The project was very personal for me, we were asked to design something to remember a loved one that has passed away. I decided to focus on designing something for my grandfather, while relating it back to my Muslim heritage.
My design is called Yadgeri, which means remembrance in my native language of Gujarati. The design focuses on a photo of my grandfather on the left side and a verse from the Qu’ran, which is a prayer that is invoked during the funeral ceremonies. On the base of my design there are three main symbols that are incorporated. Soil or Sand refers to the idea that we are made from clay and we will return to the earth. Water is a symbol of purification (preparation of the soul for the Eternal Life to come) Water is key to element that individuals must have in their body to survive. Incenses is a symbol of purification particularly used in traditions of South Asia, used to purify the air and surrounding. Men are the only ones allowed during the burial ceremony, and as a final tribute once the body is completely buried each and every individual in attendance must place an incense over the deceased family member.
My design is dedicated to my grandfather Nurali Bhimani who passed away on January 17, 1998. My design will be a memento for an individual’s home that features symbols and themes of someone passing away within the Muslim traditions.
Death is a natural part of life. In Islam it is said that “We belong to Allah and we will indeed return to him.” We must accept the passing of a loved one, and believe that they are going to a better place. We much cherish the moments we had with our loved one, and accept that they are returning to Allah.
Individuals must live a well-balanced life and do good, while being present on earth, one must also prepare for the afterlife. Following the 5 pillars of Islam; testifying to god, daily prayers, giving charity, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to mecca once in a lifetime, are all important aspects of life which must be fulfilled while being on earth and practicing Islam. In Islam, heaven (Jannah) and hell (Jahannam) are more of a state of mind. Jannah is the joy of triumph over the forces of disintegration vs Jahannam, an experience full of remorse and regret and the painful realization of one’s failure as a man.