In the Name of God the Most Merciful the Most Kind



Mahmudah Begum Jaffer



DNA pictures obtained from the article:
"50 Years of DNA Double Helix Structure".
IMB Jena Image Library of Biological Macromolecules


' We need to remember that there are certain things which are beyond our control,
and in the hands of Allah(SWT). We are not created only of Genome,
but also of Ruh (spirit) and Will of Allah(SWT).....this is the take-home message,
and this has been done very well in the artwork.
The use of the DNA helix as a border is very important,
and clearly symbolises the Laws of Allah under which we operate,
and within which we have some free will..

Dr Muhammad F R Sayed
(Bio-chemistry / Protein Crystallography – Cambridge University- London)


In the Name of Allah, The Merciful, The Beneficent


Islamic Art is the sacred, holistic and contained art form that is reflective of submission to, and acceptance of, the Will of our Creator Most High – total submission and total acceptance,
as taught by Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be upon him ).

Harmony, order, balance, stability, and discipline are all essential qualities in the grid used in Islamic Art – representing thought before action.

An up/down pattern along a border is symbolic of a flowing movement forward signifying the seeking of The Path to our Creator Most High.
A geometric corner design symbolizes a stage or station, or realization along the way.

The border indicates protective limits, within which lies limitless freedom.

Irregular designs may seem imbalanced, but they often are essential for overall harmony.

An intertwining design reflects awareness of our Creator – that we are forever in His Presence.
He created us, and never leaves us.

The repetition of patterns guides the enquiring mind to a possible understanding of The Infinite in finite forms.

A dot, which is the start of any line, straight or curved, is also the point that marks the centre of any circle. When penetrated, it is found to be the container for a new discovery, holding a new world.
The dot itself becomes a circle, with its own new centre, once again, holding the promise of unfolding secrets. This again demonstrates The Infinite in finite forms, as well as unity in multiplicity.

Mahmudah Begum Jaffer


In the Name of Allah, The Merciful, The Beneficent


One interpretation of the five-pointed star is that it symbolizes 5 levels
essential for human existence.

Living soul
Spiritual connection to our Creator Most High
Outward energies
Inward energies

The eight-pointed star that recurs frequently in the entire art piece is in Sufi terms reflective of the expansion of The Breath of The Compassionate.

The ‘rungs’ of the ‘ladder’ (the base pairs), making up the DNA, telling the ‘story of life’, are held in fairly even tension by the stylized, intertwining ‘helix’ pattern. Alternating with Attributes of Allah Most High in Arabic, these are a direct reflection of our interconnectedness
with Him, whether we are aware of Him or not.

The bold outline of the ‘helix’ design is reflective of the discipline and balance found in the geometric nature of the Ndebele Art of South Africa.

The delicate tessellated star pattern filling the inner space is reflective of the
discipline and harmony found in Islamic Art.


The Noble Qur’an – translations by AYusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall
A young Muslim’s guide to the modern world – Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Al-Ghazali on The Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God -
translated by David B Burrell and Nazih Daher
Darwinism on trial – K S Nadwi -(Islamic Medical Ass of S A)
Doorways to Islamic Art – Mahmudah B Jaffer
Essential Science - The Human Genome – Jeremy Cherfas
Eyewitness – Evolution- Linda Gamlin
Islamic Patterns – Keith Critchlow
Islamic Art Lecture notes – M Faadiel Arnold
Moral Healing through The Most Beautiful Names – Laleh Bakhtiar
Sufi Expressions of the mystic quest - Laleh Bakhtiar
What is the origin of man? - Dr Maurice Bucaille


Professor Yusuf da Costa (Nakshbandi Sufi Order – Cape Town)
Moulana Ahmed Mukaddam (Rector–Islamic College of Southern Africa, Cape Town)
Dr Fazlur-Rahman Sayed (Bio-Chemistry - Cambridge University London)
Wonderful support from family and friends

Mahmudah Begum Jaffer



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