Olive Tree

An Olive Tree That Is Neither Of The East Nor Of The West - Variant 1 | 2006 AD - 1427 AH
Inspired by surah 39 verse 5 of the Holy Qur'an
Oil and Watercolour on special 638 gsm paper 100% cotton Size: 97 x 156 cm

Scriptorial palette: "God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His light is, as it were, that of a niche containing a lamp; the lamp is [enclosed] in glass, the glass [shining] like a radiant star: [a lamp] lit from a blessed tree – an olive-tree that is neither of the east nor of the west* – the oil whereof [is so bright that it] would well-nigh give light [of itself] even though fire had not touched it: light upon light! God guides unto His light him that wills [to be guided]; and [to this end] God propounds parables unto men, since God [alone] has full knowledge of all things."
Holy Qur'an - Surah 24 Verse 35

* lt would seem that this is an allusion to the organic continuity of all divine revelation which, starting like a tree from one "root" or proposition – the statement of God's existence and uniqueness – grows steadily throughout man's spiritual history, branching out into a splendid variety of religious experience, thus endlessly widening the range of man's perception of the truth. The association of this concept with the olive-tree apparently arises from the fact that this particular kind of tree is characteristic of the lands in which most of the prophetic precursors of the Qur'anic message lived, namely, the lands to the east of the Mediterranean: but since all true revelation flows from the Infinite Being, it is "neither of the east nor of the west" – and especially so the revelation of the Qur'an, which, being addressed to all mankind, is universal in its goal as well.

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