The Light of the Prophet Muhammad: An Audiovisual and Microphenomenological Journey

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In 2014, an Egyptian friend gave me the following advice: “Stop focusing on the darkness in this world: Look at the light”; an approach he himself had learned after having been in and out of Salafism as well as through two failed revolutions before he found relief in a different form of religious devotion, a form that appears to be rising in post-revolutionary Egypt. I took his advice and together with Egyptian filmmaker Muhammad Mustafa, the photographer Amira Mortada, and the philosopher Omar Rakhawy, I embarked on a search for the light in the Egyptian capital. Recorded between 2014-19, this film documents our journey through the lights of the city, the Nile, and the desert. In addition the film documents an inner search for answers; what is the light, what does it do, how can there be so much darkness and light in this world and inside ourselves, what is the meaning of these beings of light that sometimes present themselves in the midst of rituals, in our everyday lives, and in our dreams?

In "Light mediations". Birgit Meyer and Jeremy Stolow, eds. Special issue. Material Religion 16(1): planned for publication Spring 2020.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterial Religion
Volume16
Issue1
ISSN1743-2200
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

    Research areas

  • light, nur, microphenomenology, visual anthropology, religious experience

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