Meet the Artist: Abu Ayyub

Abu Ayyub (Edan Marulanda) is an American born photographer based in the beautiful Eurasian country of Turkey. A simple glance at Abu Ayyub's instagram page (@abu_ayyub_chronicles), and you quickly will see exactly why we fell in love with his photography. His shots are an intimate portrayal of their subject matter, exuding spirituality and an unmistakeable inner peace. This is despite the subject matter often being architectural. 

We had a virtual chat with Abu Ayyub to discuss his work. 

How did photography become a career for you?

Photography accidentally became important in my life. It started by simply wanting to record my travels and the places I studied. This later turned into content creation showcasing Mosques, people in prayer, Islamic art etc. It also became a means of telling a story, the story of our Islamic history from an Islamic perspective or narrative.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day always starts with a warm cup of coffee. Once that's in the system, I usually write, illustrate or read, which is usually research for my writings. I like to save my afternoons for studies or photography. Late afternoon to early evening is my favourite time to photograph. Shadows become long, and the sun yellows. Because Istanbul has so many historic places, I usually pick one and then head in that direction. Most of my photos showcase Islamic architecture however, I love capturing people in prayer, reading the Quran or reflection. At night, once the family is asleep, I start to write again.

There is no Victor but Allah

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from the principle of ihsan (beauty) and a desire to show this beauty found in the religion of Islam, its tradition and in its culture. However, most of the time its just being at the right place at the right time to capture a moment!

What advice would you give to any up and coming Islamic artists today?

I believe that art is something that is Divinely inspired. We are drawn to art because it invokes or arouses an emotion from deep inside us. The difficulty is channelling this gift into creating something pleasing to God and for the benefit of mankind.

We would like to thank Abu Ayyub for sharing his fascinating insights and his beautiful photography with us. There is no doubt that his own reflective nature shines through all of his stunning photographs. 

You can find a link to Abu Ayyub's Islamic art prints here.

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