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[Reflection] Neda Hasni on why a Mothers Love is Undefinable

Neda Hasni reflects on Sufi Comic: Mother

 

Neda Hasni reflects on the high status and role of a mother, explaining why a mother’s love is bar none. Inspired by the above Sufi Comic, Neda brings forth various narrations combined with her own feelings about treating a mother with utmost respect and honour. 

“If you have a mother, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.”

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “The look of a child towards his parents out of love for them is an act of worship.”

“Mother” whose love can never be replaced nor compared, Unconditional, filled with sacrifice, far beyond defining, one can never be thankful enough and understand the depth of a mothers love.

One should tremor even at the thought of causing discomfort in any form. Do every good that you can before it’s too late. Thank her by your words and good deeds. Thank Allah for being blessed with the bounty of a mother . The best Shukr one can do is become the person Allah wants us to be. The best form of happiness we can give to our mother is to improve ourselves and take our souls to a higher level of existence where it is satisfied with every decision of Allah.  Never ever lose an opportunity to serve her .

The above Sufi Comic reminds us of how much a mother does for her child and her importance in Islam, Her rights which we easily forget and always think we can recompense which is far beyond our imagination.

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Get Behind the Scenes and View the Final Pages of Sufi Comics Rumi!

It’s an exciting time in our journey of Sufi Comics Rumi. It’s time to reveal some sneak previews of the final pages, and get some exclusive insights from the members of the Sufi Comics team. This month we go behind the scenes on the production of the pages…

So who works on the production of the pages? Well, brother Mohammed Ali Vakil creates the template design of the page and selects the colors of the comics, then brother Abdul Gafur prepares all the pages based on the template designs and colors of the comics. Thereafter, brother Rahil will do the cover and back page of the book. The pages are created with Photoshop and also Corel Draw for the lettering of the text.

I had a chat with brother Ali about the process of production, why this style was selected, and any challenges or changes that may have gone into the process. From this, I learnt a lot about what goes into the process of production, and even learnt some interesting ideas about comics from different regions acquiring their own unique style!

So what inspired the style of Sufi Comics Rumi? How will the final pages look? Read on as we reveal sneak preview of the pages and more!

What is the process of production? How do you develop from each stage and are there any challenges involved? 

“After the thumbnails, pencils & Inks, Rahil sends us the final Inks of the pages via Dropbox.

suficomic-rumi-thumbnail

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[Interview] Young Talented Calligraphist Samiur Rahman on what makes House of Calligraphy the most unique in the industry

Samiur Rahman from House of Calligraphy
Samiur Rahman from House of Calligraphy

Young, talented, with a mission to modernize and popularize traditional Arabic calligraphy, Samiur Rahman is no ordinary calligraphist. Creating an ever-growing collection of stunning calligraphy canvases and designs that combines a modern fusion twist with authentic traditions, he is the co-founder of the unique: House of Calligraphy.

What started out as a mere hobby for Samiur, has developed overtime into something much bigger- with plans to launch what could be the biggest release in the calligraphy art industry!

Along with partner and close friend Ismail Hussayn, House of Calligraphy have produced work for the likes of Arabic Nasheed Artist Maher Zain, comedian Omar Regan, and boxer Amir Khan.

From live calligraphy sessions to designing brand new fusion pieces, House of Calligraphy is currently touring the UK on a mission to inspire the youth and revive the beautiful art of calligraphy.

Continue reading as co-founder Samiur Rahman reveals exclusive insights into the interesting work of House of Calligraphy, thoughts on the current UK tour #RoadToInspire2014, and what makes this work perhaps the most unique in the industry!

How was House of Calligraphy founded? What has your journey been like to date?

House of Calligraphy was founded in September 2011 and officially launched in November that year. Prior to that, Calligraphy was just a hobby that I enjoyed to do in my free time and Alhamdulillah with a lot of motivation and support from family and friends, me and co founder Ismail managed to set a base and start up HOC.

It has truly been an amazing journey to date with so many new experiences and opportunities working alongside inspiring groups and individuals. There have been many obstacles we have faced along the way but what we have realised through this is many a time a setback can be a blessing in disguise so Alhamdulillah.”

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Announcing our Giveaway Winners and View the Prizes

The time has come to finally announce the lucky winners of our first ever Giveaway!

A big thank you to all who those who entered!

It was interesting to read all your insightful and inspirational Sufi Comic Reflections, from the inspired transcendental dish-washing experiences to the epiphany of playing a pivotal role in society. From Pakistan, Malaysia to the USA, you all had something different to say!

It was a tough decision, but here are our 5 winning  Sufi Comic Reflections.

The Winners

Mother by Neda Hasni

“Unconditional, filled with sacrifice, far beyond defining, one can never be thankful enough and understand the depth of a mothers love… The above Sufi Comic reminds us of how much a mother does for her child and her importance in Islam.”

A visit to Hell by Maya Soden

“The stories of Bahlool are insightful and profound. For me they hold a special relevance living in the West…This is a perfect illustration of the theological concept of the embodiment of deeds that will occur in the next life.”

Positive Thinking by Zakariya Ali

“In a simple yet powerful illustration,  “Positive Thinking” highlights that the power of one’s mind, the power of one’s faith, and the power of one’s perserverance,  is the determining factor of one’s reaction and/or solution to a problem.”

Is the World an Evil place?  by Shahirah Elaiza

“I will never forget these words someone once told me, “Remember to practice gratitude.”
“And remember, if you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.””

Why doesn’t God do something? by Kiran Ashraf

“…It made me connect to different volunteer groups and with them I had a chance to become witness of ordeals people go through every day. To be honest, it’s really easy for us to just talk about them or sympathize but once you get to see that with your own eyes, you won’t stop crying.”

The Prizes

All our winners had their names styled in stunning calligraphy by India’s finest, Muqtar Ahmed, and signed copies of Sufi Comics books. Here they are below, aren’t they just beautiful?

Calligraphy
Giveaway Winner: Neda Hasni

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[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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Meet Tanzil Rahman from Sufi Comics: Rumi

With his range of impressive studies and creative talents, to being an avid member of the Rumi fan club, Tanzil Rahman is an interesting member of the hardworking team behind Sufi Comics: Rumi. 

From being involved in livelihood support for communities living in urban slums, acting in various plays, to writing powerful poetry on the idea of social justice, Tanzil’s contribution to the new project is inspired and invaluable.

His work with Sufi Comics: Rumi has been around the selection and research behind the poems, as well as sourcing the original Farsi text for the short-listed poems.

Tanzil reveals how the collaboration came about, dispells the view that you can’t be a spiritual activist, as well as us why we should stay tuned for Sufi Comics: Rumi!

Tanzilur Rahman is  researcher for Sufi Comics: Rumi, poet and social activist
Tanzilur Rahman is researcher for Sufi Comics: Rumi, poet and social activist

Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your educational/professional background?

“I come from a village in Darbhanga district of North Bihar. My family later settled in Aligarh in UP. I have studied Electronics Engineering at Aligarh Muslim University and General Management  at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.

Professionally my expertise is in the area of Human Resource strategy primarily advising organizations on how to leverage technology for HR transformation. I am currently employed with software major SAP.”

How did you meet Arif and Ali?

“I met Arif and Ali bhai for the first time at the Quran Study circle of Dr. Taha Mateen in Bangalore. We connected in very first  interactions. I liked their progressive and pragmatic approach to issues and things while adhering to the basics.”

 How did the collaboration with Sufi Comics : Rumi come about?

“I had known and read  Sufi Comics’ earlier editions. Arif bhai has discussed these a few times to get my feedback and reaction as a reader. It was while discussing “The  Wise Fool of Baghdad” that he mentioned about his plans to do next edition of Sufi Comics on Maualana Rum’s poems. He also mentioned that he has short listed some poems from a translation that I had gifted him earlier. Having been an avid member of Rumi fan club , I jumped on the opportunity and requested that I would like to collaborate which he accepted warmly.”

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[Interview] Soner Coruhlu on what makes Prophecy Comics unique and build bridges between faiths and cultures

Soner Coruhlu (right) is the founder of Prophecy Comics
Soner Coruhlu (right) is the founder of Prophecy Comics

Inspired by his faith, stimulated by powerful narratives, and experienced in cross-cultural products, Soner Coruhlu is the founder of Prophecy Comics – an exciting narrative exploring the ultimate battle between the forces of good and evil.

In an aim to bedazzle his audience on a visual level with illustrations of spiritual beings, Soner believes that Prophecy Comics can inspire others to be conscious of their spirituality.

But can tradition and spirituality be explored in an entertaining and universal way?

I talk to Soner about the powerful concepts in Prophecy Comics, the challenges of illustrating Angels and Demons, and how he hopes to build bridges between faiths and cultures.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who/what inspires you?

“I’ve always been a fan of both theology and comic culture. Having read my mother’s edition of Texas comics when I was 5 years old, I was a fan of the genre for life. In latter years, I became more and more interested in theology.

Eventually, I took it upon myself to start a degree, part time, in Islamic Studies and also undertook a separate graduate diploma in Christian Theology at Charles Sturt University.

In addition to theological qualifications I hold multiple post graduate degrees in business including: an MBA from the University of Technology Sydney , currently enrolled in a DBA (Doctorate of Business Administration), and plan to finish a Masters in Islamic Theology as well.

A combination of all these qualifications and experience in the realm of cross cultural projects has helped in conceptualization and production of these comic books.”

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(Last few days left) Enter our Giveaway to win your name in Arabic Calligraphy and Sufi Comics books!

The deadline of 31st Jan 2014 is approaching for our first ever Giveaway. We are giving out some great prizes for those who enter.

  1. Signed copies of Sufi Comics books (shipped anywhere in the world)
  2. Their name in Arabic Calligraphy by Muqtar Ahmed, one of India’s finest Islamic Calligraphers
Get your name written in Calligraphy
Get your name written in Calligraphy
Get signed copies of Sufi Comics books
Get signed copies of Sufi Comics books

To enter, all you need to do is to blog in no less than 100 words on your  favorite Sufi Comic on your blog, with a a link back to the comic.

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Illustrating the Poems of Rumi: Keep your Dragon in the snow

Anyone here enjoy…the Poems of Rumi? 🙂

Sufi Studios is buzzing with creative and spiritual inspiration, in its journey of it’s next book, titled, “Sufi Comics: Rumi”!

So far, 7 pencils and inks have been completed, and more than 30 thumbnails.

One story that’s stood out for me, is the intriguing: “Keep your Dragon in the snow”.  These verses take us on an incredible journey of self-awareness; a universal lesson of how to tame our Dragon.

It’s powerful, thought provoking and visually exciting.

Here’s an excerpt from the poem:

A self-styled “dragon hunter” went into the mountains to trap a dragon.

He searched all over the mountain,

And at last discovered the frozen body of an enormous dragon in a cave high up
on one of the tallest peak.

The hunter brought the body to Baghdad.

He claimed that he had slaughtered it single-handedly & exhibited it on the
banks of Euphrates.

Thousands of people turned out to see the dragon.

The heat of the Baghdad sun started to warm up the dragons body and it began to
stir, slowly awakening from its winter hibernation…”

Before Rahil sketches out the poem, he creates a storyboard in thumbnails.  Sometimes there are changes to the storyboard.  Many times the storyboard is approved as is.  Then Rahil gets down to drawing the final pencils and then inks.

Have a look at the complete thumbnails of “Keep your Dragon in the snow.”

[Rumi] Keep your Dragon in the snow
[Rumi] Keep your Dragon in the snow

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[Interview] Soufeina Hamed on how comics can change misconceptions and how she illustrates everyday Muslim life

Soufeina Hamed (Tuffix)

Ever since she could hold a pen, talented artist Soufeina Hamed (Tuffix) has been drawing and experimenting with her creative ideas. As her love for art developed, from oil painting, manga, to realistic sketches, Soufeina finally adopted comic art after discovering that this would be the ideal medium for her.

Since then, she has produced an interesting collection of art and comics about everyday Muslim life, culture, religion and identity, with an authentic and humorous twist.

I talk to Soufeina about who her biggest inspirations are, how she smashes through “Artists block”, and how comics can be used as a medium for social and political causes.

Tell us a bit about yourself.  When did you start drawing?

I’m Soufeina, I’m half German half Tunisian. I’m working on my master’s thesis in the field of Intercultural Psychology and I began drawing ever since I hold a pen. I enjoyed trying out different art styles and techniques: oil painting, manga, realistic sketches etc. Finally I found comic art to be the most suitable medium for me.

Who/what are your biggest inspirations?

My biggest inspirations in the field of comic art are Scott McCloud and Craig Thompson. The former, because he managed to present the comic as a serious art genre, and the latter, because he is mastering the medium better then anyone else in my opinion.

You have amazing talent. How do you create your art/comics? And what are the processes involved?

Thank you! I would say that getting an idea that I’m really convinced of, is the most important step. Once I found it, it’s pretty simple: sketching, outlining, colouring and finally texting.

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