Extract from Koran

"will know that the Prophet of God among you,
if he obeyed you..."

Extract from Koran, 1989
H.100 X W.370cm

Yousuf Thannoon (1932 -    ), Iraq

Since ancient times art has been used to serve religion throughout the world. Within the Christian tradition, while art was still used for religious expression, it could also be used to express dissatisfaction; artists used their work to attack and mock the impurity of the Church and the way institutionalized faith had distanced itself from God’s teachings.

To Muslims calligraphy is a divine act; the writing of the Koran is believed to be an expression of Allah’s perfection. Unlike the Christian tradition, however, there is little religious critique in Islamic art.

While both religions use art as an expression of belief, one is left to wonder if there is nothing in Islam to criticize, if it does, why this has not been seen in the art of Muslim tradition.


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