Archive for the Islam Category

A Passionate Intuition

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by designldg

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“Faith is a passionate intuition.”
(William Wordsworth – English Romantic poet, 1770–1850)

This little boy wearing a beige jacket made this tazia.
His family invited me to have tea and to share a few sweets which are especially done at the time of Muharram.
From the window of the house I took several pictures of the people passing by and admiring this miniature replica of Husayn’s mausoleum and the children of the house decided to go outisde and to gift my lense their happiness.
This picture was shot in the area of Jaitpura in Varanasi (Benaras).

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An Oasis in the Heart

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by designldg

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“Faith is an oasis in the heart which can never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
(Kahlil Gibran – Lebanese born American philosophical Essayist, Novelist and Poet, 1883-1931)

Walking in the narow streets from Pili Kothi to Jaitpura in Varanasi (Benaras) at the time of Muharram is an enchantment.
In front of each house stands a tazia which is a miniature replica of Husayn’s mausoleum.
The simple ones are usualy done by the children living there, others which are more elaborated are made by several artcrafters from the city who follow different religions and maintain this way that well-known Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (Ganges-Yamuna Culture) which is a fusion of Hindu and Muslim elements in the culture of the central plains of Northern India.
During this magical evening families and friends visit each house where stands a tazia as the day after they will be carried in processions.

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Ontology of Observing

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2011 by designldg

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“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
(Reinhold Niebuhr – American theologian, 1892-1971)

This picture was shot in Varanasi (Benaras) during Muharram.
Those men were observing the remembrance of the Battle of Karbala when Imam Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of prophet Muhammad, and a Shia Imam, was killed by the forces of the second Umayad caliph Yazid I.
They gathered in front of a tazia in order to review Islamic teachings and to commemorate Imam Hussain’s sacrifice.

The night was generous and offering a wondeful and timeless journey in those narrow streets of the old Kashi.
I wouldn’t have been surprised to bump into Aladdin and his Wondeful Lamp…

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The Gardens of Eden

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by designldg

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“Hail, blessed space happier than the garden of Paradise
Hail lofty buildings higher than the divine throne
A paradise, the garden of which has thousands of Rizwans as servants
A garden of which has thousands of paradise for its land
The pen of the mason of the Divine Deeree has wrotten on its court
These are the gardens of Eden, enter them and Live Forever.”

This is a Persian poem on the third Mughal Emperor’s tomb complex’s entrance gate located in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh from where this picture was shot.
This visual metaphor is a reference to paradise.
It was designed and written on the north facade, the side facing the tomb, by Abd al-Haqq Shirazi who was later known as Amanat Khan when he became the designer of inscriptions on several major Mughal monuments including the Taj Mahal.

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Towards Eternity

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by designldg

Towards Eternity

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“May his [Akbar’s] soul shine like the rays of the sun and the moon in the light of God.”
(Final verse of the Persian inscription on the emperor tomb’s entrance gate)

This is one more picture of the third Mughal Emperor’s tomb in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
This door shows a long narrow corridor which leads to the basement of the burial chamber where an interior domed chamber contains Akbar the Great’s true sarcophagus.
Although this interior was later whitewashed, it is reported that originally it was painted with Christian subjects including angels and the Virgin Mary, however such images were a matter of fashion and not reflection of religious belief.

Into Light

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by designldg

Into Light

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All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.”
(From the Holy Quran – 2.257)

Tow lamps are the only furnitures inside the mausoleum complex of the third Mughal emperor Akbar the Great (1542 – 1605).
Therefore it was easy to connect this picture with those symbolic words found in the Holy Quran…
It is located in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Abode of Paradise

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by designldg

Abode of Paradise

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All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Eden is that old-fashioned house we dwell in every day Without suspecting our abode, until we drive away”
(Emily Dickinson – American Poet, 1830-1886)

This is the main room leading to emperor Akbar’s burial place inside the mausoleum located in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
In the Akbarnāma (the official chronicle of the reign of Akbar the Great, the third Mughal emperor) this monument is mentioned as Behistan or Behistabad which literally means “Abode of Paradise”.