Description: 8″x10″ oil & acrylic on canvas~ One of the 99 Names of the Divine One, “Al Latif: The Most Subtle” celebrates an attribute that inherently pervades the soul. This attribute finds expression through awareness of our most sublime states so it takes inner polishing for it to be fully expressed outwardly. Subtlety is the very quality that is found in all spiritually awakened beings. Contemplation on this attribute brings healing, solace and lightness of being to self and to those who come across the recipient of this grace. Working on this painting, its visuals conveyed from the start the soothing energies contained in Subtlety so the creative process was particularly beautiful.

~ The Most Subtle ~

O effusive Light
that fashions our becoming,
we read your vertical signs
with the sun and the moon in chorus,
we praise You in infinite ways!
O You who are not exhausted
by Your Attributes
as You pervade
the black holes
of the Heart that
relentlessly contemplates
on you; expanding, giving,
throbbing with anticipation
of being in the gentleness
of Your Presence anew!

© 2015 Aïda Touré

“He is the All-forgiving, the Most Loving One.” ~85:14 Qur’an
“And I am with the ones whose heart is broken for My sake.” ~Hadith Qudsi

Description: 10″x8″ oil & acrylic on canvas. I wanted to work anew on paintings that depicted the most beautiful Names of the Beloved as central themes of the pieces. Al Wadud means “The Most Affectionate” or “The Most Loving”, He is the very source of all nurturance and healing we may experience through the gift of Love. There is sacred purpose to suffering as it diminishes the ego~  Only then can divine closeness be felt with greater sensitivity as the heart is broken; this brokenness creates an opening through which the Light enters and thus it becomes the essential reality of such a humble heart~ Below is the poem that captured this painting.

~ Al Wadud: The Secret of Secrets ~

Bismillah,
my tenderness crawls
on the ground to form
a carpet of jewels for
Your first light to walk upon;
this contact to his feet
lights up the galaxies’
sacred Recitation~
Every letter leaps, curves
and then points to You;
Lo! My pen just broke
to the Sound of their dance!
Can materiality disclose
the Secret of Secrets
without first being broken
?
Oh I dangle from myself,
as this question scurries
by my seven spheres!
“In a natural move
of collapse into Your Grace,

all atoms bow to You”
the cosmic pulse says,
“our letting go of self
to become immersed in You
is the soul’s intimate Way.”
Ya Wadud, O Beloved,
I whirl in joy,
lost in the infinity
of Your All Pervasive Love~

© 2015 Aïda Touré

“Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, “Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent.” ~Qur’an 66:8

“We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth.” ~Qur’an 41:53

“And proclaim the bounty of your Lord.” ~Qur’an 93:11

“Whoever knows oneself knows one’s Lord” ~Prophet Muhammad (saw)

Description: “The Very Self of the Self” is a 40″x30″ oil and acrylic painting that I worked on to celebrate the dissolution of the ego which is followed by the eclosion into divine grace: the lives of true sages are a reflection of this innermost alignment. When man is left to explore his inner life, undisturbed by all the conditionings of the world, he then exists harmonious, whole, in a natural state of awareness before the signs of all creation which are but an on-going Revelation… I immensely enjoyed developing this piece that symbolizes the glory of detachment, of unconditional alignment with the Unique and His attributes. The poem that inspired this painting is below.

~ The Very Self of the Self ~

Peel the golden layer off of you,
lo! Another one appears,
you are made of bouncy
luxurious particles
that ever reach for love,
Beauty appears from
this continual leaning
toward grace~
La ilaha illa Allah
uncover who you are,
between the praises and
the pauses caused by pain,
your soul is one elegant lover
whose movements brush Light,
embrace this delight
let us hear the holy recital
you were made to vehicle~
this intimate contact
sparked all magnificence
you see in life,
no one lives outside of it;
it’s the very self of the self!
Come in, leap in this fiery
divine romance within, there,
the Sufis gather in awe
of your soul’s buoyancy~

© 2011-2013 Aïda Touré

“… A fountain there, called Salsabil.” ~Qur’an 76:18

“And a dervish is he who is indifferent to everything besides God.” ~Abd Al Qadir Al Jilani (ra)

Description: 40″x30″ oil and acrylic on canvas. This painting “Salsabil” is the seventh one of the series “Luminous Dark Matter”, I worked on it for 18 months, it was a pure joy to work on it visually and musically and to complete it during Ramadan. “Salsabil” is a source in Paradise. When the idea of conceiving this painting came, its imagery was so beautiful I started to work on it right away. In this context the “Salsabil” theme relates to abundance, grace, mercy and splendor that manifest multidimensionally, from the highest spheres of existence all the way to the purified human heart. When we live from this state of grace, we become an instrument through which the Divine realizes what He wills~ It takes great sensitivity to express the attributes conveyed throughout such an experience. On this painting, the two subjects manifest reception of these attributes as well as the soul’s longing for its sublime origin. The poem that inspired “Salsabil” is below.

~Salsabil: this Yearning of the Spheres~

After a sip of Salsabil,
the hidden soul appears as it is,
ornamented with its primal gems
gravity had veiled.
Now behold that which
pervades your being~
All souls are hidden
from their pre-cosmic unfolding
at the feet the Beloved yet
they dance together,
invisible lights
made visible only tonight,
how grandiose!
Let all lovers join
this whirling,
this contagious longing,
this drumbeat in my ear,
this yearning of the spheres
even unseen, to the lovers’ eyes,
we appear wrapped in
delicate veils of ecstasy,
billions of suns near,
they kiss the intimacy
between our fingerprints
and I get inflamed,
this holy burning is
our corridor to the Beloved.

© 2011-2013 Aïda Touré

Zaid ibn Aslam related that the prophet (pbuh) saw a vision and told his companions about it. The Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) said, (in a dream): “I saw myself following a herd of black sheep. Then a group of white sheep came (and mixed with the black sheep) until they (the white sheep) became so many that the black sheep could no longer be seen in the herd of sheep.” Abu Bakr, the companion of the Prophet (pbuh) and the interpreter of dreams, said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, as for the black sheep, they are the Arabs. They will accept Islam and become many. The white sheep are the non-Arab Persians, etc. They will accept Islam and become so many that the Arabs will not be noticed amongst them.” The Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) then said that an angel had interpreted the dream the same way.” ~Tarikh Khulufa of Imam Suyuti.

Description: 40″x30″ oil & acrylic on canvas. This piece entitled “Sabia the Arabian Mystic” is the sixth one of the series Luminous Dark Matter. My intention in painting “Sabia the Arabian Mystic” was to celebrate Black Arabia whose descendants’ glorious standing in history has been forgotten. There is a deep-layered meaning to this intricately detailed piece: the subject “Sabia” is enrobed in light, the book she holds is a metaphor for her heart, the seat of Knowledge which is the very foundation of the native Arabs’ rich culture. What compelled me to conceive this painting is the prejudice against the dark skin Arabs (in Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Mauritania, Sudan, North Africa) who for centuries have been oppressed and called “slaves” on a land that is originally and historically theirs as the Arabian peninsula was part of East Africa (the Kush empire) until it was invaded. Thus “Sabia the Arabian Mystic” symbolizes the exalted ancestry of the native Arabs whose great history has deliberately been obscured and whose dignity and rights are violated on a daily basis. It’s primordial to reestablish authentic history so that the sublime common origin of all beings subsides the centuries-old lowliness and criminality of racism. May the Divine fill our heart with humility, grace and love so that we gain greater understanding of our unified origin and thus realize the equality of all.

~ Sabia the Arabian Mystic ~

From the Black Light,
you blew particles
to the souls of the first soul,
gracefully holding the pen
of existence itself,
you dictated these secrets
to the euphoric beings
who embodied your cosmic,
whirling obscurity,
the very sign of Luminosity~
Look, your ancient Scrolls
scurry across space still,
and moved, we shed tears!
O Eastern Wind,
you who selflessly taught
the Way of the pure Heart,
we rejoice for you have come
anew to mirror the glory
of Allahu’s Love!

© 2013 Aïda Touré

Description: 30″x40″ oil & acrylic on canvas.

“The Milky Way’s Savants” celebrates the manifestation of high culture on earth, how it reaches us through the birth of enlightened souls, as well as the abundance their presence brings to our lives collectively.

This painting thus captures the descent of evolved spiritual culture, that is commanded by The Divine One and coveted for eons by unloving, disconnected forces who to this day design schemes to take ownership of this high culture with its materialized vestiges. This phenomenon is observed in Timbuktu, Mali to this day where tangible expressions of this high culture, crystallized by African savants, continue to be looted even after centuries.

“The Milky Way’s Savants” addresses this ultimate reality: true richness that results from spiritual intelligence is under divine command only thus beyond material grasp, therefore it descends on earth as the Divine One wills, beyond the comprehension of those who covet it. Because high culture is a form of natural resource, embedded in the very fiber of our being, societies who receive the varied shades of this genius will always be coveted, attacked and invaded as long as they’re not prepared to defend themselves against it.

The creative evolution of this painting was particularly intense, working on it I’ve learned a lot about the expansion of Love. The Sufi poem that offered this painting is below in French and English.

~ Les Savants de la Voie Lactée ~

La voila la prosternation de l’esprit éclairé,
manifeste et majestueux; siècle après siècle,
présent sous les mêmes cieux,
de la Nubie jusqu’à Tombouctou.
O qu’ils luisent ces empires fondés
sur le socle de Rouh (as)
de mondes en mondes, nous sommes
ces lanternes en forme humaine,
depuis Atlantis jusqu’à Kemet,
les mains dans la main de Tehuti (as)
nous traversâmes les frontières
afin de répandre notre Savoir
convoité par les envahisseurs.
Ce patrimoine de l’Afrique porté
par les Savants de la Voie Lactée
se révèle à travers l’âme de l’opprimé,
héritier légitime des pharaons pieux d’Egypte,
O enfants Noirs, ravivez vos mémoires
et scintillez de toute la gloire
instillée en vos glandes pinéales!

© 2012 Aïda Touré

~ The Milky Way’s Savants ~

There is the prostration of the enlightened spirit,
manifest and majestic, century after century;
present under the same heavens
from Nubia to Timbuktu.
How luminescent these empires
founded upon Ruh (as)
from worlds to worlds,
we are these lanterns in human form
from Atlantis to Kemet,
our hands in the hand of Tehuti (as)
we crossed the borders to spread
our Knowledge coveted by invaders.
This African heritage borne by
the Milky Way’s Savants
is revealed through the soul of the oppressed,
legit heir of the pious pharaohs of ancient Egypt,
O Black children, revive your memory
and shine with all the glory
instilled in your pineal glands!

© 2012 Aïda Touré

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,
free, 
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.
Bismillah,
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