Art - a powerful vehicle for conveying powerful messages. Painting for me is one of my life's greatest pleasures.
A few weeks ago, London was once again the subject of an attack. It is not the only place in the world that has suffered at the hands of a lunatic, these activities are happening all too often, in far too many places. Some places and some people unfortunately, are suffering much, much worse than the mind could even begin to conceive. Nevertheless, my mind went into overdrive and when that happens, I take a canvas, I pick up a paint brush and I just paint.
This time, I didn't really know what the end piece would look like. I just painted from my heart. The aftermath of an attack is always bad - the media, the coverage, everyone and everything seem to go into overdrive. It can feel overwhelming and all-consuming and it feels as though the media can add fuel to the fire. But it was at this point that I thought, we all just need to take a HUGE step back. We need to breathe and most of all, we need to pray for Sabr - for patience. For it says in the Quran that 'God is with the patient'. And during these testing times, if we all took a step back and look at these situations for what they really are, rather than try to propagate hatred and division, then that really is the best medicine. Make no mistake, these attacks are driven by no other motive than to divide. To separate us from them. It is the old adage of 'divide and conquer'. And my art, as some of you will know, is all about UNITY and uniting people - regardless of colour or creed. My Sabr painting incorporates Islamic themes, but in there I have also included the Big Ben. London is my home, England is my home. When my people grieve, I grieve with them. Yet the message of this painting extends to my pain and anguish for all those people who are suffering today, through wars and terrible, unnecessary conflict. My heart, my prayers and my thoughts are with them too. My art is also for them all.
I would not allow this piece to be sold privately. This weekend, my team and I will be at the Muslim Lifestyle Show. The organisers of the show are hosting this year's annual Islamica 500 the night before. Sabr will be auctioned off with all proceeds from the sale going to charity, Human Appeal. If people are interested in purchasing Sabr, then prints are available on my website and will also be available at the Muslim Lifestyle Show. My pledge is that we will donate £5 from the sale of every print to charity in order to ensure the art is there for an active good, Insha'Allah.
Finally, my sincere thanks to the Muslim Lifestyle Show and in particular to Adhiba Dar for inviting my team and I to be present at the show this year, and for inviting us to be part of such an important event such as Islamica 500. We look forward to seeing you all there! InshaAllah.
Until next time,
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First, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I pray you are all settling in well to 2018, God-willing.This blog post hopefully brings you some good news.... Over the years, I have been very fortunate to have met people who are interested in my work for their own private collections.