salma aratsu

Publications: New Book on Maqasid and Artistic Expressions

The Maqasid Institute is pleased to announce that MI and Tawasul (Rome) will jointly publish “Our Earth: Embracing All Communities,” a work comprised of over 40 paintings inspired by verses from the Quran by artist Salma Arastu. Dr. Basma Abdelgafar, MI Vice President, collaborated with Arastu on the project by contributing the translations of the Quranic verses and providing commentary. In the artist’s words, “Ecological living is about protecting and preserving the environment of planet Earth, through recognizing the uniqueness of its various eco-systems and species… It is my humble effort to amplify awareness of the imbalance that humans have created in nature, and to encourage people to care for the Earth and live in harmony with other living things. And ultimately to reinforce the scientific concept of the ‘chain of life’ the concept that each species depends on another and connection between nature and humanity will bring joy forever”.

In Dr. Jasser Auda’s publisher’s note, which will be included as a foreword to the book, he discusses the divine objective or maqsid of beauty. His note highlights the Quranic concept of jamal (beauty) and its association with other core Islamic concepts, including husn (intrinsic beauty), zeena (decoration), zukhruf (adornment), nuddrah (illumination), taswiyah (leveling), ta`deel (proportioning) and tawazun (balance). Similarly, Prophet Muhammad was known to praise diverse forms of beauty and to have said, “Allah is Beautiful and He loves beauty”.

All of these meanings and more find their holistic expression in the Quran and Sunnah and are subtly unveiled, explored and expressed in Salma Arastu’s paintings and the English translation of the verses presented with them. The book will be published in English and Italian and will be in book stores by the summer insha’Allah.

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