DSPT Events

Celebrating Vatican II and Nostra Aetate - Approaching the Qur'an through Art

Fall 2013 Blackfriars DSPT: Al-Nissa 4:01 Creation of Humanity - Salma Arastu

Opening Reception DSPT PDF  - September 29, 1-4 pm                
DSPT on Facebook  Facebook event 

Approaching the Qur'an - Celebrating the Commitment to Nostra Aetate by Sr. Marianne Farina, CSC

Part of Encountering Islam: Ministry in the Church & the Dominican Tradition event series 

Nostra Aetate vatican , Vatican II’s conciliar declaration, promoted interreligious dialogue. In that spirit, this exhibit presents the Qur’an through modern painting and calligraphy. Three Muslim artists will exhibit their works based on various chapters in the Qur’an. Each work will be accompanied by a translation of the text, explanation of its meaning, and a reflection by the artist intended to help people of various faiths understand more about Islamic teachings.

Al-Hujurat 49:13 So that you know each other - O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other.
 Al-Hujurat 49:13 - Salma Arastu Reflection: The national and racial distinctions that cause universal corruption in the world have been condemned. Nations and tribes and families pride of Ancestry and their looking down upon others as inferior to themselves and their pulling down others only for the sake of establishing their own superiority is an important factor that has filled the world with injustices and tyranny. Allah in a brief verse has cut at the root of this evil by stating that all men are descendants of the same one pair and their division into tribes and communities is only for the sake of recognition, not for boasting and pride, and there is no lawful basis of one man's superiority over the other except on the basis of moral excellence. This verse reveals to us that diversity is inbuilt in God’s plan. We have to accept, enjoy and share each other’s uniqueness. We are one family as it says, created “from a single (pair).”
The Islamic tradition maintains that most of this verse, like all the commandments in the Qur’an, were sent down during the final stage of the Holy Prophet's life at Madinah. The subject matter of this chapter is to teach Muslims the manners worthy of true believers.

Artist Biographies DSPT - Quran Artists

Salma Arastu salmaarastu.com - "Painting has been my need ever since I can remember and it has become the vehicle to find my purpose of life. Over the past more than thirty years I have created images with continuous, lyrical line and a variety of re-purposed materials in an effort to express joy in the universal spirit that unites humanity. Through my art I have been able to transcend all physical and mental limitations to create images of transformation. As a woman, Hindu, Muslim, artist and mother, I see this challenge as a unique opportunity to create harmony through the expression of the universal in my art."
Arash Shirinbab ziyaart.com - "I love calligraphy and Islamic art. From the day I learned calligraphy about four years ago from calligraphy master Hosseini Garakani, I felt I found the missing part of myself. Calligraphy is not only a great way of expressing my artistic intentions, but also a spiritual practice for me. It is a way to meditate with and drown in the God’s words while trying to write them as beautiful as I can. I also do painting and drawing and I am proud that I could learn painting from painting masters including Mahammad Imam and Arabpoor."
Blackfriars DSPT: Al-Asr The Declining Day - Arash Shirinbab
Al-Asr 103: 1-3 The Declining Day - In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. By the declining day, Lo! man is a state of loss, Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.
An early revelation, this chapter signals to believers the way of salvation. The image of a fading day, reminds humanity that life is short. Mindful of this brevity, believers hear more keenly the urgent call to reform and the need to be steadfast in belief and practice until the final hours on earth.
Fateme Montazeri ziyaart.com  - "My contact with the world of arts, like many others, started when I was a child. However, there was a big gap from then until I chose arts as my future career, when I pursued my undergraduate studies in Design at the University of Tehran, Iran. Soon I realized that functional art is not what I’m looking for, but what intrigues me is traditional art. I pursued my Master’s Degree in Art Studies and I am now a PhD student of Islamic Art at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. For many years I have done Nastaliq calligraphy, which is mostly used for Persian poetry; and tazheeb, the art of illuminating works of calligraphy. I am interested in the connections between Islamic arts and spirituality, and the reflections of Islamic thought and mysticism –Sufism—in Islamic arts."
Blessed John Paul II receiving the Gift of a Qur’an “It is important that Muslims and Christians continue to explore philosophical and theological questions together, in order to come to a more objective and comprehensive knowledge of each others’ religious beliefs. Better mutual understanding will surely lead, at the practical level, to a new way of presenting our two religions not in opposition, as has happened too often in the past, but in partnership for the good of the human family” - Blessed John Paul II, Address in Umayyad Mosque, 2001
Blessed John Paul II receiving the Gift of a Qur’an

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