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ABOUT THE ARTIST, the most important thing you should know about me is that I fly no flags, subscribe to no religious or political group. I am a free thinker who searches for Islands of beauty, wonder, truth, compassion, courage and laughter in the sea of ignorance, brutality, hypocrisy, pomposity, and lies which threaten to drown us. Fortunately, there exist many such shiny islands. I take that which is beautiful and humane wherever I find it, in Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Sikhs, atheists, agnostics, Americans, Iranians, Chinese or whatever and reject that which is ugly and brutal. I am not setting out to promote any tribe or ideology.
I love Islamic Art, because it is beautiful and speaks in geometry and symmetry, the language in which God has written the Universe. It is of universal value. I have a Hindu friend who was so moved by one of my Arabic calligraphy designs that his eyes filled with tears. Islamic art offers a unique vehicle for creating beauty and bringing enlightenment through the humanizing the most profound discoveries of science. This is my mission. Having made that clear, I will continue.
I was born in Allahabad in India and spent a few years of my early teens in Pakistan. From the age of 16 onwards I have been brought up in the UK. I attended London University from where I obtained a Ph.D. in applied mathematics (magneto hydrodynamics) in 1967.
My art sets out to unite art and science and as far as I know, I am the first person to have created a personalized art work which includes the DNA profile and an MRI scan of the subject. One of my books on Symmetries of Islamic Geometrical patterns has won A Time-less Book Award and been translated into Chinese and Persian. Here is what Professor Chen Yang who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957 said about the book:
Ever since the discovery of the existence of seventeen space groups in two dimensions by Fedorov in 1891, it has been speculated that all seventeen could be found in Islamic art. But it is in this book that this remarkable fact is for the first time detailed and analyzed, with beautiful illustrations. Rarely is there such a thought provoking blend of aesthetics and geometry with abstraction.
Bism Allah (or Bismillah) This first image in this first series is intended to highlight the most central features of Islamic Art. First of all: Calligraphy is regarded as the highest art form in Islamic Art. The Arabic Calligraphy shown in this art work says: Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim which is translated as: in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. is the most celebrated one and appears again and again. Muslims begin any significant act with the recital of Bism Allah(or Bismillah) and I am following this tradition by making it the first image in CD1. Bismillah will appear many times in the CDs to follow. It seems to me that the first requirement of a Muslim is that he or she should behave compassionately and mercifully? I invite Muslims to reflect.
I have chosen to create a circle-packed space around the calligraphy to make the point that the circle is at the root of Islamic Patterns. The book Geometric Concepts In Islamic Art by Issam El-Said & Ayse Parman, first published in 1976 by the World of Islam Festival Publishing Company, which gives procedures for producing a large number of Islamic patterns, starts every one of these by drawing a circle.
God is Beautiful And Loves BeautyThis second image shows a calligraphic design on a background made from a symmetric pattern winch is instantly recognizable as being Islamic. The calligraphy says: God is beautiful and loves beauty. This statement is a Hadith– which means a saying of Prophet Muhammad. Now as an applied mathematician, I find this entirely agreeable. Here are four quotes, one from a distinguished mathematician and the others from two of the greatest physicists: Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematic