Hadil Hamam is a Lebanese emerging artist based in Toronto, Ontario who recently began her Master's in Psychology. Although she is at the outset of her artistic career, her practice is heavily influenced by her Islamic faith, where she highlights themes of solitude, sanctuary, truth, nostalgia, memory, fear and love. Her work takes on the form of kinetic sculptures, new media installations, and the written word, both poetry and prose. The research behind her work takes rise from novels -- fiction and non-fiction -- poetry, art, film, photography, and most importantly God.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
‘Light Upon Light’ or in Arabic ‘Nur ‘Ala Nur’ is an artwork depicting the physical manifestation of the true sanctuary of our Ummah. It is known that in the hearts of all Muslims is the Light of Allah (SWT) and, in turn, the Light of Muhammad (PBUH) (Al-Majlisi, 2-7). This sacred light is faintly glowing in some but concealed in most. It is suffocating from the chaos and temptations of the dunyā, ultimately blackening our hearts -- a disheartening predicament for the struggling believer. Undoing our blackened hearts and igniting our light requires moral purity and sincere devotion, the building blocks for sanctuary. Moral purity can be accomplished through the external actions of wudū as stated in Surah 25 (Al-Furqan) verse 48. However, internal purification lies in the heart of the believer. This is shown in Surah 21 (Al-Anbya) verse 30, “Did the unbelievers not realize that the heavens and the earth were one solid mass, then We tore them apart, and We made every living being out of water?”. Although wudū is an outward action for purification, seeking Allah’s (SWT) mercy (represented by water in the Qurān) through repentance will ultimately lead to internal purity. On the other hand, reaching sincere devotion is when we always consider Allah (SWT) and become aware of our physical and mental movements. Therefore, sincerity begins and ends with monitoring our physical and cognitive actions, how we think, speak, and behave becomes the blueprint for our sincerity (Al-Sadiq (a.s), 23).
The strength of our faith can often diminish throughout time, mirroring the ebb and flow of water. Within a day, week, month, or year, it must continuously resist the temptations and distractions of the dunyā. With moral purity, sincere devotion, and collective remembrance of Allah (SWT) we can find our sanctuary where our lights are unmoved and our faith is everlasting.
*Qurān translations by Ali Quli Qarai.