The Best Kind of Beautiful
As we enter the month of Rajab, I would like to remind everyone, especially myself, to increase remembrance in Allāh and look after the condition of our hearts because Rajab signals that Ramadan is fast approaching.
May Allāh accept all our efforts to get closer to Him, may He make it easier for all of us who are struggling and may He have Mercy on us for we are all made weak and are reliant on His Love and Guidance. Amiin.
It has been mentioned by Abul Fath ibn Abil-Fawaris in his Amali (dictations and transmissions) and Allama Suyuti has also mentioned in his Jami Saghir from Hasan Basri that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ said:
I’ve chosen the topic of beauty to kickstart the month of Rajab as the Prophet ﷺ have said: “Allāh is beautiful and He loves beauty.” Everyone wants to be beautiful because with beauty, comes love and admiration.
Even the most seemingly toughest man or woman has a soft core because simply put: we were made with a great capacity to love and admire one another. We were created out of His Love and His Beauty so we are naturally inclined to anything or anyone that reflects those qualities.
The source of ALL beauty is Allāh Himself, and He has created Rasulullah ﷺ as the finest example of what beauty in human form is so that we may follow in the footsteps of His beloved.
What Is Beauty?
When the word beauty is mentioned: what or who do you think of?
I think of a woman with radiant skin and a great smile. I think of a man who is strong yet gentle and courteous with everyone he meets. But I also think of someone who is crying themselves to sleep every night and yet when morning comes, they put on a brave face and remains kind in the face of harshness. I think of someone who is so sincere that nothing bad can ever come from them.
If you think true beauty is all about the inside and nothing to do with the outside or vice versa, then your understanding is not whole because anything that exists in this world comes in dualities—there is the zahir (external) and the batin (internal). Only Allāh is ONE.
There is a dual concept to beauty—it is both inward and outward just like the flower is beautiful to the eyes that see it and brings happiness to the heart that loves it. Beauty is a concept both understood by the eyes and the soul which is why a person who is not considered beautiful by typical societal standards can be a source of great joy to the people around him due to his actions which is an outward manifestation of beautiful akhlaq (virtue ethics).
It is not wrong to want to be beautiful and to beautify ourselves but it is even better that we continue to beautify ourselves both outwardly and inwardly—we can wear beautiful clothes and top it off with adab (manners) and haya’ (modesty).
In a talk by Shaykh Dr Umar Faruq Abd-Allah, I found it fascinating when he said that all the anbiya that ever existed were known not only for their taqwa but their physical beauty. The anbiya, including Rasulullah ﷺ were described as being handsome and a person with beautiful physique often has charisma. It’s not surprising that the combination of handsomeness and beautiful akhlaq aided them in delivering the message of God.
The eyes admire but the soul admires, too.
People who gazed at Rasulullah ﷺ’s face often found themselves feeling calm and in a state of total admiration. This is not to be seen as a superficial reaction because it is within our fitrah (natural disposition) to be drawn to beauty and to feel at ease when looking at something beautiful whether it is a person, a flower or the earth’s natural landscapes.
It’s perfectly acceptable to want to be beautiful but as Muslims, we must enhance both our physical and inner beauty to keep the balance. We are visual creatures but we are also spiritual beings with a soul that yearns for beauty that goes deeper than perfect lashes and a Hollywood smile.
Beauty As A Source Of Guidance
Many people try to get others to change by being self-righteous or using harsh words but harshness only crushes a heart that is already so fragile. If you want others to see the beauty of your faith—become it. Become the kind of beauty that you wish others would embody.
A thousand eyes may turn for the chance to see a beautiful face but a thousand hard hearts will soften in the presence of a beautiful heart. As much as we adore those who are beautiful, we adore those who make us feel beautiful even more. We adore those who make us feel loved especially when it feels like the whole world don’t value us.
There may be very beautiful faces on the cover and pages of magazines but at the end of the day, people yearn to be in the presence of someone who makes them feel safe. They may be drawn to a beautiful face but a beautiful soul is what makes them stay. Comfort cannot be found in superficial beauty, it has to come from something that transcends the physical.
Rasulullah ﷺ was beautiful in every way. His humility and kindness softened hard hearts. He was articulate in his speech which was why people listened to him. He groomed himself well and always had the biggest smile on his face which was one of the reasons people found his overall appearance pleasing.
Most importantly, his relationship with Allāh was beautiful which was why everything He did was beautified. His relationship with everyone from his family to his community was beautiful; he treated both Muslims and non-Muslims with ehsan (excellence).
With Ramadan fast approaching, begin making conscious decisions to beautify yourself—inwardly and outwardly. Make your relationship with Allāh beautiful and slowly watch beauty seep into every part of your life. Watch your life blossom before your eyes like a rose in full bloom.