The Lover الودود

"Al-Wadûd is divine love's most intimate manifestation. It is the constant embrace of the affectionate, loving universe. The way we learn to love Allah is by learning how to love, and human beings especially learn how to love by learning how to be intimate."
— in Physicians of the Heart

Watercolor, Warm Gold 23 3/4 Ct on Cotman paper 190gsm. 50x50 cm.

Date28 September 2012

Al-Wadûd is one of the Ninety-Nine Divine Attributes, or Names of God, in Islam. It’s difficult to give a single, accurate translation for most of the names, and this is specially true of the names that refer to aspects of love, because the English language is so poor in that regard. So while I translated Al-Wadûd الودود as The Lover here, the love evoked here, wadâd وداد, refers to a deep intimate affection and so the name is also translated The Loving-Kindness, the Most Affectionate.

The precise meaning of each of the names or Attributes of God requires a lengthy discussion best left to more knowledgeable folk. There’s a good in-depth look at this name here. For my part, the inspiration for the piece came from the book Physicians of the Heart, which describes Al-Wadûd as quoted above.

The ornate, detailed diacritics (and dots where applicable), illuminated in genuine gold, are a way of setting this series apart from other themes in my work.

A penny for your thoughts...