ALYAQEEN – And the Power of Absolutes
Written by Umjay M
Photography by Mohammad Bastaki and Salman Moghaddam
“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” That Khalil Gibran really does have a way with words. In other words, and far less eloquently; to have faith is to trust. Faith and trust are the only two “emotions” that can exist only in absolutes. You can’t half trust someone, you can’t even 99% trust someone. You either do, or you don’t. One shred of doubt can, and does, have the ability to bring it all down; right to its very foundation. Faith needs you to trust. Not only that, but faith needs you to trust in things you can’t really see, count or touch. The intangibles. You can feel them, so much so that you’d swear they’re real, but essentially, you have no proof. That is what it means to have faith and that is why faith is such a powerful thing. It’s easy to look at religion and see how the power of faith changes the course of the world, and it’s because of it that you often find government so desperately immersed in matters of personal faith and religion. Faith. It is quite possibly the strongest driving force in human nature that requires no physical proof at all. That, in and of itself goes against what seems like the natural make up of the human being. We know many things, and we know them because we can see, touch, taste, smell and hear them. Yet faith asks none of that. It just asks you to believe. It is the journey of finding that faith that is so beautifully depicted in Najd Al Taher’s exhibition ‘AlYaqeen.’
In her quest to find faith, Najd takes us through one of her most intimate artistic expressions as she tries to understand herself, the world around her and how those two things are infinitely intertwined. Curious why none of her models’ faces were shown, Najd’s response was “because it doesn’t matter.” And she’s right, it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, who you’re with or what your circumstances are. The journey of finding faith happens within. Because what you come to realize is, faith is not something you “find,” faith is always there. It’s like a portal within you that you have the ability to tap into. Finding your faith, as Khalil Gibran so beautifully captures in his words, has more to do with letting go of doubt, than with finding something you’ve lost.