“Wudhu is the key to prayer as prayer is the key to Paradise.”
‘Wudhu’ is the act of washing the face, both arms up to the elbows, wiping one’s forehead, washing of ears and noses & feet to physically cleanse one’s body and mind in preparation to pray to God. This purification ritual is done before every Islamic prayer. It is not only a reflection of physically purifying oneself, but acts as a catalyst for the conceptual purification of one’s mind against dwelling on moral decadence and the material world. It is the point where one encounters the One-ness of mind and body towards a singular aim of worshipping and thinking of God. In worship, the mind is clear and one gets a heightened awareness of one’s mortality in relation to the world while in meditation or contemplation.
Oasis: A Journey
The juxtaposition of the methods to conceptual purity in the Islamic purification ritual is akin to the journey of one in search of an oasis. An oasis situated in a barren landscape, a beacon of hope and survival for travelers. In the book, first comes the narrative of the journey, then its logical definition and lastly, its spiritual context.
These three elements: narrative, rational meaning and religious context, interact with one another, to make obvious the spiritual sentiments behind the search for conceptual purity. The narrative is based on one man’s desperate search for water. His suffering is seen as a metaphor for a spiritual struggle, testing his faith in God’s plan. Next, the rational definition of a word (which best represents the narrative) is given, which is then reflected by its use in the context of religion. The word is given spiritual connection to a Quran text and the text from the Quran reflects off of the metaphorical meaning of the narrative. This cycle of inter-play between the three elements is endless and represents the continuous struggle between holding onto the material world or the afterlife.
Read the full text : Oasis
A Visual Journey : Imagining the Intangible
The book and the video form a dialectic of spirituality through two methods, the written word and the image. The meaning of the words and the images that are conjured up by the text place emphasis on the religious context, making the intangible tangible. On the other hand, the images in the video seem to draw away from the image into the realm of intangibility. Although, the Quran verses are absent, the images and audio exude the strong sense of heightened spirituality and mortality. The exploration of contrasts between the tangible and intangible in both mediums re-enforce the pursuit of conceptual purity.
View the full video below.
The poster is a promotional deliverable for the book.
Poster in-situ at Public Library