Ahmed Moustafa
The attributes of divine perfection
Oil and watercolour on paper, 125 x 149 cm,  2000

In this complex calligraphic work in several script styles, the central element is a cube, an embodiment of the Ka’ba at Mecca, open to reveal within each individual cube one of the asma’ al-husna, the Beautiful Names of God, in square kufic. On the sides are the words ‘Muhammad is the Prophet of God’. In the background is the ‘throne verse’ (ayat al-kursi, Qur’an 2:255), interlaced with the words ‘May his glory be magnified’. In the foreground is the verse from the Qur’an referring to the Names of God:

 Say call upon God, or call upon
The merciful; whichsoever you call
Upon, to Him belong the Names Most Beautiful.
Qur’an 17:110


For Moustafa, this cube of cubes, which he has re-created in sculptural form, made up of ninety-nine small cubes, symbolizes the mystery of the saying of the Prophet Muhammad: ‘God has 99 names, one hundred minus one’.