Nikhat Izhar Qureshi

Acrylic and Oil on Canvas
Acrylic and Oil on Canvas

Nikhat Izhar Qureshi
Founder Islamic Art of British Columbia

Artist Statement:

Painting inspirations and reflections, Nikhat takes her creativity as a means to express her connection to a soulful world. A self-taught, award-winning visual Artist & Calligrapher, her passion for calligraphy is driven by the religious writings and poetic texts composed in an artistic way. As an explorer of Islamic Art, Nikhat studied the basics of the Nastaliq script of Calligraphy under the tutelage of a calligraphy master from Pakistan and Thuluth Script from the master calligrapher in Canada. With her contemporary approach, she enjoys combining traditional styles and techniques of writing scripts. She finds it as permission to explore the art of Calligraphy with the freedom to conceive an immaculate connection with The Truth (Divine). This sacred art of writing requires a lifetime to master however she likes sharing her knowledge at any stage of her learning.

Her work has been part of exhibitions in the USA, Pakistan, and Canada. Nikhat served as the Program Director of Islamic Art Revival Series (2012-2014) in Dallas Texas, whose dual mission is to bring awareness and exposure to Islamic Art and to build cultural bridges between the Islamic world and North America. Since her move to Canada in 2016, she has worked with the National Art Gallery of Alberta, City of Surrey, City of Vancouver, and City of Richmond to host community events for people of all ages to experience the arts of the Islamic World first hand. Nikhat is the founder of the Islamic Art of British Columbia and often conducts the basics of Arabic calligraphy workshops for beginners. In 2018 she formed BC Muslim Art House with a group of local Muslim Art enthusiasts to come together and promote education in the arts of the Islamic world within the Muslim community and beyond to encourage a cross-cultural exchange of art/art-related activities. She is one of the three recipients of the People’s Choice Award at both the 2019 and 2021 ArtRich exhibitions. Nikhat’s artwork was displayed at the history-making celebratory event to mark October as the Islamic History Month hosted by the BC Government at the Hall of Honour inside the Legislature in 2019. Her exclusive painting titled, “O Canada” was presented to the Premier of British Columbia, Mr. John Horgan. Which featured major Islamic centers in different parts of Canada celebrating Canada’s diversity, multiculturalism, freedom, discipline, inclusion, unity, and peace. Nikhat is currently serving on the board of The Community Arts Council of Richmond.

She is an active participant of BC Culture Days. Nikhat is passionate about art, peace, and philanthropy. She believes that the most selfless way to make a difference in the world is to serve as a volunteer. Nikhat is a fashion and lifestyle enthusiast who loves traveling and is currently residing in Richmond BC, Canada. Her work can be seen at and
Follow her journey: and

Artwork Descriptions:

1: Allah Hoo – “God, Just He! – Acrylic on Canvas diptych 40×36
Allah Hoo is a dhikr (repeatedly remembering God)
A poem by Iraqi
“in this love
spilling over and over
there are
such wonders”

2: The Divine Protection – Acrylic Ink with resin and gold leaf on Canvas 48×60

3: The Heart’s Light – Knowledge – Acrylic on Canvas 36×48
A prayer “Rabbi Zidni Ilma” from the Quran 20:114
meaning ” Increase me in Knowledge ” – Written 13 times in the shape of a whirling dervish. A Sufi traditional practice to gain the closeness of the Divine in the light of heart and soul.
titled on a Rumi’s Poem;
” The light inside the heart’s light
is the light of God.”

4: The Royal Rejection (winner of the Art Rich People Choice Award 2021)
Acrylic Ink on Canvas 30X48
The rejection could be as royal as acceptance.

5: Ilm -o-Amal  – Acrylic on Canvas 20 x 24
The prayer in Arabic, Rabi Zidni Ilma (My Lord increase my knowledge) written in Arabic is combined with a popular prayer poem in Urdu by famous philosopher and poet of the East, Allama Iqbal:
Lab py at hy dua ban ka tamna meri –
Zindagi Shmma ki Soorat ho Khudya Meri
(My longing comes to my lips in supplication of mine
O, God! May like the candle be the life of mine!)

6: BAD TO GOOD – Acrylic on Canvas 24×24
Repel bad by that deed which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity will become as though he was a devoted friend. – Inspiring verse from the Quran, 41:34

7: KHALAQ – CREATION – Acrylic and ink with silver leafing on Canvas 12X36
The verse about diversity is written in Arabic is from the Quran 30:22 “And of His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed, in that are signs for those of knowledge”

8: Invisible Barrier – Acrylic, Ink, silver leafing and on Canvas 30×40
This beautiful Verse in The Quran tells about two sea connecting but not mixing – The entire chapter “ArRehman” The Compassionate is written on the painting

9: Absolute Need – Mohtaj
Oil, Acrylic, silver leafing and wood on Canvas  – 24″ x 18
This beautiful supplication of Prophet Muses in Quran, words of Solace, “My Lord I am in absolute need of any good You send my way”

10: Palace of Dreams – Oil on Canvas
It reflects the imperfection of our perfectly knitted dreams when confronted with reality. we suffer, we bleed, we cry, we mourn yet continue to build our palace of dreams to find solace and comfort for just that little moment that we are able to steal from reality to smile.

11: Bol – Speak: The cycle and its breaking – Acrylic on Canvas 24×36
The art for social justice. Three words that describe the cycle of sexual abuse are, Secret (raaz), Silence (Khamosh) and Shame (sharam), written in Urdu script combined with word Speak “bol” in background depicting the cycle and its breakup. Each of the three words written with colors in background that describes the state of mind and the transition. Purple is for hope and the the poem “Bol” Speak by famous poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz is written in Urdu with english translation that urges to speak up…

12: GOOD TREE – Acrylic and Gold leafing on Canvas 18X24
Have you not considered how God presents an example, making a good word like a good tree,
whose root is firmly fixed and its branches high in the sky? Quran 14:24

13: LOVE & US – Acrylic Ink on Canvas 15×30
Only when I really thought it’s me, the one, it was again just another fill in the blank… – I’m your mirror and I’m your reflection, and we are enough, says who? – Hub (love, piyar) & tum (you)

14: HAROOF – Acrylic and wooden motif on Canvas 20×20
Haroof means words in Arabic. I find calligraphic writings therapeutic and healing to process feelings or emotions. Most of  my calligraphy artwork is an outcome of my reflections and connection to the moment, mostly overwhelming feelings of gratitude. Finding positivity in a negatively intense moment is a hard battle. My gift of creativity keeps me focused and I remind myself to be aware of my blessings which manifests my gratitude through art to share with the universe.

15: ISHQ – Oil on Canvas 24X30
Dancing in rain with the love that exists deep in my heart and makes me whirl with the desire of self-annihilation – Fana Fillah

16: Guftgu – Conversations Acrylic on Canvas 20×24
“Soft in social exposure, Tough in the line of pursuit. But whether in fray or in social gathering, Ever chaste at heart, ever clean in conduct.” – Poetry by Allama Iqbal written in Farsi script