God created the earth, and all on and around it, and prepared it for humans to enjoy its fruits.
“Allah is He Who has made for you the earth a resting-place, and the heaven a canopy, and has shaped you and made your shapes perfect, and has provided you with good things. Such is Allah, your Lord. So blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds.” (Holy Quran 40:61/62)
When diamonds are mined, they are ugly stones that are cut and polished into glamorous jewelry. Gold comes in lumps that is purified and turned into beautiful ornaments by skilled goldsmiths. Parents, society and a humans’ own personal care or neglect enhances their beauty or blemishes it. Their ways of life and their custodianships push them to their highs and lows.
The great Arabian prophet, Muhammad, said, “God is beautiful and loves beauty.” God created human beings and fashioned them beautiful. God made beautiful people and expected beautiful actions and accomplishments from them.
Prophet Muhammad used to pray, “O God, best my character as you have bested my physique.”
Humans’ physical being supports their intellect, passion and spirit. Physical standing helps in controlling, fulfilling and enhancing intellectual, moral and spiritual needs, urges and ambitions. Human character is a reflection of the state of body, mind, heart and spirit. A beautiful character would lead to beauty in healthy living, beneficial inventiveness, social harmony, and relationship with the Creator.
A beautifully-shaped body, mind, heart and soul must complement each other to take an individual, a neighborhood, a town, a country and the world on a beautiful journey in human progress and advancement that we fortunately live in today’s world and expect more of it. An abused body, a tortured mind, a perturbed heart, a seared soul, all are painful distractions and impediments to human dignity and retard and arrest advancement.
Humans must resolve to adopt “The color (way, character, religion) of Allah; and who is better than Allah in teaching religion (etiquette of life, character, discharging the rights of our Creator and fellow human beings), and Him alone do we worship (trust, obey and follow).” (Holy Quran, 2:138/139)
This is a clear way to imbue and carry the image of God in ourselves and reflect the beautiful colors, hues ad character of God in our physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual being. Treading upon the ways of God ensures justice, equality, goodwill, compassion and high moral standing. As soon as this image diverges from its original source of beauty, it starts to deface itself with unseemly blemishes of injustice, inequality, oppression, discrimination and moral disintegration.
As God cannot have physical body that limits his being to space and time, his image is his attributes that humans have the ability to imitate and show the beauty of God in their being. All pristine attributes are for God so by reflecting them, humans find an auspicious opportunity to shine in physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual excellence.
People are beautiful and deserve beautiful encounters among themselves.
Ahmad is a regular contributor to The Forum’s opinion pages. He has translated, compiled and co-authored “A Gift for the Queen,” “Points to Ponder,” “Why Islam is my choice” and “Words of Wisdom.” He lives in Jamestown, N.D., and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.