By Nawal Ahmed
Visual Art Competition, 2020 MSA LSC Unplugged
Editor’s Note: Muslim Youth Musings had the honor and opportunity to collaborate with the MSA Lone Star Council for their 2020 Unplugged Competition and publish selected entries in the categories of Performance Poetry and Visual Art following the theme of “Flashlight in the Dark – Faith as a Guiding Light in Times of Stress and Anxiety.” We congratulate all of the competitors and winners on producing high-quality work that is now being shared with Muslims across the world.
First Kalima – Shahada, 2020
Acrylic on Canvas
Note from the Artist:
The First Kalima (Shahada)
“La Ilaaha Illa-llaahu Muhammadur-Rasoolu-llaah”
-There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger-
Islam is always our guidance. In times of hardship, in times of success – always turn towards Allah (SWT).
This two-panel art piece recites the first Kalima: the premise and the first pillar of Islam. Beautifying them and painting His words as calligraphy is something I became very passionate about. It serves as a daily reminder for myself in our fast-paced world where sometimes we feel as though we rarely get a chance to reflect or unwind. I spent my time and effort to try and stylize this art form to incorporate modern-day Islamic art decor and promote just how beautiful calligraphy is.
I used gold acrylic paint to paint over, sketched out the rounded calligraphic verses of the Quran, and paralleled the canvases asymmetrically as a design. The corners are foiled with gold leaf for emphasis on the borders. I started creating Quranic pieces for myself and family/friends to incorporate more Islamic pieces at home. I enjoy what I do and hope to always keep this passion of mine with me and to share with others, always. InshaAllah.
About the Artist
Nawal Ahmed is a contemporary self-taught artist who lives and works in Plano, Texas. Although having graduated from UTD with a degree in ITS, she started developing art forms of Arabic calligraphy as a way to spread Da’wah and incorporate modern style paintings into Muslim households. Delving into different art expressions, her distinctive personal style emanates verses of the Quran scriptures and focuses on the rise of representation of Islam on social media and in everyday life.