Flowers & Bees

Be like the Bees – On the Natural Care of Bees

“The believer is like a bee, feeds upon the goodness, relieves a burden of goodness (honey), lands upon a branch softly so as not to break it and when falling into the water does not pollute it.” ~ Saying by Mohammed (as)

“The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the believer is like a bee which eats that which is pure and wholesome and lays that which is pure and wholesome. When it lands on something it does not break or ruin it.”

The bee only eats from flowers which are tayyib (pure and wholesome). It is not attracted to repulsive things, unlike other insects. Likewise the believer only eats that which is pure and wholesome.Continue reading

Birds in the Sun, by Roya Azal

Esoteric Quarterly & Art Work for Hoger Institut, 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.Continue reading

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

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

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). * “

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Forest with Arabeske

Learning from Khidr and Trees – My Life in the Forests

“You think you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe” – Ali ibn Talib (as)

“It is God who splits open the seed and the fruit stone. He brings out the living from the dead, and the dead from the living.” ~ Quran, Surat 6:100

One of the great blessings in my life are my encounters with Al-Khidr, the green spirit (Khiḍr resembles the word “green” in Arabic, though others give other etymologies for the name). One afternoon in England – in a park with a small forest – I encounterd a bright green light (that’s Clorophyl) in the moss and ever since I follow this light and began a conversation with trees and everything that grows. With time I learned more about the vast interconnected natural networks that surround us and I began to venture deeper into communicating and seeking to learn from them.

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