In a statement, he dedicated the untitled painting to Shah Cheragh, the shrine of Ahmad ibn Musa (AS), the brother Imam Reza (AS), where ISIS carried out the attack that claimed 13 lives.
“This sad incident first grieved you,” Ruholamin addressed Ahmad ibn Musa (AS) and said, “Because, they [victims of the attack] were your guests and pilgrims to your shrine.”
Best known for his paintings on early Islamic historical events, Ruholamin previously used the terrorist attack as the subject of his painting “Tulips Have Grown from the Blood of Our Land’s Youth”, which was unveiled a day after the assault.
The title was inspired by a verse from the famous epic poem composed by Aref Qazvini for the Iranian youth killed in the Constitutional Revolution (1906-1911).
The artist has also blended modern events and with stories from Islamic history in some of his works.
“The Apocalyptic Companion of Aba Abdillah” is one such painting, which Ruholamin created in memory of Quds Force commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani just hours after his assassination in a U.S. air raid in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.
In June, Ruholamin portrayed the story of the rain prayer by Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Imam of the Shia, in his painting.
“The Rain Prayer” was unveiled at the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad as part of the Imam’s birthday celebration.
The 2.4X3-meter oil painting depicts Imam Reza (AS) on a rock with people around him praying for rain.
The story of the rain prayer occurred months after Mamun, the Abbasid caliph, appointed Imam Reza (AS) as the successor to his throne.
The Khorasan region was affected by severe drought, which was linked to the choice by the Imam’s opponents who said, “You see? Since Ali ibn Musa al-Reza has been selected as the crown prince, no more rain has been sent down to us from the sky.”
Mamun was informed about the adverse comments, and asked Imam Reza (AS) to hold a prayer for rain, so the Imam along with a group of people left the city to hold a rain prayer in the desert. Following their return to their homes, rain began to pour down.
The painting was part of Ruholamin’s contract with the Imam Reza (AS) International Foundation for Culture and Arts, based on which he was commissioned to produce paintings about the life of the Imam.