Australian Muslim Artists (AMA) is an annual shortlisted exhibition that provides a valuable platform for upcoming and established artists to showcase their work. This year’s immersive exhibition brings together the work of seventeen visionary artists who have redefined the boundaries of artistic expression. Each artwork invites you to explore the artist’s unique perspective, pushing the envelope of creativity and challenging traditional notions of art.
From gripping compositions to striking installations, discover an array of styles, mediums and ideas that highlight the diversity and creative breadth of Muslim artists, bound by their dedication to navigating the evolving realm of contemporary art.
In 2023, the Islamic Museum of Australia celebrates our fifth year in partnership with La Trobe University, who sponsor the AMA Art Prize. This year, we also welcome our new partnership with MCCA Finance, inaugural sponsor of the AMA People’s Choice Prize.
AMA ART PRIZE 2023 RECIPIENT
Behind the veil of each night, there is a smiling dawn (Khalil Gibran) IV
Gouache on wasli paper
52.5cm x 32.5cm
Rubaba Haider was born in Quetta, Pakistan in 1987, where her family had relocated to avoid the persecution of the Hazara people in Afghanistan. This persecution followed them to Pakistan, and so they emigrated to Australia in the mid-2000s where she continues to live and work. This disruption and disconnection from family and community directly informs Rubaba’s work. Using traditional techniques in intricate, repeated strokes, informed by her training in miniature painting at the prestigious National Art School in Lahore, Pakistan, Rubaba’s subject matter is distinctly contemporary. Since her first solo exhibition in 2014, her work has been shown in group exhibitions both in Australia and overseas. Her work is held in a number of private collections in Europe, the Subcontinent, and Australia.
The intricacy of Rubaba’s painting speaks to the fragility of relationships, revealing how a mere thread binds everything. The interconnected threads, depicted in various states of unravelling, represent bodily and social wounds and tears and express both vulnerability and resilience. The artist has studied the weave and weft of material closely and rendered these in detail.
AMA ART PRIZE 2023 supported by:
IBU “Maybe we shouldn’t see each other anymore…”
Glass beads, embroidered rayon thread, raffia, hand carved cedar wood, milk, spray paint
45cm x 30cm x 15cm
Soraya Abidin is a contemporary textile artist whose works explore the notion of interculturalism through beading, embroidery, quilt crafts and wood carving practised by her Malay and Australian ancestors. Through the pairing and clashing of these materials and techniques, Soraya’s art materialises the “in-between” spaces existing in bicultural identities: they are unable to be divided and continuously spill into one another. Soraya’s works have been exhibited and published both across Australia and internationally, with upcoming 2023 exhibitions including Soft Touch, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, and Speculation Nation, Craft ACT.
“Maybe we shouldn’t see each other anymore…”
Is something my mother said to me many times throughout my life. At the time when she had said this, I had no understanding of what it takes for a mother to say such a thing. I always thought there was a certain emotional intention behind her words. I wondered if it was in the threat of her absence, that she hoped the lucid strike of her words would awaken me.
With the recent passing of my mother, these words have become my reality, except there is no ‘maybe’ in the finality of death, there is just a silence. There is absolute certainty to her words now, and I feel their purpose deeply.
I awoke alone in the room with her when she passed. I could clearly see that her spirit had left her body. I felt a seeping wail rise out of me; that of a crying child in need of their mother.
I have only had one parent for the majority of my life. My father passed away when I was very young, making the ache of my mother’s absence so much more significant. I hold tight the knowledge they are in paradise together, and I know there will be a time when we will all be reunited again.
This work is a homage in tribute to the artists’ late mother. It holds all the anguish a mother feels when the bond with her child is threatened. Soraya references the ancient practice of Malay Indigenous Spirit Carving–often totemic, anthropomorphised representations of mythological spirits–to honour her ancestors. This practice has somewhat fallen into obscurity, yet its remnants are still present in the auspicious heritage of her Malay family.
Oil on canvas
60cm x 55cm
Mohamed Abumeis was born in Tripoli, Libya in 1970 and arrived in Australia in 2009. He has been exhibiting for over two decades throughout North Africa, the United States of America and Europe, including the 2005 Napoli Biennale. Mohamed has devoted his artistic career to exploring the cultural relationship between space, time and belonging, using iconic and historical references as a vehicle for exploring contemporary issues of migration and diversity. Mohamed completed a Doctor of Fine Art at RMIT University in Melbourne.
This artwork seeks to challenge the silences surrounding domestic violence and abuse against women, and aims to raise awareness about the importance of listening to women’s voices.
Violence against women in Australia is at crisis levels. According to Mission Australia, on average, one woman is killed every nine days by a current or former partner.
Another alarming fact is that Islamophobia is increasingly fuelling violence against Muslim women specifically. The third Islamophobia in Australia report found victims of physical and online violence were predominantly women (82%). Of the 103 victims surveyed, 85% were women who wear the hijab, 15% were children, and 15% were women with children. Surveys from the Scanlon Foundation consistently illustrate the Australian population hold negative views towards Muslims (29% in 2022) compared to other faiths like Sikh (11% in 2022) and Jewish (8.1% in 2022).
Islamophobia also perpetuates ideas that Muslim women have no rights. Islam’s central religious text, the Quran, comprises numerous verses emphasising the importance of treating women with respect, particularly within the context of marriage. Numerous verses explicitly advocate for kindness towards women, while others underscore the importance of building a relationship based on kindness, care and mutual respect. There are also categories of verses denouncing the mistreatment of women by men; these verses condemn actions such as taking women back after separation with the intention of causing harm, deliberately subjecting wives to insecurity, and enforcing forced marriages.
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) had a strong aversion to any form of violence against women, and he never engaged in or endorsed such actions. It is crucial to recognise that any individuals, groups, or institutions that perpetrate acts of violence against women in the name of Islam are distorting the true principles of the faith.
Kullun Fi Falakin (كُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ)
Digital photograph on metallic paper
80cm x 80cm
Somali-born artist, Idil Abdullahi, arrived in Australia in 1993 as a refugee. Settling in Western Sydney where she continues to live and work, Idil is dedicated to fostering creativity among women and young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Idil’s expertise lies in henna painting, a skill she has honed since childhood, along with ceramics, photography, and textiles. Her artistic works reflect her rich Somali heritage and interest in Somali Sufi mysticism. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UNSW Art and Design, she exhibits regularly, curates exhibitions, and is an active member of eleven; a collective of contemporary Muslim Australian creatives.
Kullun Fi Falakin, a mesmerising and infinite composition, bears a profound connection to Somali Islam and spirituality through its exploration of celestial realms. This photograph documents the creation of over a hundred porcelain anjelos; a round, flat fermented ancestral bread which is a staple in Somalia. These anjelos arose from a contemplative process and were crafted in a counterclockwise circumambulation–or tawaf motion–referring to the same orientation and direction Muslims adopt when performing specific sacred rituals.
The words Kullun Fi Falakin (كُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ) loosely translate to “each in orbit.” They appear in verse 36:40 in the Quran, Islam’s central religious text:
لاَ الشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تدْرِكَ القَمَرَ وَلاَ الَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِى فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ
“It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit.”
Notably, this phrase holds an extraordinary significance as it forms a palindrome when written in Islam’s liturgical language of Arabic, meaning it reads the same both forwards and backwards. In a splendid symphony of language, the letters encircle one another akin to the celestial bodies they describe–and much like the porous bubbles in the anjelos. Because of this, Kullun Fi Falakin is considered a linguistic miracle in the Quran.
Another core message of the work is the idea of reverberating and making visible the divine aspects of women’s work, in particular, Black women, whose profound contributions are often made invisible.
Cheshme-e Jaan (The Spirit Spring)
Neon, red gum rehal (book holder)
60cm x 300cm x 300cm
Elyas Alavi is a visual artist and a published poet with a multidisciplinary practice spanning painting, sculpture, installation, moving image, poetry and performance. As a Hazara refugee from Afghanistan, his practice often examines the complex intersections of race, displacement, memory, gender and religion accounting for hyper-invisibilities and troubling notions of culture and belonging. More specifically, Elyas’ work complicates histories in the Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA) region, and thinks through the links between the globalised condition, settler colonialism, and who is implicated in the mobility and displacement of Black and Brown bodies.
Elyas has created work for numerous Australian galleries, artist-run initiatives and biennales and was a recipient of the Samstag Research Fellowship in London, United Kingdom. He is a newly anointed member of eleven; a collective of Muslim Australian contemporary art practitioners.
This work explores the untold history of Muslim cameleers and their enduring relationships with First Nations peoples.
The cameleers played a significant role in the development of Australia, particularly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These skilled camel handlers and their flocks were imported from places including Afghanistan, Baluchistan and Pakistan, and settled in the arid and remote regions of Australia. The cameleers were instrumental in building necessary infrastructure for exploration, transportation and communication across Australia’s vast and challenging interior. They also established the very first mosques in Australia, one being the Broken Hill Mosque. Built in 1887, the heritage-listed place of worship is now the only surviving outback mosque built by cameleers in Australia.
This work consists of a series of rahels (Quran holders) made from discarded railway sleepers from the Old Ghan Railway; a line birthed from the blood, sweat and tearsof the cameleers. Resting on top of the rahels are two verses by popular bygone Persian poet, Rumi, inscribed in neon lights:
“My soul heard something from yours since my heart drank from yours.”
Oil on canvas
190cm x 190cm
Sam Dabboussy completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (double major in Painting and Design) at the College of Fine Arts (now UNSW Art and Design) in 1990, and subsequently a Master of Teaching in Visual Arts at the University of Sydney. Sam has participated in several art prizes and has been a finalist in the Gallipoli Art Prize 2020 and 2021, the Elaine Birmingham National Watercolour Art Prize 2020, and the Georges River Art Prize 2015. He was also the Australian Muslim Artists Art Prize recipient in 2022.
At the end of his day as Commanding Officer of a small hospital in Taji, Baghdad, Major Richard Dabboussy retired to his bunker for a well-earned break. Today, just like any other day, he drank three cups of tea. Just like the Afghan tradition, the first cup was to greet a stranger; the second serving, a friend; and the third, family. Sitting idly on a metal chair, he took a snapshot of the moment before he was joined by a friend, and continued his own tradition of smoking three cigarettes.
Sher Ali Hussaini
Ink, gouache and gold leaf on arches paper
57cm x 75.7cm
Born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1983, Sher Ali Hussaini creates works rooted in poetry, culture and history. He studied fine art in Afghanistan before completing further education at the Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Pakistan with a South Asia Foundation Scholarship. Sher Ali has exhibited in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Sweden, Vietnam and Hong Kong, among others. Since 2021, Sheri Ali has been based in Melbourne, Australia.
Islamic miniature painting is a tradition that flourished across the Islamic world from the 13th to 19th centuries. Characterised by fine brushwork and vibrant colours such as 24-carat shell gold and lapis lazuli, this art form blended various influences including Persian, Ottoman, Mughal and Arabian styles. Miniatures held both aesthetic and educational significance, conveying religious teachings, moral lessons and courtly life. In this work, the artist explores the complex relationship between power and its symbols in the context of colonialism and oppression. The lion–usually a symbol of strength and nobility–is tamed as a circus performer and transformed into a meek entertainer.
Islamic miniature painting reached its zenith under the Timurid, Safavid and Mughal empires. The art form’s decline was attributed to changing political dynamics and the advent of photography. Nevertheless, it continues to inspire contemporary artists and scholars, preserving its legacy as a visual testament to the intellectual, spiritual and cultural heritage of the Islamic world.
90cm x 90cm x 90cm
From nine years of age, Ilham Ismail began developing her skills in fashion, sketching and sewing. In 2015, she completed a fashion and textiles degree at the University of Technology, and founded her eponymous emerging modest label soon after. Ilham has shown and won awards for her designs in the United Arab Emirates, Italy and New Zealand. She is passionate about presenting a positive representation of Islam through the lens of fashion; every design is driven with purpose and a story inspired by contemporaneous social issues to raise awareness and move hearts towards peace, love and faith.
Geometry holds a significant place in Islamic art and architecture as it embodies deeper spiritual meanings. Islamic geometric patterns are often found in mosques and decorative elements, and reflect the unity and transcendence of Allah (God). These intricate designs symbolise the underlying order and harmony in the universe. The repetition of shapes like stars, squares and circles represents the infinite nature of creation and the interconnectedness of all things. Through geometry, Islam emphasises the divine beauty and the pursuit of understanding the intricate structure of both the material world and the spiritual realm.
Made from 100% recycled wood veneer in geometric patterns, Skin idealises the perfect, ordered world. By using earthy shades of wood to represent the myriad of colours of human beings, the artist demonstrates how we are all equal despite our differences. Just like the rhythm and order of Islamic geometry, the ideal world is the way Allah (God) intended it; human beings of all races and colours coming together and following the divine decree in order to have a balanced and beautiful world.
We are what we grow
85cm x 60cm
Fatima Killeen is a Moroccan-born artist with numerous accolades to her name. She currently resides in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory where she creates paintings, collages and prints. Her work has been exhibited in over 60 solo and group exhibitions with residencies in Australia, Jordan and Morocco. In 2017, Fatima received the International Honour Award for Moroccan Art and Culture, and the Australian/African Award of Excellence in 2016. Acquisition highlights include the Australian War Memorial, the Australian National University, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the National Museum of Australia and the Islamic Museum of Australia. Fatima was the Australian Muslim Artists Art Prize recipient in 2021.
The concept for the grenade drew inspiration from the pomegranate fruit. The word “grenade” originates from the French term “pomme-grenade,” translating to “hand grenade.” Its interior contains small shrapnel pellets which strike a visual semblance to the deep pink seeds found inside the pomegranate. The exterior texture of this explosive weapon imitates the dried outer skin of the fruit. Remarkably, the pomegranate holds dual significance as a symbol of vitality and fertility, revered as sacred in both the Bible and the Quran.
This work highlights these binaries of creation/destruction and life/death by combining images of the pomegranate and man-made grenade. Within its core, a grenade emerges as a signal of the looming dangers humanity faces since the privation of our duties to care for the environment. The monochromatic floral Damask pattern decorating the background of the work originated in Damascus, and is used as a tribute to the country of Syria which has become the testing ground for the paraphernalia of modern warfare and contaminated military landfill. The pattern forms a common narrative with the need to work collectively.
Natural and synthetic pigments, gouache, walnut ink, carbon ink and gold on tea-stained paper
43cm x 53cm
Particularly interested in hybridity and exchange in the arts, Rosalind Noor has studied Islamic Art History at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She is currently apprenticed to Haji Noor Deen in Arabic Calligraphy in the Chinese Style through the Deen Arts Foundation. Rosalind has undertaken courses in Geometry, Byzantine, Ottoman and Indian manuscript painting techniques with the Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts, and is currently studying Ottoman illumination under Necati Sancaktutan through IRCICA. Alongside her work as a doctor, Rosalind is currently studying for her Masters in Islamic Studies at Charles Sturt University.
The first page of the Quran–the central religious text in Islam–begins with what is called Al-Fatiha. This is the first chapter of the book and is referred to as “The Opening” or “The Opener.” It consists of seven verses which form a prayer for guidance and mercy. The introductory verse in Al-Fatiha is an Islamic phrase known as Bismillah, which reads:
“In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”
The Bismillah is one of the most important Islamic expressions, and it is mostly announced by Muslims during daily prayers and prior to performing good deeds.
This artwork attempts to answer the question of what the Quran would look like if it were transcribed within the European manuscript illumination tradition. It also begs to ask whether Islamophobia can be overcome through the use of a familiar visual language.
The Al-Fatiha is handwritten in the historic Uncial script, characterised by rounded, unjoined letters all appearing in the same height. This style, which forms the basis for modern capital lettering, was found in European manuscripts produced between the 4th to 8th centuries.
The elaborate ornate border on the page is inspired by that found in the 1000-year-old Winchester Benedictional manuscript. Since the Winchester Benedictional would have been used by members of the highest echelons of the Church during very important ceremonies throughout the liturgical year, the book was very highly decorated. The artist has used techniques and pigments traditionally applied in medieval illumination, including shell gold, lapis lazuli, azurite, malachite, Naples yellow and Venetian red.
Alcohol ink, gold leaf and layered acrylic sheets
Nevine Meguid is an avant-garde Australian artist. With a background in graphic design, she explores the intersection of art, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the Metaverse. Nevine’s artistic process involves creating vibrant, textured layers of fluid alcohol inks and sea solt, combined with Arabic calligraphic elements.She was selected as one of the Top 10 Artists by World Art Dubai and Rove Hotels in 2020. Nevine also won second prize in the RAK Fine Arts Festival 2021, was a finalist in the Bulgari Contemporary Arts Award 2022 and Emerging Scene Art Prize 2021, and was the Australian Muslim Artists People’s Choice Art Prize recipient in 2022. Her work has been exhibited worldwide at notable establishments such as Atlantis The Royal Hotel, Wollongong University Dubai and Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi.
Journey consists of two transparent acrylic discs layered to represent stages and chapters of life. Illuminated paths which lie ahead for us as individuals are represented by three gold-leaf nuqtas; diacritic marks that take the form of a dot placed below an alphabetical character in some Indic scripts to indicate sounds borrowed from Arabic, Persian and English which are non-existent in the original languages. The autumnal colour palette is a visual reminder that life is a continuous series of metamorphoses, akin to autumn; if we embrace our transformations with appreciation and resilience, we will emerge anew more vibrant and enriched.
Nasyeetha Mohd Ismail
Simple Mornings: Coffee (1) and Simple Mornings: Book (2)
34.5cm x 47cm (each, with frame)
Nasyeetha Mohd Ismail is a Melbourne-based digital artist and multidisciplinary designer. By breaking down objects into their main components of shapes and lines, she creates artworks in a “flat design” style and adds effects for depth and emotion. Her art is mainly faith-centered, focusing on landscapes and sceneries to show the beauty and blessings of this world that Allah (God) has provided. Her artworks have been featured in Podium Magazine, Albert St Art Gallery, Space2b Social Design and Islamic Museum of Australia.
Simple Mornings is a two-piece artwork. When placed side by side, part of a circular table is formed, accompanied by a coffee signalling the morning hours, and a green book that represents the Quran. With over 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, the Quran is one of the most read books of all time. About this work, the artist says:
“Simple Mornings represents an ideal morning for Muslims. It also highlights the struggle of holding onto one’s faith in a Western society. By adding the Quran, it encourages one to engage with the Holy Book as much as we crave that first cup of coffee every morning.”
Horseshoe Bend – a mixed media landscape
Digital art, acrylic paint, print and pen
130cm x 150cm
Pongky Nataatmaja is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on photography, cinematography, video production and digital art. Prior to moving to Australia from the United States of America, Pongky formed a media services company called VegasProStudios in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he captured weddings, professional sporting events, auto shows, conventions and concerts. Pongky now lives and works in Melbourne, Australia where he founded and works at Radiant Studio. He continues to be inspired by striking landscapes and beauty of the world.
This five-panel art installation is a recreation of a photograph the artist captured of Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, United States of America. Horseshoe Bend is a U-shaped incised meander of the Colorado River, and is also known as the east rim of the iconic Grand Canyon.
The installation comprises an animated video in the centre, and is flanked by four panels of acrylic painting, pen drawings, and a digital drawing created on an iPad.
Words of Quran into Art
Mixed media on canvas
280cm x 300cm
Fatemeh Palangi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1986. She studied a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Australian National University (2008) and obtained a Master of New Media Art from Sydney College of the Arts (2011). Since then, she has furthered her studies with a Master of Fine Arts in Canberra, Australia. Over the last 14 years of her career, Fatemeh has gained extensive creative experience, working and teaching in painting, drawing and media arts with the overarching goal to inspire others to reflect on the power of language in their lives. She has been commissioned by leading fashion labels and publications including Elle, Suite Boutique and Cherry Studio. Fatemeh’s art has been exhibited in both solo and group shows across Australia and internationally, including Canada, China, Iran and United Arab Emirates.
Inspired by the profound wisdom of the Quran–Islam’s central religious text–the artist explores the transformative power of language in human life. For Fatemeh, words are not merely tools of communication; they are a source of inspiration and guidance that shape the trajectory of our existence.
Words & Patterns
Oil on canvas
120cm x 180cm
Nasser Palangi was born in Hamadan, Iran in 1957. He graduated in Visual Arts from Tehran University, and spent three years working as a war artist creating drawings, paintings and photographs during the early years of the first Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. In 1981, Nasser also created a series of murals entitled My Memory of the War for the congregational mosque in Khorramshahr, Iran. Other commissions include reliefs for the War Memorial Museum (Iran), a mural for Treasure Gallery (Seattle, United States of America), a painting for the Medicines without Borders Project (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), and ten sculptures for Migrants in Australia (Canberra, Australia). Nasser currently lives and works in Australia, where he seeks to celebrate Persian cultural heritage and invent a contemporary visual language to articulate the richness and complexity of our modern world.
Through imagination and destruction, the artist presents a contemporary exploration of traditional Persian calligraphy and Islamic patterns.
Persian calligraphy boasts a variety of different scripts, each with their own unique charm. Nastaliq, known for its fluidity and grace, is often used for poetic compositions. Shekasteh showcases angular lines, while Naskh is revered for its legibility in manuscripts.
Poetry has long been at the heart of Persian culture, and calligraphy serves as a vessel to convey the beauty of these verses. For centuries, Persian calligraphers have rendered lines from works of poets like Rumi, Hafez and Saadi, breathing a new creative life into their words. Additionally, verses from the Quran often take centre stage in Persian calligraphy compositions.
Aajnya (part series)
Arabica blend coffee, acrylic on canvas
304cm x 58cm
Khaled Sabsabi is an established award-winning artist. After migrating with his family in 1978 to escape civil war in Lebanon, Khaled immersed himself in the Western Sydney hip-hop scene where he worked as a performer alongside young Arabic, Aboriginal and Pacific Islander people. These early creative endeavours helped solidify social justice as the crux of Khaled’s practice, where he continues to use multidisciplinary art to reflect human collectiveness while questioning ideological principles and complexities of identity politics. Khaled’s work is held in private collections across Australia and internationally. Recent accolades include the Fishers Ghost Prize in 2014 and the Western Sydney ARTS NSW Fellowship 2015. He has also represented Australia at the 18th Sydney Biennale, the 9th Shanghai Biennale and the 5th Marrakech Biennale, among others.
Aajnya is based on a childhood memory; an incident born out of the need to seek safety and refuge by hiding in building basements for periods of time during heavy shelling and bombing during the civil war in Lebanon. For the artist, Aajnya is about what we choose to remember and the effect those memories have on our lives.
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted armed conflict that took place between 1975-1990. The war emerged from tensions between Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim populations, fueled by socio-economic disparities and the presence of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) fighters in the country during the 1970s.
In 1988, the failure to elect a successor in Lebanon’s parliament triggered a crisis, leading to two competing governments–Muslim and Christian–each claiming legitimacy. In 1989, Christian leader General Michel Aoun, attempted to oust Syrian influence, but was defeated. His removal from power in October 1990 marked the conclusion of the civil war. During the 15 year period, there were an estimated 120,000 fatalities, as well as an exodus of almost one million people from Lebanon.
Reflections at Al-Baqi
45.7cm x 35.5cm
Ammar Yonis is a Harari-Australian artist based in Melbourne’s west with a passion for storytelling. He dedicates time to exploring his creativity through mediums such as photography. His debut project Homage was exhibited in ‘Clearing the Shadow’ at Le Space in December 2019,and demonstrated his deeply vested interest in facilitating dialogue between a diversity of voices whilst fostering an atmosphere of reflection. Ammar’s work blends fiction with his own realities to explore narratives that are often marginalised.
A man stands for a moment of reflection in front of a grave at Al-Baqi Cemetery in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The sacred city of Medina holds immense significance in Islam as the second holiest site after Mecca. Medina was the destination of the Prophet Muhammad’s (ﷺ) migration to escape persecution, and it is also where the first mosque–Masjid al-Nabawi–was built.
Reflections at Al-Baqi is a reminder of the blessing that is Islam and the challenges the earliest Muslims faced to preserve the message so it could reach us in the present. By visiting this cemetery, you are in the presence of some of the family and friends of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Here, people from all over the world visit to make supplications for the Prophet’s companions and reflect on their own lives as well.