Stemming from my post about Art in History, it got me thinking about how to tie art into other areas of learning as well. Really, if I was totally left to my own devices, I would probably forget to cover art lessons completely. Since it just isn’t my thing, I need to blend it with other lessons.
I know many artists that come to Islam and feel there are so many restrictions when it comes to creating art, it stifles their creative process, so today I want to look at what options there are within the realm of Islamic art.
So why do the artists feel stifled? One big hang up is the fact that we are not to try to depict humans or animals. We should not try to imitate Allah’s creation. We know from hadith:
Sayyiduna Jabir (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbade the keeping of pictures at home and making them.” (Sunan Tirmidhi, no: 1749)
Sayyiduna Abu Talha (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Angels (of mercy) do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or a picture.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 5609)
It’s important to note that everything else is allowed. When we look at the entire scope of the world, that still leaves many options.
What are Muslim artists known for?
Muslims are known for their art in calligraphy, specifically Qur’an ayat (verses), names of Allah, or dhikr (words of remembrance). Muslims are also well known for their contributions in architecture and geometric patterns. Art is not limited to paint, pen, or pencil, but can also come in the form of fabric, metal, or anything else that can be manipulated into a new design.
Modern art practices
I know people in our community that have taken to landscape art and done well, either with photography or painting. Care Bear has taken a liking to photography, alhamdulilah, and has a pretty good knack for it! Again, knitting, crocheting, quilting, tatting, scrapbooking, etc. can all be considered art. It’s about what makes you feel creative and rejuvenated!
Weaving art into Islamic studies
Start collecting Islamic art to put up in your home, and make sure to stop by the Islamic art wing at your local museum! Larger cities might have a beautiful masjid to visit, and you can even take a Charlotte Mason approach to Islamic art and study one artist a month. Islam and art don’t have to be at odds with each other. Allah loves beauty, after all.
From ‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “No one will enter Paradise who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart.” A man said, “What if a man likes his clothes to look good and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allaah is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.”
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