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99 Names: 1 to 25: A Christian's Exploration of the Names of God from the Qur'an (The Most Beautiful Names of God in Glass) (Volume 1) Paperback – June 22, 2013
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About the Author
Andrew Kosorok is a professional stained glass designer, consultant, and restoration specialist, teaches sculpture, stained glass, and drawing, and is an ordained interfaith minister. He received his BFA and MFA degrees in sculpture from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, and has studied philosophy and comparative religions. His stained glass and sculptural work is in numerous homes and churches, his sculptural work has been in regional and international art competitions, and elements of his 99 Names project are regularly exhibited. He believes by examining the act of creation through art a personal relationship with the Divine can be strengthened, and art provides an ideal catalyst for interfaith and intercultural understanding. His style is a product of the fusion of his various interests, building objects as records of the ongoing journey of learning and as a means to share the continuing process.
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In Arabic, the Qur'an and Sharia, Almighty God is Ilah and Allah is ‘the god’ in English.
Almighty God is Ilah, Ar Rahman, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious.
Therefore the Qur’an was named The Criterion, the criterion between good and evil.
Qur’an 41:84 It is He Who is the only God in the heaven and the only God on the earth.
Ibn Kathir: This means He is the God of those who are in the heaven and the God of those on earth.
Qur’an 43:84 It is He Who is Ilah, God in the heaven and on the earth.
Qur’an 19:65 Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, so worship Him and abide patiently in His worship. Do you know of any other with His Name?
Ibn Kathir: Ibn Abbas says, ‘There is no one named Ar-Rahman (the Most Beneficent) other than Him, Blessed and Exalted is He. Most Holy is His Name.’
See Quran chapters 19, 21, 25, 26, 36, 37, 41, 43, 67, etc.
Allah is always and only called Allah in Arabic.
Qur’an 6:3 And He is Allah in the heavens and on the earth.
Ibn Abbas: He is the One who is called Allah in the heavens and on the earth.
The Qur'an states that the religion of Allah abrogates the religion of Abraham.
The Shahada, the Muslim pledge of faith, denies God:
La ilaha ill-Allah, there is no God/god but Allah.
The sentence comprises a denial and an affirmation.
Negation: 'La ilah' negates all forms of God or god.
Affirmation: 'illAllah' affirms that there is only Allah.
Before you can say ‘I believe in Allah’(illa Allah) you have to reject or disbelieve in any other god or God (La illaha).
Question 179 Islam Q&A [...]
Questions 114, 6703, 11819, 20239, 20815
As a somewhat spiritual person, I am intrigued with the whole concept of the 99 names of God project and the Islam faith. Andrew draws on his extensive knowledge of the religious histories of the worlds religions to illustrate how similar each of the faiths are. I was especially impressed with the "Knower" #19 of the names of God.
As a glass artist, I am very impressed with Andrews work and also the photography in the book. I have personally struggled with photographing stained glass pieces for a book. When I took pictures of the Mandalas that Jeanne created for her book Stained Glass Mandalas For Meditation: A Pattern And Design Book I found that I had to try and try to get good photos and still was disappointed of the lack of vibrancy that I got. David Hawkinson has done a marvelous job of documenting Kosorok's sculptures.
The final level of appreciation that I have for the work of the 99 names project are from conversations I have had with the author. This is where I find the book to be a little lacking. This is because the sculptures have so much meaning and techniques in them that each could benefit with more pages about them. The "Knower" has many pages that are covered in scriptures from various religions that you can't see or appreciate with only one photo. A page for each page of the sculpture might be more satisfying. but then the book would be 490 pages instead of 49.
This book is a great introduction for Westerners to learn and understand a small part of the beliefs of Muslims. I look forward to future volumes as the projects continue and hope that eventually we will be able to see an even more in-depth treatment of the symbolism and artistry contained in each sculpture.
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Art Glass Sculptures! What a beautiful way to represent and interpret the Universal Attributes of the...Read more