Qalam.ca

A friend of the Project, Benoit Evans, operates the website Qalam.ca, which shares news and insights, about and from the Muslim world.  After reading about the 99 Names Project, Benoit shared this with me, and gave me permission to share it with you.  Thank you, Benoit, for your insight and instruction:

I read with interest an article about your project to use glass as a medium for a series of sculptures on the 99 names of God.

The article did not say why you chose glass, but the project reminded me of a passage in the Qur’an:

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a Lamp. The Lamp is enclosed in Glass. The Glass is as it were a brilliant star lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil is well nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it. Light upon Light! Allah sets forth Parables for men, and Allah knows all things.” (24:35)

One commentator, Yusuf Ali, says this about the glass mentioned in that verse:

“The Glass is the transparent medium through which the Light passes. On the one hand, it protects the Light from moths and other lower forms of life (i.e., the lower motivations of man)and from gusts of wind (passions), and on the other, it transmits the Light through a medium which is made up of and akin to the grosser substances of the earth (such as sand, soda, potash, etc.), so arranged as to admit the subtle to the gross by its transparency. So the spiritual Truth has to be filtered through human language or human intelligence to make it intelligible to mankind. The glass by itself does not shine. But when the light comes into it, it shines like a brilliant star. So, men of God, who preach Allah’s Truth, are themselves illuminated by Allah’s Light and become like illuminating media through which that Light spreads and permeates human life.”

I pray that Allah will guide your heart, your mind and your hands so that the lamp of His light may shine through you and your works of glass.

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