Raafia Jessa
Wanderer. Nomad. Graphic Designer.
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Copy of Glitch

A depiction of the Quranic verses Bismillah and The Four Quls.


A depiction of the Quranic verses Bismillah and The Four Quls.

Bismillah is the start of everything, while The Four Quls are known as protection verses and all begin with the word “Qul”, which means “say”. The verses hold great importance and are memorized by most Muslims, though they may not know the exact meaning. The sole recitation of the verses is considered a blessing. 

The work is a representation of geometric Kufic, using the idea of a “sensory” prayer. In this style of calligraphy, legibility is not prioritized; compositions are created using the structural versatility of Arabic letters. It is understood that the viewer will be blessed simply by reflecting on the visual presentation of the verse or prayer. 

Specific meanings of various Quranic texts and how to apply them within an individual’s religious practice is a topic of heavy debate among various sects of Islam. Polarizing interpretations of the Quran, glitches the ability to see eye to eye.

Glitch is an attempt to ask the audience to consider how distortions are created caused by arguing specific sectoral differences. 


The work was initially created as an Islamic calligraphy piece, solely for aesthetic purposes. Over time, questions about the visual representation of language in relation to religious texts caused Glitch to evolve into various forms.

Since it’s inception in 2017, Glitch has shown at Neither here Nor there, The Foundry, London 2018 and (Mus)interpreted, Artscape Young Place, Toronto 2018. A rendition of the work is also installed at Daniel’s Spectrum, Toronto