Friday, February 1, 2013

Spiritual Friday: Keeping God in Design

Salam folks! I'm finally back with another Spiritual Friday post. WOoWOo! If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm Muslim, like, you know, a real Muslim. Not a Media Muslim, aka Terrorist dubbed Muslim. One aspect I love most about Islam is the focus on beauty as in art and architecture and also an important aspect of Islam is God consciousness. Constantly keeping God on your mind allows a person to stay on the right path and hopefully, motivates a person to frequently display kindness, good behavior and stay on the right path. Being Muslim means being kind, loving and everything the media doesn't mention. We are not allowed to condemn others to hell like some Muslims and people of other faiths do. We can, however, say what is or is not allowed as stated in the Quran, but to verbally tell a person they are going to hell for whatever reason is ONLY to be determined by God. 

So what does this have to do with design you ask? Well, everything. People of all faiths love to write scriptures on the wall, hang framed verses, display all sorts of reminders (to be grateful, live a positive life, and trust in God) around the home as part of their decor. Even atheists live by some basic moral code. It saddens me to not see more religious art in mainstream decor, but I realize that everyone and there mama gets "offended" and so mainstream shuns away from religious decor. 

I'm not mainstream, so today I wanted to share with you some of the religious art I have around my home. They hold deep meanings and are an everyday reminder for me to take life in stride. And an added plus, they are cute and add character to my home. Let's start with...

It reads: Bismillah arrahman arraheem.
Translation: In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful. 

This typography came in a hideous plastic frame with an ugly matte. I whipped out some turquoise scrapbook paper and cut a new matte to size and spray painted the frame a nicer shade of gold. Frame used to be a mix of gold and black. The turquoise gave it so much more bang! I love it! 

I have this hanging by the front door in my foyer. What better way to start, continue and end your day than In the name of God? For me, it's a reminder that The Almighty is watching, listening, knowing all about me all the time. It makes me reflect. Did I hurt someone, was I unfair with someone, what can I do today that will make God happy and proud of me? Just seeing this frame makes me check my self constantly. Next up: a personal DIY plaque...

It reads: Wa ma tawfiqi illah billah. 
Translation: My success is only by (the grace) of God.

I hang this on my front door as a daily reminder that 
I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't by the Mercy of God. 

A lot of people give themselves sooooo much credit for the success in their life with out realizing it's God who gave them that blessing. So for me, this forces me to be humble and pull my nose down from the sky. I'm not perfect, just working on being a better person. 

I don't have a tutorial for this as I made it many moons ago. But it's easy, even if you can't write in Arabic. At the time I did this I didn't know how to write well in Arabic so I Googled the verse, and just practiced it on a piece of paper until I was comfortable. I got the wood from Michaels in the wood section. I wrote out the text first in pencil, went over it with Tuilp puffy paint. Then, with white puffy paint I made random strokes around the text and followed that up with strokes of orange and blue paint. Simple I tell ya. The inspiration for that project came from this next piece of art...

It reads: In Allahu maa el saabireen. 
Translation: God is with those who are patient.

It's just so cute and festive. I love the colors so much. They pull me in all the time and I've probably read this plaque a katrillion times. Yes, katrillion is a number. In my world that is :o) And with every time I read that I feel a sense of calm and serenity. Ironically, you must be thinking: how can you feel calm looking at three jumbo switches and WHY would you put that there. Well.....

... hanging it above three switches wasn't my idea of decorating the area. Just take a look at the pic and you'll understand that this wall is a hopeless case. A fire hydrant? Really? Yes, in Dubai, it's so hot they are required in kitchens, and you see them all over Dubai like leaves on a tree. 

 I hung it there for practicality really. To the right is the main door to the kitchen and I walk in and out of the kitchen at least 100 times a day along with flipping the light switch on and off. It was a perfect spot for me to be reminded (100 times a day ;o) to be patient. Patient with my kids, husband, life and everything. The more patient the closer God would be. :o)))) 

This post isn't meant to offend anyone, it's simply encouragement for people to incorporate spiritual aspects of their life in home decor. I would love to hear how you mix spiritual elements in your home design! Thanks for stopping by feel free to leave a comment below.


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