Salam! I'm Saleha Contractor, artist based in Toronto, Canada. Though most people would think of me as an artist, I consider myself to be a storyteller. My goal is to create bold Islamic art for the modern Muslim home. Every piece is inspired by a lesson, virtue or teaching rooted in Islamic history.
I create a limited number of paintings each year that are released through an exclusive online launch. My last collection sold out within minutes, alhumdulillah! Become a member to grab an original from my upcoming 2019 collection.
Canvas and poster prints of my work are available online and through international retailers.
There’s an important hadith where Aishah RA says about the Prophet PBUH mission that IF the first verses of the Quran revealed were about rules, the people would have rejected. Instead if you look carefully at the first verses, they were about building a bond with Allah swt. Building a relationship. Putting the love of Allah in their hearts. Love, respect and accountability to Allah.
The mistake we make in Islamic education is that we start off by listing the rules. We grow up seeing Islam as a list of haram and halal. We grow up with a concept of Allah where if we mess up, we’ll go to hell. It’s the concept of Allah swt wrath without being balanced with Allahs mercy. His mercy is far greater but we’re often reminded of the wrath. We treat Him as a police officer when instead He should be the friend we speak to everyday.
The idea here is about building a strong foundation that fosters love for Allah swt. A love that makes you want to please the almighty because “which of the favours of your lord will you deny?”. Hijab is about submission. I started to wear it six years ago after researching for months to get an answer to my WHY. “If I’m trying to do everything else right, can this little detail of hijab be overlooked?” But searching for the WHY led to a love I’m forever grateful for.
So now I'm on a journey to spread the beauty of Islam using the powerful tool of art. I hope my art inspires dinner time conversations that ultimately help us lead healthy Islamic lifestyles.
My art displays my admiration for both calligraphy and abstract art. I tend to incorporate verses from the Qur'an to flaunt its exquisite beauty. Islamic calligraphy is truly an expressive art form as it combines spiritual meaning with aesthetic beauty. I've had the privilege of studying art from an early age but in terms of Arabic calligraphy, I was self-taught. I create mixed-media art using primarily acrylic paint.