The outcome of a perfect composition that reflects through a variety of dark, bright and flat colours define 30-year-old Rafique Shah’s works. Shah, highly spiritual in nature and a master of soft and euphonic voice, has attempted to show the colours of the five-time prayers in Islam through his perfect lines.
Hence, a few of his works are on the (azaan) or muezzin’s call for prayer in (Fajr) or dawn time, others on the colours of the day time prayer or (Zuhr) as it is called. Yet another work shows colours of pre-dusk or (Asr) prayer, then dusk or (Maghrib) prayer and finally, night or (Isha) prayer. If it is the first prayer of the day, his colours are dimly-bright as if reflected through the sleeping sky. They become brighter as the day grows, and turn dark in the final one. In all these hues, a few lines criss-cross playfully. Shah, interestingly, doesn’t mix colours. He has a reason.
“Since the time of the prayer is fixed and you can’t tamper with it, it is same with my colours. I limit’ them. Moreover, as once (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan) said in his song about God that ‘Tu har rang mein hai, aur har rang se tera pardah hai’ (You are in all colours and yet You aren’t in one colour) I try to explore all colours to see in which colour is He not present and in which one He is? So, I try all colours in their purity and never mix any texture in them.”