The First Realm

“And remember when thy Lord brought forth from Children of Adam, from their reins, their seed, and made them testify of themselves, (saying): ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They said: ‘Yea, verily. We testify…’ ” 7:172 ~Qur’an

“Bow down with those who bow down” 2:44 ~Qur’an

Description: 30″x40″ oil & acrylic on canvas. This painting entitled “The First Realm” captures a theme dearest to my heart, I had to nurture it within for a long time before even attempting to crystallize it because from the moment it came to me it was such an important subject that I wanted to take the necessary time to accomplish this work so today I’m grateful to be able to share it in its completed form. “The First Realm” is about the pre-cosmic state of Surrender~Islam that has been instilled in the human soul by the Most Beautiful. This painting was my way of celebrating our quintessential nature which reflects immense beauty for in this state, our attributes are manifested in their pure form without any interferences of the ego so these attributes whose source is divine seem to carry us, each with its own distinct fragrance and universe. Indeed this painting relates to true wealth, wholeness and pure humility before The Most Majestic, this reverence is the constant position of the soul before the Divine Being so in order to embrace it anew we must consciously turn inward with love and gentleness. For me, this painting probably is the most significant one I ever did because it celebrates the very essence of Islam and the majestic unfolding which takes place when we align with our innate sense of Surrender, all this naturally leads to contemplation and awe of the Divine One. Below is the poem that inspired this piece.

The First Realm ~

Love settled on the seven lakes of your soul,
quieted by the latitude of its own being,
it ever permeates your pulse;
with each of its divine dictation,
you align with the spherical movements
every atom of the Creation offers,
microcosm of the Cosmos,
we are light-filled quarks.
Lo! There are the celestial symbolic
that the Moor mystics inscribed
upon the scintillating waves
of the two Easts;
O how sumptuous the Radiance
of their presence that extends all the way to here!
My love, robed in golden silk,
prostrate and move toward the Throne
of your soul where “Am not your Lord?”
was carved in letters ornamented
with the Light of Muhammad (saw),
can you hear the spheres’ discourse now?
“Meditate, join us and keep quiet,
you will now witness
the ecstatic dance
of Allahu’s Breath.”

© 2012 Aïda Touré

Prelude to Majesty

“And the stars and the trees both prostrate themselves to Allah.” ~55:6 Qur’an

Description: this 40″x30″ oil/acrylic painting is entitled “Prelude to Majesty” it was inspired by an event in the life of my great grand father who was a Sufi saint. The piece represents a visual conversation between the surrendered soul and the majesty spread out before it, constantly exhibiting its breathtaking beauties. It is during this phenomenon that the heart realizes its true nature and immersion in its Source. The bliss that arises from it permeates each breath that we take, it is the grandest love to experience; accessible to all yet it takes conscious nurturing of inwardness to know this sacred love. Compared to its Reality, the painting captures but a fragment of this grace. The feeling of pure joy I felt through this whole creative process lingers even after completion of the piece, it was moving to work on it. The poem that offered “Prelude to Majesty” is below. After the sight of the sacred healing tree, what is to be beheld is beyond anything ever seen before…

~ Prelude to Majesty ~

Al ikhlas, spherically ambient,
the heart leans on immanence,
look, we shed our selves,
souls dancing and whirling
in prelude to majesty, turn by turn,
we pick up the gems the prophets
scattered on the grounds for us;
in each one, a luminescence
infinitely undefined,
there are many paths in one
lo! in Hu’s pleasure,
lovers are refined.
Do you see the veil lifting?
Love speaks with no mouth,
we are interwoven with the signs
laid around us like sublime kisses.
Our all, lost in this splendid beauty,
we rejoice for the Garden is near,
Rubies dangle from the healing tree,
its branches prostrate with the star
in osmosis and the worlds let out:
“here, taste the bliss
that composes your soul,
in this cosmic musical scheme,
rise as it is yours to know,
yours to wallow in,
yours to revel in.
Be like the child,
in tune with the Light, 
whirl my loves!
The sun is up with us tonight,
that is how deep this Love runs;
let it tame the ego that defiles your glory
After this aural revealing,
we helplessly leave ourselves,
eager to embrace the Fragrant~
Tonight we hear the Truth as it is,
dissatisfied with the world,
Azzan is all that resounds
now nothing left to enounce…

© 2012 Aïda Touré

Night of Beauties

“It is He who doth take your souls by night.” 6:60 ~Quran
“He makes the night for rest and tranquillity.” 6:96 ~Quran
“The Sign of the night have We obscured.” 17:12 ~Quran

Description: 24″x18″ oil and acrylic on canvas. I started to work on “Night of Beauties” a few weeks ago, this painting was inspired by my fascination with Nighttime and all that its majesty can reveal to the heart in peace and stillness. I wanted to allow this piece to evolve from start to finish at Nighttime so it could capture the energy relevant to the theme during this whole creative process. “Night of Beauties” evokes many realities: the envelope of all mysteries, the bed of rest for the soul, the time to blossom in prayer for the saint, the moment where the veil of artifices lifts to show the one true Reality. “Night of Beauties” also evokes the sacred moment when the soul gushed from the divine Spirit to embrace the human experience. This painting has a definite mystical symbolic which makes it unique and close to my heart.

Night of Beauties ~

The tenderness of your Presence
has led to this bliss,
glow wrapped in the Glow
we near the Unknown,
knelt down,
one with the freedom
humility offers
the one who’s pure.
my indigo heart
is stilled by
this Night of Beauties,
let us ornament ourselves
with the sumptuous Namelessness
sages spoke of,
let Love silence us,
let it adorn our pulse!

© 2011 Aïda Touré

Tehuti’s Gems

Description: 18″x24″ oil & acrylic paints on canvas. It was an immense pleasure to work on this painting entitled “Tehuti’s Gems”. This new painting is part of the series “Luminous Dark Matter” which celebrates the attributes of the feminine principle. My intention in developing this series relates to Balance, to Origin and most of all to the divine attribute of Mercy. The title of the piece came from my reverence for Tehuti (as) who, in the Sufi tradition, is one of the ancients who transmitted Wisdom, Spirituality, the Arts, the Word from the Divine Reality to mankind. Below is the poem that goes with the painting.

~ Tehuti’s Gems ~

After millenniums of revelations,
manifest through the Sun and
its human forms sent to nations,
we have come again for Love,
guided by the cosmic drums
that pulsate with the heart,
we embrace the collective self,
tending to its effulgence,
with all our tenderness,
we unravel in your consciousness;
our presence is timeless,
we are Tehuti’s Gems.

© 2011 Aïda Touré

Kaniaga Bliss

Medium & size: 22″ x 28″ oil & acrylic on canvas.

Description: “Kaniaga Bliss” imposed its colors from the start. I deeply enjoyed working on this painting that took me on a nostalgic yet ecstatic journey. I worked on it in four phases, I laid the different layers and then applied the details and let them dictate their own movements. The lady depicted on this piece is a metaphor for the soul of Kaniaga. “Kaniaga” is in Mali, it is the birthplace of Sufi saint Fodé Sahnoune Touré, my great grand father.

Kaniaga Bliss ~

Kaniaga, we have loved you
from the moment we were born,
you are the membrane
of our soul;
the orange cloak
you wear is our glow,
you are wrapped around us
always, even from afar!
Kaniaga my love, my Dad’s light,
we still whirl with the Night
that offered the healing Tree,
still growing from the heart
of the Heart itself.
Al hamdulillah!
Now your very Scent
draws near,
O, I must end this here!

(c) 2008-2010 Aida Touré

Divine Breath

Medium & size: 20″x20″ oil & acrylic on canvas.

“And remember when thy Lord said unto the angels:
Lo, I am creating a mortal out of potter’s clay of black mud altered. So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My spirit do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him . . .”
 ~ Qur’an 15:28-29

Description: I first composed the poem “Divine Breath” in French. The whole mood and theme of the painting came from a lingering dream. I must say that I find immense beauty in the sustaining purpose of the Breath as it constantly leans us toward reverence of the Infinite, and how precious life is. The Breath is a grand phenomenon of Love. During the creative process of this painting, I viewed the Breath’s movements as similar to the paint brush’s that transcribes energy into forms and colors bringing beauty on canvas where physical eyes could not see anything.

The Breath being an extension of one’s soul, vehicles our full potential, and all those inherent qualities the ego tends to cloud. When the Breath enters and departs from the body there is an ecstatic experience that occurs; divine colors, perfumes and atmospheres become the very fiber of our being/not-Being and those alter and manifest according to the intensity of our Love… thus universes are formed through the Breath which is of divine source. I think the meaning of the painting is all in its poem.

~ Le Souffle Divin ~

poussière de diamants,
pluie chatoyante
d’amour bleu flamboyant,
étends-toi sur le néant
de nos êtres,
serviteurs du Maitre Unique,
notre Guide depuis l’Arabie antique
jusqu’au Mali!
Nous traversâmes
les eaux luisantes d’ou jaillirent
les versets divins intemporels.
O Lumière de La Première Lumière,
par Votre Grâce, la Rencontre
Infinie est enfin réelle!
dit le saint qui,
durant des nuits, se prosterne
sur son tapis de prière déployé,
tel un lit de joyaux stellaires;
Fodé Sahnoune Touré,
le voila ivre d’Amour,
dans sa prosternation;
l’offrande du pauvre qui
dans son ravissement contemple
la majesté du Plus Beau,
la Lumière Eternelle du Cosmos!

© 2011 Aïda Touré

~Divine Breath~

diamond dust,
shimmering rain of
flamboyant blue love,
expand on the nothingness
of our beings,
servants of the Unique Master,
our Guide since Ancient Arabia
all the way to Mali!
We crossed the glistening waters
from whence flowed
timeless divine verses.
O Light of the First Light,
by Your grace the Meeting is now a reality!
says the saint who during nighttime
prostrates on his prayer mat
deployed as if a bed of stellar gems.
Fodé Sahnoune Touré,
here he is, drunk with Love;
in his prostration,
the offering of the poor who
in his rapture contemplates
over the majesty of
The Most Beautiful,
The Eternal Light of the Cosmos!

© 2011 Aïda Touré

Amina Disamu

Medium & size: 24″x30″ oil & acrylic on canvas. To purchase prints, click here.

“I was made to love three things from your world: women, and perfume, and the comfort of my eye is in prayer.” ~Prophet Muhammad (saw)

“Paradise lies at the feet of Mothers.” ~Prophet Muhammad (saw)

Description: in a dimension that is ruled by ego consciousness, the attributes that gather, unites and thus mold us to embrace love are suppressed. The suppression of these spiritual attributes so naturally embodied by women, has been applied to all institutions governed by falsehood. The feminine principle which has always been revered by all prophets (as) and sages of all ages has been repressed for subtlety, mercy, gentleness, sensitivity represent true power for they propel, revolutionize, heal and restore balance and truth through Love. To encourage the cultivation of these sublime qualities, I wanted to work on a series of paintings about the feminine principle in its original manifestation on Earth.

“Aminata Disamu” is the second painting in the series “Luminous Dark Matter” that started with “Kemet Incandescence”. It is through cultivation of the feminine principle’s attributes that the human soul reaches enlightenment. All the richness inherent to higher  consciousness constitutes a natural resource whence the importance to revere life and the soul, that woman channels with such grace!

The feminine is the catalyst to authentic life, as she restores prosperity, truth and harmony on Earth through love.

~ Amina~Disamu ~

Behold our queen of light!
She who has rung the bells
of our ancestral mind,
she who has kept
the genius of the tribe,
she is the ascendance
from Kemet to Ndolu.
O Disamu,
strum your Harp’s strings,
surround our essence
with the cosmic lake’s Music,
unleash your healing peace
in the waters of our being,
let us hear you converse with Ruh.
O Disamu,
our warrior queen,
you lead the way
toward Divine Majesty!

© 2010 Aïda Touré. |

Atoms’ KaBa

Medium & size: 24″x30″ oil & acrylic on canvas.

And We have created above you seven paths, and We are never unmindful of creation”. ~23:17 Qur’an

“And remember when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am creating a mortal out of potter’s clay of black mud altered. So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My spirit . . .” ~Qur’an 15:28-29

“And wherever you turn there is the Presence of Hu, for Hu is all pervading, All Knowing.” 2:115 ~Qura’n

“My heavens and My earth do not contain Me, but the heart of My believing servant contains Me.” ~Hadith Qudsi

The whole earth is a place of worship” ~prophet Muhammad (saw).

Description: “Atoms’ KaBa” is a visual metaphor for inner life. I worked on the painting by intervals for months, it was indeed a journey whose dimensionlessness lingers with me still. I first wrote the poem of the same title and the painting came out of it, slowly. “Atoms’ KaBa” evokes the process of evolution that leads toward the sacredness of all that is, in a context of pure Light, being the very quintessence of everything seen and unseen. “Atoms’ KaBa” is an invitation to turn inward, to embrace the pilgrimage we all are subjected to through the Breath as it flows from and back to The Divine. We are signs of Tawhid, the Unity that governs existence, the Reality that mystics have expressed for eons and which is starting to be acknowledged by quantum physics as the “unified field”. Every atom is a sacred space, whose forces emanate from the Divine Consciousness itself; this places great responsibility on us to awaken to our connectedness with the Cosmos and thus to transcend the conditioning imposed to us by external sources. In such station of consciousness, there no longer is such a thing as separation, no projection of anything being “outside” of ourselves. In this, lies the importance to live in reverence, gentleness and love so we can inwardly retrace the Way to the ultimate Treasure within.


~Atoms’ KaBa~

We gather within you
wave after wave to pull you
and your seven spheres
toward the frequency of Tawhid.
To know oneself is to know Us
beyond the spatial realm,
man is the temple of the Opening
we continuously erect
through the breath,
the sign of Love itself!
The state of being is sacred,
love around infinite Love,
you curl around the Pulse
within or without
it does not matter
for the lover only sees one!
You are a fullness of empty space
praising The Divine.
Know that the KaBa by excellence
dwells in each of your atoms
so revolve my love and
retrace your immanent Source.
(c) 2009 Aida Toure.

Description: I painted “Kemet Incandescence” for the album cover of “Ancestral Devotion” the new CD by Jazz musician Lonnie Plaxico. The piece was inspired from Africa’s ancient art that captures the spirituality of African culture, its reverence for the feminine principle and the sacredness of music. In experimenting with this different yet ancient genre of two dimensional art, I experienced such proximity to my roots, I plan to explore it more. Through this painting, I wanted to honor the sacred feminine as well as the origin of the spiritual tradition of Light now known as “Sufism”.

~ Kemet Incandescence ~

Inner lamps all lit,
a billion ecstasies
are now speaking of Hu;
each, gracefully interweaving

in the Universe’s womb;
whispers of light are induced
in the pure child’s mind
through the rays of Shams,

royalty bestowed by the Divine.
You see, nobility never exiles,
although ever coveted by the fallen ones,
it dances in and out of these truths

the African genius has laid like gems
in the depths of humanity’s collective self,
yes we are these muses who bore
Kemet Incandescence,

through our Harps, Flutes and hands,
revealing the Music of the spheres
the pineal gland is immersed in:
Bismillah ir Rahmanir Rahim

© 2009 Aïda Touré.

Illumination at the Door (24″ x 30″ oil & acrylic on canvas)

“…And He is with you wheresoever ye may be…”
~ 57:4 Quran

Description: the visual landscape of this painting came from this poem I composed about the culture of egolessness, love and contemplation which magnifies the quality of our life, of our overall human experience. “Illumination at the Door” suggests enlightenment and the discovery of our inner beingness that always expands as it is an octave of the Reality the soul floats in… Striving for peace, concentration, humility, contentment and heart generosity causes our inner doors to open and when they do, nothing the world of illusion imposes even matters, because it immensely pales in comparison to our authentic Reality, this exquisite Reality that allows us to stand and exist in the fullness of the grace bestowed upon us by The Creator solely.

~ Illumination at the Door ~

The subject tonight is love,
come out of your ego

and watch it dance around itself
until complete dissolution.

Let The Beloved be,
there is no use for “I”, “you”

nor “we” anymore,
Illumination is at the door;

can you hear its Knocking?
Who will get up and answer?

Whose heart is pure enough
to endure this Ringing inside?

The Sun has risen at midnight!
There will be no sleeping tonight,

there will be no unfulfilled
longing tonight!

Only this continuous beating,
only this Sound that brought

galaxies at prophet Muhammad’s (as) feet;
Jibreel (as) stood at the Limit,

Miraj upon Miraj,
no pen will write beyond that…

© 2008 Aïda Touré.