ISLAMIC ART

NEW HORIZONS IN ISLAMIC ART

Till not too long ago, Islamic wall art for sale typically included a black fabric on which verses or passages from the Holy Quran would be stitched with a golden thread. The fabric would mostly be composed of silk or velvet, and while thread was used text, sometimes golden sequins or stencilling would be used to keep the price of the artwork economical.

The combination of golden and black comes from the colours of the fabric that covers the Ka’aba in Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. Muslims all over the world pray facing the Kaaba.

Traditional Islamic wall art also included colourful Turkish or Persian wall carpets filled with dense floral motifs. The carpets would have multiple borders, some thick, some thin, and at the centre would be a passage from the Holy Quran diligently stitched.

Though one would still find traditional Islamic wall art for sale, but if you are looking to buy Islamic wall art , especially online, then you would find many new experiments being done.

For example, now the traditional colourful wall carpet or black fabric is being replaced by canvases, leather, vinyl decals and art paper. Also, the stitching or stencilling work has been substituted by printing, thereby reducing a lot of time and making mass reproductions much more cost and time effective.

It would be unfair to compare the mediums in terms of their visual quotient. Each has its own individual artistic value. A canvas print resembles a painting, a leather work has a raw appeal, and wall decals have minimalist value – the focus is on the calligraphy against the bare surface of the wall. None is better than the other, and the buying decision is subject to the client’s choice and budget (wall decals are cheaper than canvas prints, for example).

In Islamic wall art these days, one can find a large variety of text taken from the Glorious Quran. The Holy Book is replete with wisdom and depth, of course, and its verses inspire and nourish the soul. However, most traditional Islamic wall art has focussed only on just a few verses such as ‘Masha Allah’ (‘By the Will of Allah’), ‘Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem’ (‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful’), the Ayat Al Kursi and the ‘4 Quls’ (four small chapters of the Quran that begin with ‘Qul’, the Arabic word for ‘say’).

But now, if today, someone looks up the internet or even visits stores in order to buy Islamic wall art, one is likely to see many lesser-known ayats from the Quran also being artistically transcribed for Islamic wall art. Some of the examples include ‘Innallaha ma’as saabireen’ (‘Indeed, Allah is with the patient’), ‘Inna ma’al usri yusra’ (‘Verily with difficulty comes ease), ‘Inni Tawakaltu-ala-Allah (‘Indeed I have put my trust in Allah’), ‘Innalaha ala kulli shai’in qadeer’ (‘Verily, Allah has power over all things’), ‘Hal jaza ul ihsaani illal ihsaan’ (‘Is there any reward for good but good?’, ‘Rabbi inni zidni ilman) (‘My Lord, increase me in knowledge’).

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