Islamic Art and Spirituality by Seyyed Hossein Nasr

By Seyyed Hossein Nasr

With outstanding breadth of imaginative and prescient, Seyyed Hossein Nasr unearths for either Western and Muslim readers how each one paintings shape within the islamic culture is predicated upon a technological know-how of nature involved, now not with the outer visual appeal of items, yet with their internal truth. Ranging throughout calligraphy, portray, structure, literature, song, and the plastic arts, Nasr penetrates to the internal size of Islam and indicates the position artwork performs within the lifetime of person Muslims and the group as a whole--the function of inspiring the remembrance and contemplation of God.

as soon as the writer establishes paintings as an reduction and help to the religious lifestyles, he strains the inventive act to its final resource: internal wisdom and barakah, or grace, which make the crystallization of internal realities in shape and house and time attainable. via this data and beauty, the writer asserts, cohesion manifests upon the airplane of multiplicity, making archetypal realities perceivable via the senses. via this data and charm, artwork features as a ladder for the adventure of the soul from the seen to the invisible. How Islamic artwork leads guy to the interior chamber of divine revelation types the substance of a lot of this crucial work.

a particularly shut glance is given to the Sufi culture inside Islam, for its mystical lecturers have frequently sincerely verified of their works the non secular importance of good looks and served because the resource of notion for art.

by way of rediscovering the foundation of artwork within the Islamic culture, Seyyed Hossein Nasr opens doorways to new dimensions of solidarity that have likely been obscured in contemporary Western paintings. In so doing, he extends the importance of this booklet past the Islamic trust approach to the touch the hearts and artistic impulses of readers from all traditions.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr is presently college Professor of Islamic reports at George Washington college. Born in Tehran and proficient at MIT and Harvard, he used to be formerly professor of the historical past of technology and philosophy at Tehran collage and primary president of the Iranian Academy of Philosophy. He has taught all through the United States, Europe, the center East, Pakistan, India, Japan, and Australia. he's the writer of over twenty books in English. between them are Sufi Essays, Islamic lifestyles and notion, wisdom and the Sacred, and 3 Muslim Sages.

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What can I do, my master taught me no other letter. One need only 'know' this single letter in order to know all that is to be known, for the Divine Name is the key to the Treasury of Divine Mysteries and the path to the Real. It is that Reality by virtue of the essential identity of God and His sanctified Name. That is why in Sufism meditation upon the calligraphic form of the Name is used as a spiritual method for realizing the Named. As for ba' ( ), the second letter of the alphabet, its very horizontality symbolizes the receptivity of the maternal and passive principle as well as the dimension of beauty which complements that of majesty.

In his al-Kahf wa'l-raqim fi sharh bismillah al-rahman al-rahim,23 the celebrated eighth/fourteenth century Sufi, 'Abd al-Karim al-Jili, writes that the point is the indivisible substance (al-jawhar al-basit) while all the letters are compound (al-jism al-murakkab). 24 Hence when added to any letter the point does not have a sound of its own in the same way that the theophany < previous page page_31 If you like this book, buy it! next page > page_39 < previous page page_39 next page > Page 39 of the Perfect Man 4 himself about whom God has said, 'Were it not for thee I would not have created the heavens',5 that touched in prayer the floor of the humble room within which he prayed, thereby sanctifying the floor of the mosque and returning this floor to its inviolable purity as the original earth at the dawn of creation.

Nwyia, Exégèse coranique et langage mystique,Beirut, 1970. 22. Schuon, Understanding Islam, p. 64. For an extensive analysis of the symbolism of the letters of the Divine Name see Canteins, La Voie des lettres, pp. 106ff. 23. This treatise is a commentary upon the saying attributed to 'Ali that the whole Quran is contained in the opening chapter, that chapter in the basmalah, etc. 24. Al-Kahf . H. solar), p. 5. 25. , pp. 10-11. 26. See Ibrahim Basyuni Al-Basmalah rain ahl al-'ibarah wa ahl al-isharah, Cairo, 1972, pp.

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