The Purifying Hourglass
This installation portrays the concept of Zakat through a conceptual and engaging lens. The essence of Zakat boils down to two main aspects: embracing charity to keep a healthy cycle of wealth distribution amongst the Muslim community and helping the less fortunate, as well as the annual renewing of the movement of funds and property. These aspects ‘purify’ a Muslim’s wealth, as money that hasn’t been purified through Zakat is considered tainted money that breeds negative traits such as greed, jealousy and inviting the evil eye.
Construction methodology: I designed the experience to take place in an hourglass figure, signifying the yearly period during which Zakat should take place. The hourglass figure is filled with two dense and incompatible liquids dividing the hourglass in half. The top part of the hourglass is filled with dark motor oil, and the bottom half with transparent corn syrup.
Method of Use: How this experience portrays itself is that the audience will engage with the piece by donating coins to charity by placing the coins in the hourglass from the top. The coin will slowly fall through the darker liquid, 'tainting' its nature by being enveloped by the dense dark colored liquid. Once the coin reaches the middle slender part of the hourglass, it will enter the transparent corn syrup, which will remove the motor oil, 'purifying' the coin before it reaches the bottom and gradually accumulating for the noble cause of charity. In addition there will be a non-tangible reward, the accumulation of Ajer, ‘good dead,’ through subtly moving the scale embedded within the bottom half of the hourglass, shining light on a Muslim’s contribution to their community and Allah.
Medium: Wood, Transparent acrylic, Waste Oil, Corn Syrup, Brass scale and coins