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“Burn me in Hell…” – Rabia al Basri

Rabia's Prayer_colored resized for upload

We have done a couple of comics of Rabia Basri.  One’s titled The Headache and the other is Walking on Water.  Here’s yet another Sufi Comic dedicated to this spiritual lady.  She is an inspiring personality in Islamic history.  Here’s a brief excerpt from her life from the book Destiny Disrupted:


“In Basra, lived the poet Rabia Al Basri, whose life is now laced with legend.  As a little girl, she had been traveling somewhere with her family when bandits hit the caravan.  They killed her parents and sold Rabia into slavery.  That’s how she ended up in Basra as a slave in some rich man’s household.  Her master, the stories say, kept noticing a luminous spirituality about her that made him wonder…

One night, when she was lost in prayer, he observed a halo surrounding her body.  It struck him suddenly that he had a saint living in his house, and awe took hold of him.  he set Rabia free and pledged to arrange a good marriage for her.  He would get her connected to one of the best families in the city, he vowed.  She had only to name the man she wanted to marry, and he would upon up negotiations at once.

But Rabia said she could not marry any man, for she was already in love.
“In love?” gasped her recent master.  “With whom?”
“With Allah!” And she began to pour forth poetry of such rapturous passion that her former owner became her first and lifelong disciple.”


The above prayer is perhaps inspired from a similar prayer by Imam Ali (as).


[Interview] Umm Sultan on creating ‘Sketchy Muslims’ and the art and benefits of sketchnoting

Sketchy Muslims

While written notes can form a good reference in various situations, the art of sketch noting has increased in popularity in recent years. Combined with its visual appeal and informative content, to being the first online space for “sketchnoters” in the Islamic community, Sketchy Muslims is definitely one interesting platform that stands out in developing and popularizing this creative art form.

Developed in 2013 by Umm Sultan, Sketchy Muslims is an online space where its founder and other “Sketchy Muslims”, create and share everything from Islamic lectures and events to personal enrichment and general advice.

I talk to Umm Sultan: sketch noter, idea-junkie and “aspiring mumpreneaur”, about what triggered her interest in becoming a sketch noter, the benefits and challenges associated with Islamic sketch noting, and her interesting plans and aspirations for the future.

Tell us about the inspiration behind Sketchy Muslims. How did it first come about? What have you achieved so far?

“I actually didn’t intend to be a sketchnoter. In October of 2012, I took a class in graphic recording, which is similar to sketchnoting but generally done live on huge 4 by 6 ft paper for groups at strategic planning meetings, retreats, conferences, etc.

This past October, I enrolled in a Seekers Guidance course, and decided that I wanted to practice my visual thinking by sketching my course notes. After taking some notes in the course, I wanted to share them because I thought that other people might benefit from them.

The problem was that there really wasn’t anywhere for me to post them. I didn’t want to use my personal social media profiles, and Islamographic, which I love, is for more polished work generally done by people with graphic design skills. So I decided to create an online space where I and other “Sketchy Muslims” could share our notes.

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