‘Heaven lies beneath the feet of your mother’ is an Islamic saying by the prophet Muhammad, this hadith is prominent in Muslim culture - emphasising that a child must respect their mother to gain passage into heaven.
Though I personally am agnostic, I still appreciate many of the moral teachings of my familial Islamic upbringing. This work (from left to right) depicts my grandmother, mother, my sister and my niece. With all the difficulties of the pandemic since early 2020 in the UK, I wanted to portray a scene of joy and celebration. The summer of 2020, was a time that many of the older population that had been shielding could once again see family whilst being socially distanced. I take immense joy in paying homage to four generations of females in my family being together at the same space and time. It is special; more so that hitherto the pandemic my great grandmother was still alive and this meant that five generations were on this planet concurrently.
With my sister, an NHS doctor, having to sacrifice so much time and energy being away from her family to literally save lives, made moments of togetherness in any manifestation so much more significant. The coloured background motif includes colours of the Pan African flag, Lebanese and Sierra Leonean flags, emulating the vibrant textile designs that are prominent in Sierra Leonean fashion.
This work, ‘Heaven Lies Beneath The Feet of Your Mother’, is a sentimental portrait conveying my gratitude and finding a positive perspective in the midst of a tumultuous period in all of our lives.
Original artwork available here at https://www.habibhajallie.com/originals