“Come, whoever you may be”

My portrait series is about Abdurrahim G., a German convert to Islam. He has lived as an observant Muslim for 25 years now, and has taken a new first name. He was brought up a strict Catholic, but spent a long time searching for a new spiritual path. Sufism changed his approach to faith, and in Islam he found what he was looking for. Sufism is another way of loving God. It is the inner way of Islam, the way of the heart, Islamic mysticism. Sufis are deeply-religious Muslims whose everyday life is determined by Islam. Today Islam is criticised very often, if not incessantly. Time and again it is negatively represented or interpreted by the Western media. Being Muslim isn’t something that Westerners readily understand. But people of various backgrounds and levels of education in the West have freely adopted the faith. “Come, whoever you may be”, is an open invitation, and it shows Islam as hardly anyone in Germany knows it. For my photography project I visited a number of different Sufi orders and dhikr evenings, where I met German Muslims who had questioned their old faith and then found their way to Islam. Islam is so multifaceted, there are so many ways that it can be interpreted and lived.

Abdurrahim G. in his living room. In the background you can see the Cypriot Naqshbandi Sufi master Sheikh Muhammed Nazim al Haqqani.By Ayse Tasci
Above: An image of the burial place of the Prophet Mohammed in Medina. Left: a a photo of the Sufi master Abdullah ad-Daghestani taken by Sheikh Muhammed Nazim al Haqqani. Right: a portrait of Sheikh Muhammed Nazim al Haqqani.By Ayse Tasci
Reading the Koran on the living room floor.By Ayse Tasci
With his cats in the garden.By Ayse Tasci
Earlier, Abdurrahim G. studied mineralogy and he has a stone collection, which he adds to on hiking trips.By Ayse Tasci
His library and stone collection.By Ayse Tasci
An old Colony perfume bottle.By Ayse Tasci