam anew… Even our galaxy fully exists in that Islamic state of grace, look at the most powerful star of our system: the Sun, do you perceive its unending praising of Allah (swt) as it rises and sets in cycles? This is Islam!

copyrights 2007 Aida Touré

“Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; is firmly established on the throne (of authority); He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.” ~ Qur’an 13: 2

“He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for men who are wise.”
~ Qur’an 16: 12

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Filed under Holy Qur'an, Islam, Prophet Muhammad (saw), Saints, science, Spiritual Art, Sufi Poetry, Sufi Prose, Tasawwuf, Visual Arts

Aïda Touré Interview in Le Miroir

Wasalamalaikum. I was recently interviewed by Le Miroir Magazine, the interview is available on my website in the press section. It was done in French, the English translation can be read here.

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Filed under Contemporary Islamic Art, Gabon, Islam, poesie visuelle, Spiritual Art, Sufi Poetry, Visual Arts

Offense of Commercialism in Sacred Arts

The richness of a civilization is determined by its arts and culture. When arts and culture are decadent, society progressively impoverishes itself and its inhabitants because only the spark of enlightened creativity represents enduring prosperity. Indeed luminous creations found in certain regions of the globe have always been signs of great advancement of the old civilizations that bred excellence. Even though we live in an era of excessive materialism and thus mediocrity, evolved creations still manifest.

At particular times on Earth, always appear phenomena reflecting a tradition from glorious past times which had been corrupt, destroyed and appropriated by mischievous forces in history. With the mercy and permission of Allah (swt) such richness often is recovered, it may take centuries in order for it to manifest anew in the world yet when it reappears it is recognizable because such grace always remains in the memory and historical records of these people whose ancestors witnessed its grandeur afore time.

Thus cultural figures whose works reflect different phases of the illuminated tradition which is as old as the Creation should know within themselves that no amount of money could ever equal the value of their contributions to mankind. The value of such rare timeless works can not be established on material terms, no financial offer can ever reward any surrendered soul for the sacred works it crystallizes by the grace of Allah Most High (swt).

Contemporary institutions that claim their mission is to preserve such rare, timeless arts no matter when or where they appear on Earth, should be the first ones to implement the preservation of such arts’ integrity yet they seem to do just the opposite out of ignorance, greed, elitism, prejudice, or pure intellectual dishonesty. Thus under such appropriation, sacred art can end up being presented as mere fragmented, commercialized products devoid of all the cultural depth it initially was conceived to convey.

I’m often offended by this notion of vulgar commercialism that is suggested toward sacred arts and culture nowadays and this doesn’t exclude the ego promotion that goes with it. This is such a contradiction because meaningful arts should aid to defeat the ego… In essence true artists are childlike, humble in their hearts which are consumed by the wonders of The Divine, this is why they create, they don’t create for financial profit nor recognition; these are mere accessories so the fact that these enlightened artists are expected to be seduced by some exploitative art dealers’ promise for “success” through vulgar commercialization of their arts is strange to me. Pomp and vanity are not the purpose of sacred Art, they are the downfall of it.

Personally, I’m more so concerned about the pulsating heart of Art, how its energy speaks to the human soul and if it does, how does this spiritual Conversation soothe and make their existence more pleasant and in tune with the Source of all… This is what I care about: the preservation and sharing of the tradition that reveals itself anew after centuries. I’m concerned about the legacy for the generations to come and the timelessness of the Conversation such Art can generate for all of humankind.

copyrights 2007 Aida Toure

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Filed under Contemporary Islamic Art, Gabon, Inner Reality, Islam, Spiritual Art, Sufi Poetry, Sufi Prose, Sufism, Tasawwuf, Visual Arts