Asma Menon and Akbar Padamsee: Lord The Air Smells Good

Asma Menon and Akbar Padamsee: Lord The Air Smells Good
Asma Menon Acrylic on canvas Garden of Eden

One chapter of the book, Lord The Air Smells Good, speaks of contemporary Indian artists of the Islamic faith – Asma Menon and Akbar Padamsee – who have explored Christian themes.

The cover design is one of Asma’s Artworks from her series “Asma and Rumi”. The book covers the dialogue from Emperor Akbar to our times.

Felicitation volume in honour of Fr.Paul Jackson S.J.

Edited by: Anand Amaladass, Victor Edwin

Cover Page Painting: Asma Menon

ACT Publishers: Bengaluru India

Asma Menon and Akbar Padamsee: Lord The Air Smells Good
Akbar Padamsee

In India, formal Jesuit interaction with Muslims on religious affairs began at the court of the Mugal Emperor, Jalal ud-Din Muhammad Akbar [1542-1605], when they were invited by the Emperor to teach the Law of Christ. Akbar was practising a high level of religious tolerance.

Unfortunately the Jesuits displayed a large measure of ignorance and an supremacist attitude. Their conversations neither created a space for Muslims in the heart of the listeners nor generated an intellectual space between Christians and Muslims.
Deeper understanding of the faith of the Muslims, its sacred scripture, cultures and traditions alone can provide a solid basis for genuine Christian – Muslim relations.

A Belgian Jesuit {d.1960}, Victor Courtois, envisioned Christians and Muslims as brothers and sisters belonging to one large family where God is Father of both groups of believers. This fresh vision charts a new course in Christian-Muslim relations in India. Courtis, demonstrated deep and sympathetic knowledge of Islam, secondly, he defends Muslim faith in the face of unsavory comments from his fellow Christian missionaries, and thirdly, he presents Christianity to Muslims in an appealing way.

Asma Menon Acrylic on canvas
Asma Menon: Acrylic on canvas

On March 24th 1984, The Islamic Studies Association was registered in India. Paul Jackson was one of the foundling members. He was part and parcel of all developments around the theme of Christian-Muslim relations.

This Book is presented in honour of Father Paul Jackson. It has fifteen articles from scholars who have devoted themselves to Islamic studies. Six articled focuses on understanding Islam in their context. Seven essays from several perspectives. The last section is devoted to the studies on Sharafuddin Maneri. This section gains special significance since Fr. Paul Jackson SJ devoted his entire life translating and commenting upon the malfuzat and maktubat that contains the teachings of Maneri.

Included, in the book are Muslim artists from India, who have explored Christianity, as an evolution of their artistic journeys. Namely, Asma Menon, Akbar Padamsee, Yusaf Arrakkal and M.F. Husain.

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

2 thoughts

    1. Aziz,
      This is Asma ,who is part of the book.
      I am happy to note your interest.
      May ,I send you a complementary copy.
      My email is
      If you send your address , I can do the needful.
      As you are the first person to show an interest , I can send it to any part of the world.
      I thank you .


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