In her photographs, Nama Khalil shares with us moments of solitude that, to her, speak to deep faith.
Like most things, faith means different things to different people. Simply put, in most religions, faith is an encompassing tenant of a belief system that teaches individuals to put their trust in God. It is not something you do for a few hours on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday; it is the essence of how you view the universe and your role in it. In a way, faith transcends cultures, societies, and religions, because everyone has faith…in something.
But faith can be tricky and delicate. Like a roller coaster, it has its high moments and low moments, it provides a rush and anticipation, and it is full of excitement and uncertainty. The most common aspect of faith is that it is personal. It is this aspect that my photographs speak to. Faith is a state of being that manifests in each of us in unique ways and is expressed through various means. Faith cannot be judged, it cannot be exploited, it cannot be quantified, it is not something you assert or profess—it is how you behave.
Faith is interwoven in these series of photographs. Each image speaks to an element of spirituality and personal conviction. Subtle moments are documented as each woman is photographed in solitude. Instances of supplication directly reflect a type of Faith these women practice. Through these acts of worship, a deeply personal relationship is built with them and their Lord. Private moments of prayer help strengthen these women’s Faith. The hand gestures, readings of Qur’an, adorning the hijab, praying in union, are all acts that influence behavior and construct a worldview that sustains their Faith in God--in Allah.
Note: The photographs of the women praying in the mosque are courtesy of Discovering Islam in Detroit Project, a project that documents the Muslim community in Metro-Detroit area.