Dispelling Shaytan (Wétiko) – Part 1

A'udhu billahi minash shaitan ir rajim
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
I seek shelter in Allah from the accursed Satan

"Ultimately, humility is the basis for democracy, just as arrogance is the basis for authoritarianism." ~ Jack D Forbes

What is Wétiko? What are the Shaytan? Who is Iblis?

Wétiko is a word from North American Native – Cree – origin. To the Cree, and most Native North Americans, greed was a serious psychological malfunction. The Cree called this malfunction Wétiko. The phrase and collective sickening spirit it describes was first brought to wider public attention by Jack D. Forbes, a Native American healer, scholar and political activist.

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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 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.

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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.

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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?

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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. 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

Crazy Love Bismillah

A Simple Detoxing Massage with Mint

“Once the Mint takes roots it won’t leave easily and does it’s cleansing job.”

I know the modest Mint in the kitchen and as an aid for indegistation. On further investigation Mint reveals itself as a powerful herb that draws out dark, moist and unpure things from the body. In nature Mint grows in the shadows, loves moisture and succeeds even in hostile conditions, sturdy and persistent.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

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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