The Ninety Nine Names 2

This drawing is another image which explores the use of symbols to represent the traditional names of Allah or God. The image below right shows a detail of the drawing which is divided into 99 squares with a name in each square. A stylus was used to enscribe each name and also add a texture to the paper surface. Pencil was drawn over the paper surface to reveal the names and texture. The image of a bent nail, each one a different shape, has the appearance of calligraphy and is used as a symbol for each name. The nail symbols have a shifting orientation to the four cardinal directions which represents what one would do if facing Mecca to pray in different parts of the world.


The names when reflected upon reveal  the attributes associated with each name. The first name is Allah, the One who is Eternal which is placed in the centre. The next name is The Merciful, Al Rahman in Arabic which is in the top left corner. The transliteration of Arabic into English is used for each name. The names continue left to right and down the length of the drawing. The names are purposely not visually dominant allowing the viewer to search and discover the name and its’attributes. Traditionally one would commit the names to memory and recite the names as a spiritual practice and devotion. A treatise of the ninety nine names can be seen in a text, Al-Ghazali, The Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God. 

The Ninety Nine Names, 2011, pencil on paper,  76.5 x 94 cm

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