Islamic Garden, Emma Clark

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.

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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.

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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.

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Peonie in Arabesque by Roya Azal

From Radical Atom, to Dancing Atom

“O God of all gods, come to the aid of the people of Light, give the victory to the people of Light, and guide the light unto the Light!” ~ Shihābuddīn Yaḥyā Sohravardī (a.s)

After a short illness Armin Medosch, an Austrian net artist and activist has died on the 23rd of February 2017. I first met Armin in Munich and later I met him again in London, when I myself was working in media and the arts and went through all the madness and light-heartedness that was the early digital age. In Germany he was a collegue of mine at the Munich media lab and worked as editor at the German online magazin telepolis, the first of it’s kind, at an age when Online Magazins were entirely unheard of (the mid to late 90s).Continue reading

Planet with Flower

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.

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الملك The Absolute Ruler Al-Malik

The Metaphysics of Light in Iranian Islamic Sacred Geometry

O God of all gods, come to the aid of the people of Light, give the victory to the people of Light, and guide the light unto the Light!” ~ Shihābuddīn Yaḥyā Sohravardī (a.s)

Iranian Art & Architecture not only is fascinating with it’s highly refinded interplay of colors, rythmic layering and it’s historical development, it is also deeply mystical in expression and vibration. A day in a mosque in Iran is doing many wonders for the soul and the imagination.  In this article Wahid Azal, my husband and a well known Sufi mystic dives into the metaphysical aspects of Iranian Islamic Sacred Geometry in Architecture and Art.

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