Words Matter

Original Islamic painting by Saleha Contractor. 2019 Collection.

Hand-painted mixed media art on 48 by 60" wood panel. Only one piece.


Names of Allah 

The Story

There’s an imbalance in our understanding of Allah and as a result, his gift to us: Islam. Words matter, specifically the ones we’ve heard growing up.  Words like haram, fire and angry have shaped our perception of Islam.  Many of us are starting to relearn Islam later in life.

There’s an important Hadith where Aishah RA says about the Prophet PBUHs 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.

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. He is Ar-Rahim, the most merciful. His mercy is far greater but we’re often reminded of the wrath.

There is no way to know Allah except by knowing His most beautiful names and understanding their meanings. It's our responsibility to be ambassadors of this caring and loving god.

CC: Lecture by Yasmin Mogahed