8 Significant Objects from the Islamic Museum of Australia

Join Curator and Conservator, Dr Mahmoud Mahammed, and discover their stories

Waleed Aly (2011) by Abdul AbdullahIslamic Museum of Australia

1. A portrait of Waleed Aly

Abdul Abdullah's painting of Waleed Aly was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2011 Archibald Prize, making him the youngest ever finalist in one of Australia’s longest running and most prestigious art prizes. "I see Waleed as a deep-thinker and I wanted to depict him in a moment of self-reflection, composing his thoughts."

Waleed Aly, 2011
Abdul Abdullah
Oil on linen
180 x 180 cm

Big Jihad (2011) by Abdul-Rahman AbdullahIslamic Museum of Australia

2. The 'Big Jihad' bronze sculpture

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah's bronze sculptural self-portrait presents two identical men facing each other for a fight. The work explores the meaning of ‘the greater jihad’, which in Islam is the internal struggle with one’s nafs - that is, the ego or commanding self. 

Big Jihad, 2011
Abdul-Rahman Abdullah
Bronze sculpture
60 x 60 cm

Inshalla (2008) by Phillip GeorgeIslamic Museum of Australia

3. 'Inshalla' surfboards bridging East and West

Phillip George's series of surfboards employ designs from famous mosques and have been exhibited all over the world. They were made in response to the 2005 Cronulla riots and fuse together two iconic traditions, namely Aussie beach culture and complex Islamic geometric art.

Inshalla series
Phillip George
Fibre glass and carbon fibre
213 x 52 x 7 cm

The MinaretIslamic Museum of Australia

Minaret Adhan by Bachar Houli

4. A multi-story minaret, inside the museum

Built completely inside the museum, the IMA's minaret spans from the Art Gallery on the ground floor, to the Islamic Architecture gallery above - where visitors can step inside and listen to an adhan (call to prayer), including this one recited by AFL footy player, Bachar Houli.

Adhan calligraphy by Shakeel Tariq
Call to prayer recited by Bachar Houli

Perahu (2019)Islamic Museum of Australia

5. A model of a Massacan 'perahu'

This model of an Indonesian boat is reminiscent of those used by Makassan fishermen, who would visit the north and north west coast of Australia in 17th and 18th centuries, fishing for trepang (sea cucumber). The 'perahu' has been depicted in Aboriginal rock art.

Perahu Model
Wood and fabric
155 x 39 x 105 cm 

QuranIslamic Museum of Australia

6. A mid-century Quran from Bali

Created with ink on paper, this mid 20th century Quran was brought over from Indonesia. The tradition of hand-scribing the Quran dates back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad who had several companions responsible for memorising and writing down the revelations as they were received.

circa 1956
from Bali, Indonesia
72 x 52 cm

Woven milk jug (1998)Islamic Museum of Australia

7. A hand-made Somali 'Dhiil'

This Dhiil, displayed in the Australian Muslim History gallery, is a traditional Somali hand-made woven milk jug, used to collect milk and keep it fresh without refrigeration.

QABO and fabric
from Somalia
40 x 20 cm

Kiswa Qandeel (2014)Islamic Museum of Australia

8. A 'Kiswa Qandeel from the Holy Kaaba

Kiswa is the name of the cloth used to drape the Kaaba, the most sacred site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Made from 670kg of silk thread and 15kg of gold thread, it's draped annually on the 9th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the day pilgrims leave for the plains of Mount Arafat during the Hajj pilgrimage. This lamp shaped medallion embroidery is known as Qandeel and is inscribed with the Quranic verse, “YA HAYU YA QAYYUM", or, "the ever living, the ever watchful".

Kiswa Qandeel
Silk and gold thread
95 x 67 cm

Discover more unique items in the Islamic Museum of Australia collection, or visit our YouTube channel to watch episodes of Object of the Week.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps