Emma Clark: The Art of the Islamic Garden, Book Review

"Books are the gardens of scholars." ~ Ali ibn Talib (as)

It is Autumn, 2017. This past summer I exhibited some art work in a garden in Berlin as part of an art festival and studied the culture and history of the Islamic garden. The Berlin garden was pretty yet somewhat chaotic (so Berlin!) and I longed for the calm composition, clarity and artistic refinement of the real thing.

Continue reading

Sacred Dwellings: Celestial Gardens and Garden Artistry in Islam

"O Marvel! A garden amidst the flames." ~Ibn Arabi, Tarjuman al-Ashwaq

"We are unaware of our own manifestation in this garden, the narcissus does not see it's own spring with it's own eyes.” ~ Mir Dard

When do we really see and take in the delicate beauty of a flower, the majesty and care of trees, the ever changing colors, forms and appearances of a bloom?

Continue reading

Christrose

The Christmas Rose: Cancer-Treatments & Antidote Medicine in Islamic Healing

"The word "Toxin" (...) has a Persian Shamanic root ("taxsa" means "poisoned arrow"). The art and science of "the anti-dote against the poison" has a highly honored, special place in the Islamic healing arts."

The Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger, Black hellebore or Snow Flower, in Asia: Helleborus orientalis) is an evergreen perennial flowering plant that blooms in winter. It is considered a special plant with high mystical powers. According to European folk tales, the Christmas rose protects love, and is a symbol for a long and happy live. It was used as an aid against various illnesses since antiquity in Europe. It was also used since then as a repellent against malice and envy, and planted before door steps and stables. Like many protective talismanic plants it is very poisonous and highly ambigious.

Continue reading

Crocus Carpet

The Infinite, Algorithms and The Disorderly Arabesque

“The Arabesque (…) transfigures the object of nature it decorates (…) into a weightless, transparent, floating pattern extending infinitely in all directions (…) the object of nature has become under the Arabesque treatment a window onto the infinite.”

During my work on this blog, while researching, reading and writing about Islamic philosophy and arts I have come of course very early unto the Arabesque. The Arabesque pattern – sometimes foliate but commonly geometrically structured patterns of different shapes and coloring, known from Islamic decorative arts but also from music – has captured my interest.Continue reading

Two Blue Peonies, Art by Roya Azal

The Peonie: Queen of Islamic Floral Art

"During the night the Peonie spends medicine and healing, during the day the beautiful “Rose with no thorns” is protected by a jealous bird."

The Peonie (Paeonia officinalis) is known in phytology lore as “Fuga Demonica” – a repellent against bad energies and demons. It is a medical rose that came back to medieval Europe via the Islamic world from China (who imported it - via Arab, Persian and Syrian traders - originally from ancient Greece). The Peonie is a very stately flowering bush with large, lush dark pink, purple and rose tinted blooms. She is a wonderful floral gift for women.

Continue reading

The Atoms are Dancing, Roya Azal

New Mystical Art Work – The Atoms are Dancing

Poem of the Atoms, by Dschalal ad-Din ar-Rumi


O’ day, arise! 

Shine your light, the atoms are dancing. 

Thanks to Him the universe is dancing. 

overcome with ecstasy, 

Free from body and mind

I’ll whisper in your ear where their dance is leading them.

All the atoms in the air and in the desert are dancing, 

puzzled and drunken to the ray of light,

they seem insane.

All these atoms are not so different than we are, 

happy or miserable,

perplexed and bewildered,

we are all beings in the ray of light from the beloved, 

nothing can be said. 

________________________________

 ~ Dschalal ad-Din ar-Rumi

Continue reading

The Magical Powers of Arabic Letters

“(Islam) profoundly implies there is always more than meets the eye.” Amira El-Zein

Besides reading and reciting the Quran it is common practise in Islam to recite and write down the most beautiful names of God to be protected from wickedness and evil, including wicked Jinn. It also is a common belief that the drawing and repetation of the Ism allah al-a’azam (The Greatest Name of God) protects a person against misfortune and from the evil eye.

Continue reading

Red Clover Plant Healer

Portraits of Plants and Healers: The Red Clover

There are two kinds of knowledge: knowledge of religion and knowledge of the body.” ~ Prophet Mohammed (a.s.)

Trifolium pratense (“3 leaf plant”, from Latin), red clover, is a herbaceous flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to Europe, the Levant, the Middle East (Western Asia) and northwest Africa, but planted and naturalised in many other regions of the world.

Due to it’s natural hormone and calcium content the Red Clover increases bone density, smoothes the skin, increases circulation and  helps to have a restful sleep. It is also very useful for the treatment of Asthma and Bronchities. I have also heard of people who drank Red Clover tea against mental health issues such as depression and they reported an easing of their symptoms. Red Clover is also known to be a blood purifier, expelling toxins form the blood and inner organs (liver).

Continue reading