A stunning collection of artwork inspired by the words of Islamic mystic Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī is on show at Blackburn Museum.

The Rumi Collection: An exhibition of ink on paper has been created by Blackburn based artist Nadeem Baghdadi.

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, more popularly known in the English-speaking world simply as Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic. Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders and his poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages.

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The exhibition is on until the 10th of January 2015 and has already proved to be very popular with visitors from across the UK.
Nadeem said, ‘My work engages in creating a true mark on paper. I do this by using traditional techniques used in the Islamic and Chinese tradition of mark making namely ink, wood and paper.
“I have fused this with my own contemporary take on Islamic calligraphy and created shapes that are uncluttered and executed with a simply stroke of the wrist.
“The result is a stroke that consists of precision and beauty. The text from my work comes from ancient Islamic poets, philosophers and the Quran.


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No one here has yet been struck, God, by your awe!

“I use words and sentences that inspire and move me and then create an abstract form that embellishes those words and sentences. A fusion of form and word is then created.”
The Rumi collection consists of various stanzas taken from Rumi’s Mathnawi. The Mathnawi is a series of six books of poetry and remains one of the purest literary forms of the Persian language. 
The general theme of Rumi’s thought, like that of other mystic and Sufi poets of Persian literature, is essentially that of the concept of tawhid — union with his beloved (the primal root) from which and whom he has been cut off and become aloof — and his longing and desire to restore it. 
Nadeem said, “I have taken various stanzas that resonate something within me, I then express that stanza through an abstract shape or form.

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Through love thorns become roses

“My aim is to capture Rumi’s poetry in a pure form through the traditional use of ink on paper the tools that Rumi himself would have used when writing his poetry.
“I find that using Indian ink and marbling ink on paper echos the significance of the poetic words better.
The uncluttered ink strokes provide a visual representation of the words themselves and the fluid marbling shapes give instant colour and a surplus height and meaning to the stanzas”
“My aim is to create something of beauty and precision that encapsulate the splendour of Rumi’s poetry.’
Nadeem is hoping to take the exhibition to Leicester, Birmingham and Bradford in the coming year.
The museum is open Wednesday through to Saturday between 12:00 and 4.45pm. The exhibition opened on November 8th and runs for two months.
You can follow Nadeem on Twitter @tahacalligraphy