if you don’t get to strap a knife to your thigh underneath a flowing ballgown while dancing with your rival at least once then what is the point
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Soon it will be Ramadan. A difficult one just like last year, but with the strength of my brothers and sisters, community, family and friends over the internet, hopefully everything will be lovely as it is like every year. I can't wait!
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God forbid, men should be jealous of knowledge as they are jealous of women.
—Umar Ibn Al-Khattab
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Happy midterms. This time around might kill me 😅
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Pisces in Astrology from the Islamic World
Those born under Pisces or al hut are said to be changeable in mood, do not like to work and tend to exert little effort in labor, are clever, and can become obsessed with a place or thing. In fact, it is said they are enchanted by locations. They tend to be good-natured and are a mix of amusing and serious and fall in love frequently, getting attached easily. They are said to struggle with internal contradictions and are prone to wander.
Al Biruni says they have an elegant side to them. They are described as sexual but not lecherous like Capricorn or Scorpio. He says they are bold but forgetful, change their opinions often, and can be unstable or unreliable. Pisces men are noted as particularly unreliable. They are prone to make many mistakes in youth but when older they grant sight to the sightless even if they are themselves blind. This is a beautiful aphorism which speaks to the accidental and organic blessing associated with Pisces. Reputedly some have a small mark on their chest and their limbs fall asleep easily.
Pisces is described as feminine, nocturnal, cold, wintry, moist, and phlegmatic. Its season is winter and the early hints of spring. Blue and white is a good color for them to wear. They find much of their fortune on Thursday and misfortune on Saturday. They have many children. They are said to be good healers, religious teachers, mystics, makers of beautiful things, musicians/poets/artists, and counselors though they are better at giving advice than following it. It is also said Pisces was the sign most associated with the human condition.
It is said Pisces obeys Libra and Taurus and holds Scorpio in esteem. They struggle at 18, 25, and 35 with their youth characterized by extreme swings in fortune. Pisces is the home of Jupiter & the kingdom of Venus making them children of the two benefic planets. Generally Pisces is blessed, but like in all things excess is possible and so it’s noted Jupiter and Venus can lead to indulging in too many sweets or indulging in drinking. The placement of Jupiter and Venus would become the sign of the anointed and chosen.
Jupiter is an interesting study in the way Pisces was Islamized. The older pre-Islamic myth is re-imagined within an Islamic cosmology. In depictions of Pisces, we see its Lord Jupiter riding a large fish. See the example in first picture above from 14th C Kitab al Bulhan.
Now compare that image to these Mughal paintings below of Al Khidr: The mysterious teacher of prophets, who is associated with mystic dreams, the holy man who crosses confessional boundaries to become St. George, is associated with Pisces in various treatise.
The human body was divided up by the zodiac with Pisces associated with the feet with many experiencing injuries in their heels.
Muslim astrologers also designated parts of the world as governed by the Zodiac with Pisces corresponding to Syria, Tabaristan, the lands of the Byzantines, and the seas of Yemen. It is also said to be connected to places where holy people gather. The connection of Pisces to the “lands of the Byzantines” would gesture to the relationship between the sign and Christianity. Muslim astrologers would connect Christianity to Sagittarius, but others would lean on the Pisces association.
In world astrology, Pisces became associated with the Great Flood. There is some debate among Muslim astrologers whether the Deluge of Noah happened during a conjunction in Cancer or in Pisces, but Abu Ma’shar favors the latter. The link to the flood is an interesting example of the way Muslims conceived of excess: all things were good in moderation. So the pleasures of Jupiter and Venus—food and sex were all good so long as they were in moderation. The same with rain.
Rains were universally treated as a blessing and natural astrology would use various techniques in order to predict the coming of the rains. And yet blessed rains could also lead to floods. The Great Flood destroyed nearly all of life after all. In this way we can understand how benefics like Jupiter and Venus and auspicious signs like Pisces could go from life-giving to drowning.
Abu Ma’shar would go on to use the theory to predict the end of the world would happen when all the planets align in Pisces. The idea of predicting of the end of days is controversial and explicitly stated as beyond the scope of all but God in orthodox thought. And yet Abu Ma’shar’s prediction raised little controversy; a reminder of how deeply integrated astrology was into Muslim society. The connection of Pisces to floods would be used by other astrologers. They warned the 11th/12th c Caliph Al Mustazhir of a coming flood. They told him a dangerous flood was approaching, but since Saturn was not among the planets in Pisces it wouldn’t be as bad as Noah’s flood. The astrologer’s warning came true. The caliph took protective measures, keeping Baghdad safe, but a deluge in the Hijaz drowned pilgrims.
The moon in Pisces was an ideal time for sex especially for conception, but like Sagittarius one was warned to avoid marriage under Pisces as it was just a little too unreliable. Sex between virgins when the Moon was in Pisces was said to be particularly auspicious.
Some famous Pisces from Islamic history include the 8th c Abbasid caliph, Harun al Rashid who oversaw the pinnacle of the Abbasid empire. He is said to have begun the collection of books for the legendary Bayt al Hikma and patronized scholars, philosophers, and artisans. He had diplomatic relations with Charlemagne, sending priceless gifts of books and knowledge. Charlemagne in turn sent gifts of hunting dogs. He also reassured Charlemagne Christian pilgrims would be welcomed in Jerusalem. One of his gifts to Charlemagne included a mechanical clock which amazed the Frankish court to the degree they thought it magic.
He also sent a massive white war elephant known as Abul Abbas who became a legend in European artwork:
In many ways he epitomized the Jupiteran and Piscean idea of rule—philosophy, art, and generosity. Later in modern astrology Pisces would become associated with the newly discovered Neptune, but for medieval Muslims Pisces would be linked to Jupiter and Venus.It would be the sign of nobility, of generosity, and blessing. Taken to the excess it could become disruptive, but on the whole was viewed as an auspicious sign.
All credit goes to @aaolomi, historian of Muslim politics, gender, Islamic esotericism & folklore on Twitter.
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I really just wanna see more (any really) dark academia aesthetic based off Islamic countries because they never get any love but their scholarly pursuits fueled the world back when Europe was too small to notice, I wanna see academia aesthetic from Egypt where the library of Alexandria was once the greatest in the world, from Asia where the countries thrived before colonisation
I just wanna see dark academia from not romanticised Britain or Europe for once
There’s no place like God’s house.
Original work• Photo from Pintrest
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When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up
Prophet Mohammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
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I love that one narration where the Prophet calls us strangers;
“Islam began as something strange and it will return to being strange, so blessed are the strangers.”
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Hi everyone – for my final project for my Islamic Art class this semester, I curated a virtual exhibit, Careful Cursive: Islamic Calligraphy and the Italian Renaissance. I did a lot of work for it (including virtual object wrangling) and am very proud of it, so I would love if you could take a look, or share and leave a comment!
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When I think of Muslim academia/da, I find that some element of cottagecore seeps in. Islam is intricately bound up with nature and having them be two separate aesthetics doesn't make sense to me. For example, take a look at Islamic architecture, particularly Persianate - florals are intricately woven with geometric patterns. Math and astronomy entangled with gold and illuminated manuscripts. The edges of scrolls annotated with entwined branches. Even Arabic calligraphy takes on shapes of birds/animals/plants sometimes.
Islamic academia is aesthetically stunning and deserves its own category instead of conforming to Occidental boxes.
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1) Location and photographer unknown.
2) Meknes, Morocco. By Alfred Molon.
3) Esfahan, Iran. By Izzet Keribar.
4) Tehran, Iran. Photographer unknown.
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Do you ever read a philosophical paper that is just...SO stupid...so stupid.
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Muslim Dark Academia Things:
Being torn between the black hijab and the slightly less black hijab
Islamic architecture being so beautiful it found its way unto western countries
Learning arabic calligraphy.
Staying up late, hearing athan (call for prayer) and going "holy shit its already fajr (sunrise prayer) ?????"
Not being able to sleep after Fajr (sun rise prayer) and going into a wiki search rabbit hole
Wanting to sleep after fajr (sun rise prayer) but reading one chapter and then the suns already out there and the birds have the audacity to chirp chirp ughh
Not everyone gets an Assalamu Alaikum (peace and blessing be upon you) because some people just don't deserve wishing them peace
Everyone gets a hey tho
Petting kittens because its sunnah (the prophet used to do it, and its preferable that we do although not an obligation) and you get hasanat (at least you try to convince yourself that's why)
Always having pocket change for charity cause you never know
Tiny but elaborate copies of the qur'an in case you get five minutes of silence
Being at peace 24/7 because God's mercy is bestowed upon all
No more peace your paper is late
Reading nawader (little stories from the middle ages! Like Kaleela Wa Dimna)
Mourning the library of baghdad, that had so many books that when it was destroyed the river turned black with ink
mourning the library of Alexandria
Having a favourite mo'athen (one who calls for prayer) or quare'a (one who recites Quran)
Messy Arabic notes. Studying nahw (arabic grammar.) Arabic prose.
Khalil Jabran (mostly known as Khalil Gibran) and people who pronounce his name correctly (no problem of you cant tho!)
Reading Shakespeare critically
"With every hardship comes ease"
"The best amongst you are those who own knowledge and share it"
Kohl just because
Reading about the golden age of islam and wishing you lived there
Knowing that your race, gender, colour, language, religion wouldn't have stopped you from learning back then because islam is a religion of equality
Having so many badass women to look up to
That bellowing abaya/bisht/dishdasha/khimar (middle eastern clothing? It's real hard to explain/desctibe these guys but they're very very loose for dramatic effect and modesty) that is just sooo pretty and mysterious
Arriving at your masjid just on time for prayer
The imam (one who leads prayer) asking people to "fill the gaps and straighten the lones"
That one sheikh that gives beautiful lectures/sermons and makes you want to learn even more
That other sheikh that tells you stories so elaborately you forget who you are
THE SHEIKH THAT IS BOTH OF THESE BEAUTIFUL SOULS
Going to harems with your fellow sisters
Smiling at people and complimenting them because its sadakah (charity you get rewarded for) and because it low key makes you happy
Knowing every little thing is rewarded
Reading from all your copies of the qur'an so that none of them feels lonely
Buying a lavish prayer matt because why not
"The prophet had a cat, mom, its sunnah" (sunnah means things the prophet did that we get good deeds to do)
I'll post a part 2 when anything comes to mind <3
Feel free to add more! In fact I would be over the moon if you do!
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Looks like our courses aren't going to be starting this year. I still need to do my readings though, and keep my supervisor updated about the progress on my work.
The Shape of Ideas is for when my mind gets foggy.
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Prince Mohammed Ali Palace (widely known as Al Manial Palace) - Cairo, Egypt.
Al Manial (المنيل) means related to Nile (النيل)(yes, the very one) , which translates to deep, dark blue; the pigment extracted from flowers natively called نيلة (neela) aka True Indigo flowers, that stole their name from the river on the banks of which they grow.
This place's nomenclature is simple enough; it is called al manial because its located on Al Rhoda Island in the Nile, and it is called Prince Mohammed Ali's because, well, it was his.
It was built by Prince Mohammed Ali Tawfik between 1899 and 1929. He had it designed integrating Rococo, Art Nouveau, and Islamic Architecture styles, including Ottoman, Moorish and Persian styles. It contains his personal possessions, furniture, silver, objets d'arts collections and manuscripts dating back to the middle ages.
It perfectly portrays the nature of the Egyptian royal dwellings back in the 19th century and well into the 20th century. It consists of 5 distinctively styles buildings, surrounded by persian gardens and an extensive estate park inspired by many in England. Oh and even its own teensy tiny branch from the Nile!
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hey! I’m looking for more aesthetic blogs to follow ;-;
lmk if you post:
urban / street photography ( focused on the middle east & south & central asia
islamic / muhgal / south asian architecture
desi / bengali aesthetic photography
arab / mediteranean / middle east general landscape / cityscape photography
poc focused academia (eg black academia, desi academia ect)
poc focused futurism (eg afrofuturism)
romanticism aesthetic, but again mainly looking for poc focused !!
please recommend me some people to follow!
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