Shabina - September 2020

About Me
“Let the beauty of what you love
be what you do”

About Me - ShabinaGallery

My spiritual journey started as a child when I first met Shaykh Nazim Q.S. of the Naqshbandi tariqat. As a British Muslima I was born into a Pakistani Muslim family who honoured and respected faith and religion. However, the eyes of my heart only really opened when I met my Shaykh. It was like seeing everything in Technicolor for the first time. Growing up, I had never really paid much attention to Shaykhs, Sufism or spirituality, I just knew about the outward practices of religion. Through that chance encounter in London, a spark for the sacred and beloved was ignited in my heart. In those early days I often sat in a corner of Peckham mosque (in London) during Ramadan, with a pencil and notebook which my mum gave me and would sketch the visitors and mureeds (students) whilst we waited eagerly for our Shaykh to arrive. I recall the beautiful fragrances of Rose and Jasmine and the enchanting sounds of Quran recitation and Allah (AWJ’s) beautiful names. It was a beautiful spectacle of people from all nationalities and races coming together for the love of Allah (AWJ).

“Your heart knows the way, run in that direction”

Everyone around me encouraged me to pursue the Arts. Shaykh Nazim Q.S. would visit our family home in those early days and took time to look at my Artwork. He gave me ijazah (permission) to continue my artwork and even signed a copy of a pencil drawing I did of Him. I went on to study at Art College and graduated with a BA (Hons) in Visual Arts. However, life always seems to take you on different journeys and directions. I got married had children and ended up pursuing a career in Children’s Services! Fast forward to the present, my Islamic spiritual journey continued. I decided to leave work in order to spend more time with my family. Late last year, I picked up my paint brush again. Well....that was it, I was hooked again!.

"Everything that is made beautiful is made for the eye of the one that sees”

In February 2020, I received ijazah (permission) to continue painting by Shaykh Mehmet Adil. It was really important for me to get the blessings of my Shaykh and this has given me the confidence to pursue my passion.

The act of painting has a spiritual significance for me. It has become my personal devotion, where I can contemplate about all matters pertaining to the heart. It is an act of love for the Divine. Spirituality has taken me on a journey and I now use painting as a means to meditate (taffakur) and medium to consolidate my understanding. I will often listen to Quran, Zikr and Sohbets when painting. I feel that this helps me to connect with my Souls longing and provides a serenity and peace for my heart.

Shaykh Mehmet Adil viewing my work on a visit to Leicester

Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you love”
My paintings are vibrant and energetic. I often use vivid colours with multi-layering to produce complex depths of intensity and movement to give a spiritual essence to the paintings.

I love the use of watercolour in my work as it is not easily controlled or manipulated but is very spontaneous and unpredictable. I use this to my advantage to create unique pieces made with love and passion.

"A true Artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others”
I hope my paintings bring joy and comfort to your heart and are a means to beautify your home and remind us all of the oneness of Allah (AWJ) with his limitless, mercy, protection and baraqah. May our love of Allah (AWJ) and RasoolAllah (PBUH) carry on growing throughout our lives, ameen. I have taken time to make my site not only visually pleasing but also informative and dare I say, educational by researching and providing detailed descriptions of the subject matter of my paintings.

My use of Arabic Calligraphy is also an expression of my spiritual longing, by keeping it very fluid and organic.

Overall inspiration for me takes root from everything I love about Islam. Allah (AWJ) has manifested beauty in His creation and I fulfil my hearts longing when I’m exploring these in painting and drawing. From verses of the Holy Quran and natural forms to beautiful architecture of places of worship and influential people in Islam. 

All of my paintings are original and hand painted. Prints, Canvases and Framed prints are available to purchase from the shop and will be available for a limited time only until the new collection is ready to be uploaded. The next collection is due to be released in January 2021 and I aim to create 2 to 3 collections every year.

Please subscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of this page to keep updated on the release of the new collections. You can also follow me on Instagram to get updated every week on the progress of new work.

Shabina Suhail