Birds in the Sun, by Roya Azal

Esoteric Quarterly & Art Work for Islamic Family Counselling Project in Gent, Belgium

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.” ~
Dschalāl ad-Dīn ar-Rūmī

Autumn (2017) – I feel honored to be the featured artist for Esoteric Quarterly, an independent, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the trans-disciplinary investigation of the esoteric spiritual tradition.

Furthermore I was invited to contribute art work for a conference on Islamic Psychotherapy and Counselling in Gent, Belgium. Such projects are of great value. My hope is that a counsciousness is rising amongst Western mental health professionals that the “integration” of people from pre-dominantantly Islamic countries and cultures is a trans-cultural process of learning, mutual appreciation and growth. Islam has a lot to give, especially to people who are traumatized and in dire need of stability, meaning and healing. To strengthen us and to teach us about the blessings of goodness was the original great endevour of the Prophet (as), as well as of Jesus (Isa, as). Healing is an universal right and need. It is our obligation in this life to learn, learn, learn…

Birds in the Sun, by Roya Azal

Birds in the Sun, Art work for Islamic Counseling Conference, Gent

 

 

 

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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. Continue reading

Yearning

Al Matin, Holy Magic Mother Fire – المتين

This is a small text I wrote in 2011, still living in the UK, where I was cyberstalked for years  yet unable to get justice. Instead I experienced further abuse by the legal profession (beware of “Human Rights” lawyers) and the police and drew abusive people to myself who tried to gain an advantage from my suffering. Sure, I was unprepared and naive about evil at the time, but the teachings are, that “normal” people are always in danger to be abused by those who embrace evil and that evil seeks both: perpetratrors and victims. It is a force in itself. I got a taste of what evil and authoritarian abuse actually means – in each of us. The experiences brought me to Islam, and to healing from the trauma that evil inflicted on me. Nowadays I pity the people who surrender to evil and who did evil to me. There is nothing they can hope for. Nothing they ever really own. Evil may be powerful for some time, yet it is doomed to fall into death and nothingness. Only goodness is beautiful and eternal.

المتين – The Eternal, 54th name

“If they turn away, then know that Allah is your Befriender – a Transcendent Patron, a Transcendent Helper!” ~ Holy Quran, 8:40

Days pass, I pray and I awake slowly from this strange numb dream. While diving to the bottoms of the bottomless seas to recover Inji, the Pearl, I see demons, jinns, confusion, shapeshifters, screams within screams, hardened faces.

And I see joy, life, what is eternaly true, Sadqa, the ancient forest never ending to grow, Khidr singing us sweet songs & lullabies, dreams form visions, visions form prayers, prayers form conciousness. Lla ilaha illallah, Muhammed al Rasool Allah. I love and so I am set free.

Mother, Father, endless supreme love – I pray daily. Friends come. Come and save us. Let’s be together. The friend of all friends fills us with love & endurance daily. Soul surviving, soul rising, from the bottomless sea of despair, oppression, pain.

There is a level of pain when you reached that you wish to cut your skin open, to give the screams inside your soul a physical manifestation. Now I know why some people cut themselves. To give their soul screams a manifestation, a shape, a form. The physical pain is a relief from the trauma of the soul. Fight the pain with fire.

The earth shakes in pain, she shakes so hard, manifesting her wounds, the violence humankind inflicts on her & itself. Rocks don’t cry? Rocks cry too. Earth, our womb, is soul too. Why does mankind have this hate, this lie about life in it’s mind? We seek refuge in you Allah, from the wicked shaytan, the expelled one. Fight the pain with fire.

Instead of cutting my flesh I cook with fire & pray. The apple with the encircled thorn in it’s skin rots in a drawer. I saw it today again and thought, evil shrinks like the apple. Warts or what, nothing Allah can not cure. (*) Seek refuge in her endless supreme love. Do not just hide in this refuge, recover the love & fight & do love magic.
* An old magic from Iran. To entrap a wart stick a rosethorn into an apple and encircle it. Pray over it for healing. Then let the apple rot. Wart goes.

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What is magic? Magic is everything. Your thoughts are the key, your heart the key bearer. Silence the lies your mind has hoarded over times, and learn heart magic again. Simply love. Decide with every wakened breath if your thought is a blessing or a curse. Try it and go for the blessing. Get to know your thoughts. See what happens then.

To burn out the pain I recommend to eat chilli, deep, fiery, holy chillie, that makes your hands burn when tearing it, that burns your throat when swallowing it, that burns your skin wherever chillie touched it, makes your tired eyes weep. Oh the pain of the sweet terrible truth. Sweat tears and fire. All is good.

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The Celestial Garden, Berlin, 2017

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

Certain Feminists, Islam and the Far-Right

“The Head Scarf is the flag of the Islamic Crusade.” ~ Alice Schwarzer

The other day I read an article in the New York Times about Alice Schwarzer, a prominent German feminist, known since the 1970s for her acitivties. The New York Times even called her “pioneering”. Pioneering? Alice Schwarzer was very much present during my childhood in Germany. She represents my mother’s generation – she appeared on various media and is still a major figure in German feminism. 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

Opaque Flower

God’s Greatest Name ~ Ism Allah Al-A’zam

“The symbol you see in the logo of this blog is the graphic symbol of the Greatest Name of God  (ism allah al-a’zam), also known as the Seal of Solomon (khitam sulayman): a symbol which from quite early on plays a major part in the history of Islamic esotericism, especially in magic and the occult (…) It derives from a poem attributed to the first Shi’ite Imam ‘Ali (as). * “

Continue reading