Turner of Hearts التوّاب

"At-Tawwab is the forgiveness that enables you to turn away from grudges, and perceived individual defects, toward the perfection of Allah.... At-Tawwab conveys the real meaning of repentance, the turning from the limitations of the false self and toward the perfection of your immortal soul, which is not separate from the divine reality."
— in Physicians of the Heart

Warm Gold leaf 23 3/4 Ct, acrylic on Fabriano paper 300 gsm, hand-cut and mounted on board. 50x50 cm.

Date10 December 2012

It is not possible to give a single, final translation for the divine attributes: being outside of context, each evokes a whole cloud of meanings, and one can meditate on a name then return to it later and understand it in a different way. The rendering I settle on expresses a personal outlook, not a claim to definitive translation. Other versions: The Acceptor of Repentance, The Oft-Forgiving, The Ever Returning, The Ever Relenting.

The “turning of the heart” refers to the repentance described above in Physicians of the Heart. At-Tawwâb is the aspect of the Divine that facilitates this turning of the heart by being eternally welcoming of it, passing no judgement on what preceded it. The figure of the father in the biblical story of the Prodigal Son provides an exact illustration of this.

The notion of “turning” being central to this concept, I made sure to introduce shifts in the solid and unmoving 8-pointed star that is the basis of the design, creating a visual rotation. In addition, the design is lifted from the background so that it takes on a helix shape.

A penny for your thoughts...