Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 12:59 AM

Johan Ishak
20 October 2015
Acrylic, Charcoal and Ink on Canvas
150cm x 120cm
Buanaseni Studio Shah Alam


The Arabic text is the collation of the infamous Quaranic surahs, the 4 Quls: An-Nas, Al-Falaq, Al-Ikhlas and Al-Kafirun. These 4 surahs starts with the word "Qul", which means, "Say", as God Almighty demanded (via Archangel Gabriel) Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. to recite those surahs as revelation to mankind - hence "I crave for your guidance Lord" from mankind's perspective. Sūrat An-Nās (Arabic: سورة الناس‎, "Mankind") is the 114th and last sura, or chapter, of theQur'an, the Muslim holy book. It is a short six-verse invocation, asking Allah for protection from the Shaitan. There is a Sunnah tradition of reading this Sura over the sick or before sleeping. The English translation is as follows:

Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind,
The King of mankind,
The god of mankind,
From the evil of the sneaking whisperer,
Who whispereth in the hearts of mankind,
Of the jinn and of mankind.

Sūrat al-Falaq (Arabic: سورة الفلق‎, "Dawn, Daybreak") is the 113th surah of the Qur'an. It is a brief five verse invocation, asking Allahfor protection from the evil of Satan. This surah and the 114th (and last) surah in the Qur'an, an-Nas, are collectively referred to asal-Mu'awwidhatayn. The word "al-Falaq" in the first verse, a generic term referring to the process of 'splitting', has been restricted in most translations to one particular type of splitting, namely 'daybreak' or 'dawn'. Verse 4 refers to one of soothsayer techniques to partially tie a knot, utter a curse and spit into the knot and pull it tight. In the pre-Islamic period, soothsayers claimed the power to cause various illnesses. According to soothsayers the knot had to be found and untied before the curse could be lifted. This practice is condemned in verse 4. This sura, along with the following sura, Sura 114, begins with 'I seek refuge', which is why both are referred to as al-Mu'awwidhatayn. The English translation is as follows:

Say: I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn,
From the mischief of created things,
From the mischief of Darkness as it overspreads,
From the mischief of those who practise secret arts,
And from the mischief of the envious one as he practises envy.

Sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ (Arabic: سورة الإخلاص‎, "Fidelity" or "Sincerity"), also known as Sūrat al-Tawḥīd (Arabic: سورة التوحيد‎, "Monotheism") is the 112th Sura of the Qur'an. In the early years of Islam, the sūrahs of the Quran came to be known by several different names, sometimes varying by region. This sūrah was among those to receive many different titles. It is a short declaration of tawhid, God's absolute oneness, consisting of 4 ayat. Al-Ikhlas means "the purity" or "the refining". It is disputed whether this is a Meccan or Madinan sura. The former seems more probable, particularly since it seems to have been alluded to by Bilal of Abyssinia, who, when he was being tortured by his cruel master, is said to have repeated "Ahad, Ahad!" (unique, referring as here to Allah). It is reported from Ubayy ibn Ka'b that it was revealed after the polytheists asked "O Muhammad! Tell us the lineage of your Lord." The English translation is as follows:

Say: He is Allah, the One and Only,
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute,
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten,
And there is none like unto Him.

Sūrat al-Kāfirūn (Arabic: سورة الكافرون‎, "The Unbelievers") is the name of the 109th Sura(chapter) of theQur'an. Like many of the shorter Suras, the Sura of the Unbelievers takes the form of an invocation, telling the reader something they must ask for or say aloud. Here, the passage asks one to keep in mind the separation between belief and unbelief both in the past and the present, ending with the often cited line "To you your religion, and to me mine". It was revealed in Mecca when the Muslims were persecuted by the polytheists of Mecca. The English translation is as follows:

Say : O ye that reject Faith!
I worship not that which ye worship,
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
Nor will I worship those whom you have worshipped,
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
To you be your Way, and to me mine.



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