Updates to the logo and the heading image

Over the week I played around with photo and video maker apps and programs on my phone and my computers and when I did so I thought, why not make a new and more modern version of my websites logo?

And I did just that! Behold, the website’s newest logo! :

While the older logo looks like a very common Islamic star, this one looks a more stylized, more modern version of it. The ten pointed star is still there, but the overall shape is much more different. If you take a closer look the stars does not actually perfectly in symmetry, and although it might be counter intuitive to the name of the website itself, it actually looks quite nice and pleasing, at least to my eyes. I also played around with the colours as well so it looks more harmonious to the rest of the blog. The gray compliments the background, and the green is taken from the heading photo, which I actually changed as well.

I hope you like this minor change! Please let me know what do you think. See you next week when I post my next blog! Until then have a great week and be safe.

UPDATE!

Looking at the logo again I can’t help but to see how the logo is a direct opposite of the blog’s name itself, so I spend a few days to remake the logo again, and this time I made sure everything is in symmetry.

Behold, the new, newer logo!

I also changed the colour a little bit to make it pop more rather than using the drab old new logo’s grey. The lines are thinner as well, making it more modern. Also I forget to mention that I transitioned from the 3D gradiented logo we had before into a 2D flat logo now to keep up with the times!

I would like to thank you for the comments and the emails I received for the improvisation of the blog’s logo. As always, I would love to hear more of your thoughts and suggestions.

Ramadhan Kareem

In Brunei, it is already one week into Ramadhan. But I hope it is not late for me to wish you all a Happy Ramadhan!

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During this uncertain time, Ramadhan this year is really a different affair. Gone is the endless buffet lines of Iftar, the mass gathering of shoppers buying food for their Iftar needs as well as for Eid in the Bazaars and Shopping Malls, and unfortunately no more congregational prayers be performed in the mosques.

However in these times also, it is a chance for us to reflect and consider ; What is the need for us to have an endless amount of food in the buffets, where many of our brothers and sisters are suffering and sometimes had to go on fasting without food to break their fast, or even to start their fast? What is the need for us to buy all those new clothes and household items when our brothers and sisters don’t even have a house to begin with?

Alhamdulillah, I had been somewhat more proactive with Ramadhan this year, seeing that last year it was a terrible mess for me, what with the infection and hospital stays and all, and with this extra time on my hands now I can concentrate on more important things.

Apologies that I was not able to post anything for some time, seeing that the internet in this country is becoming so expensive and I cannot do anything without hearing my phone crying out I had 70% of data left each time I added my internet quota….which is almost every day. 5GB of data for $10 is terrible! In this case I had pre-typed all the Istanbul posts in my computer to be copy pasted later here. Now, what to do with all the images…

Anyways, I wish you a very successful and sacred Ramadhan!

(Photo is taken from the Blue Mosque in Istanbul)

Happy New Year 2020

For all my readers and followers, I would like to say Happy New Year 2020!

At this start of the new decade I would like to wish everyone eventful and happy years ahead, and together we explore Islamic art and architecture for the years to come.

Expect more of the Turkish Islamic art and architecture series in the coming days, with sprinkling of my observations and studies on various Islamic or Islamic influenced art in other cultures and countries. Hopefully, by the end of this year I will be able to make another trip to Turkey, to visit important Seljuk sites and cities. I have very little information and knowledge on this Islamic civilization, and it would be a great interest if I could study them in person via their art and architecture, Insha Allah. I will announce the plans for my trip soon.

I have great interest in expanding my knowledge on Mughal and Chinese Islamic art and architecture, although for the time being, because of the current situation in these countries (India and China), I have to postpone my plans. Perhaps I could divert my attention to Pakistan instead, or other Central Asian countries. I also wanted to go to Egypt, but I have to postpone the plan for a while, perhaps for another trip in 2021. I just needed to find a reliable tour agent as I had never been to Egypt, nor Pakistan, India or China.

I have been thinking about joining Eric Broug’s programme as a teacher for Islamic geometric patterns, however, the costs had kept me to shy away from it. Perhaps, another plan for the years to come?

I am planning for a Youtube channel for this website as well by this year, to house my travel videos as well as deconstruction and construction videos, among other things that you might find useful whether in the Islamic sense or just in general.  I hope this idea will come into fruition, so please do check back often.

I would love to hear more about your opinions on what should I study next and questions and corrections from you on the topics that I had discussed here in this blog.

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Once again, I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.

Stars in Symmetry 10th Anniversary!

This day on the 7th of December, 2009, Stars in Symmetry was born!

It felt a long long time ago that I was sitting in front of my old first laptop, wanting to satisfy my need for Islamic art and architecture, I learn independently and with what I have known, I disseminate that information in the form of this blog.

I admit that I also tried to make some income from this blog in the form of adverts, merchandises and other small ventures. I would like to clarify that I had not made any single cent off this blog, despite all the ads and merch I was selling here. In fact, I lost some money because I was trying the paid plan for WordPress, that is the custom URL and other perks. Alas, it was not sustainable, and I had to cancel the plan after one year.

However, the main reason I created this blog was for the sheer happiness and enjoyment Islamic art and architecture bring me. Looking at a perfect geometric design in a mosque gives me a sense a wonderment and excitement, the sight of a beautiful calligraphy in an illuminated Qur’an fills me with serenity, and the beautiful curves of a dome and the height of a minaret makes my heart feels the awe on the wonders. Learning about these beautiful form of art simply increases my curiosity and my appreciation of the work that goes to creating these majestic art forms.

For this 10th year anniversary, I am again refreshing the look of the blog, trading the recent one into a more modern look, new more interactive plans in the future in par with the technological advancements of today, new Youtube channel, insha Allah, new merch, as well as a new logo! It is based off the old logo, but cleaner (now I can use Photoshop Illustrator!) with a fresher colourway, keeping with the theme with my Atelier Azim logo.

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Here’s hoping for another decade of enjoying and appreciating Islamic art, architecture and culture, and I hope you will come together with us on this journey!

Notice : Temporary Leave

Hello my dear readers and visitors!

I would like to inform you I might not be able to post anything for a while, as we are at the moment, renovating our office. Everything had to be moved, and typing away on the computer is rather difficult for now.

I might still be able to post, but I won’t guarantee it, and if I do it might be even more sporadically than what it is now. But I hope you will keep visiting this site for new articles.

Hopefully my laptop will arrive soon then I will be able to post more. Thank you for your attention, and apologies for any inconvenience.

 

Your opinion : Videos

I had been going through my personal photo collection and, looking through my Turkish trip photos I took two years ago, I realize that I actually had taken a number of videos during that time. Most of the videos are of the surroundings and the places I had visited, which coincidentally places of great Islamic art and architecture significance.

However, I am on a bit of a crossroads here. I can’t post my videos as articles on the blog, unless I subscribe to a payment plan for WordPress, or I get myself a Youtube account to put all these videos online, and post the links in the articles.

I ask your help regarding this, and I would like your input, as a reader, on if I should post my videos here or not, and if I should, where should I put it.

I will post a poll below, and on the side. Your opinions and comments are very much appreciated!

View Survey

Happy Islamic New Year 1441H

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It was the beginning of the New Hijra year 1441 last saturday, coinciding with the end of August. We had a long weekend after, so that’s why this post is late! I haven’t got my replacement laptop yet, as I don’t have the funds, so I am posting all my articles for this blog from my work computer.

1441 Years ago, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) mae the epic migration (hijrah) from Mecca, where he and the early Muslims were prosecuted,to Yathrib, later called Medina An Nabawi, to a welcoming crowd. This is also a metaphor of migrating from evil to good in all aspects of our life, just as how the Prophet and his followers went from the dark evils of the disbelievers of Mecca to the bright hope Medina holds for them then.

I wish you all, my readers, Muslim or not, a happy and blessed New Year of Hijri.

 

Eid Adha Mubarak

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I think most of the Muslim world celebrated Eid Al Adha On Sunday and it is a three day celebration, so I wish all of my readers and visitors, Muslim or not, a happy Eid al Adha.

As the Takbir of the Eid is still resonating across the mosques all over the world, and cows, bulls and sheeps and goats are sacrificed in the name of Allah, their meat distributed to the poor and needy, the Haji and Hajjah in the Holy Lands of Mecca and Medina completing their rituals and return soon to their respective countries as new Muslims and Muslimahs insha Allah, let us retrospect inside ourselves the sacrifices we had made. Whether in the name of religion, our private life or any aspects of our existence, have we sacrificed enough for what we believe in? what we fought for?

May the Eid celebration bring glad tidings upon us all. Eid Mubarak once again to everyone.

 

P/S – I made the card myself! The pattern is traditional Malay Brunei Design

Eid Mubarak

2019 has been a terrible year for me.

End of May I was admitted to the hospital because of several abscesses on my left leg as well as a growth very close to my spine. So I underwent a surgery to remove them all, and had to spend 2 weeks in the hospital.

As soon as the two weeks passed, I was diagnosed with contaminated blood, and I had to spend almost 3 weeks in the ward.

Needless to say, I spent my Eid on the hospital bed, my legs stiff (from the surgery) not able to move at all.

Just to show that we can only plan but Allah and His prescribed destiny ultimately rules over all.

Even though its not Syawal anymore, and it’s no longer Eid, I still want to wish you all my readers Eid Mubarak. Postings will resume as soon as I recover fully.

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Ramadhan Kareem!

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As some of you might know (and I’m sure all of my Muslim readers do!) in a few days, we will welcome Ramadhan, the holy fasting month for all Muslims!

That means we will start fasting from dawn to dusk, abstaining from bodily pleasure, refraining from bad thoughts and acts, and increase our religious deeds all for the pleasure of Allah.

To be honest I am both excited and scared. Excited because it is such a special time for everyone! It is the rare time where everyone in the family can get together for Sahoor (Pre dawn meal ) and Iftar (Breaking the fast) and pray Tarawih at the mosque as a family. It is such a special time that you will feel the difference between Ramadhan and other months.

I am scared because I fear I might not be able to fully appreciate the month. My health have been going down for the worse these past few years, and its taking a toll on my daily life. Last year’s Ramadhan, I had a very hard time fasting and carrying out other religious duties. I did finish Ramadhan fasting, however I feel I should be able to do more, if my health was better. I pray for better health this year so that I can take advantage of the holy month more.

Nevertheless, I hope you have a great Ramadhan and for my Muslim readers, may Allah bless us with Ramadhan and may He accept all of our deeds, Aamiin Insya Allah.