Beauty is a great blessing from our Lord that makes us inevitably happy. Therefore it is most natural for us humans to pursue beauty, and try to increase the examples of it in our lives as much as possible. No one would want to choose ugly over beautiful. This is because the human soul is created in a way to desire and enjoy beauty in every form; a beautiful landscape, a beautiful soul, beautiful words and everything beautiful in general make us happy. This is a reflection of the quest for beauty deeply entrenched in our souls.
In the Quran, Allah explains this attraction towards beauty in this life is specially placed in humans’ souls: “To mankind the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colors: women and children, and heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, and horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world. The best homecoming is in the presence of Allah.” (Surah Al Imran, 14)
When we see a very beautiful human face and feel fascination at the flawless symmetry of it, the amazement we feel actually results from seeing and enjoying the manifestation of Allah’s name, Al-Jameel. Humans are created after Allah breathed His soul into them and therefore anyone seeking beauty is actually seeking and enjoying Allah’s infinite art, power, knowledge and beauty. In other words, the pleasure taken in beauty stems from the manifestation of Allah on His creation. As Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) once said, ‘Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty’ and therefore it is most natural for His servants that bear His soul to enjoy and seek beauty as well.
However, no matter how hard one works to get hold of the beauties in the world, all the beauties in this world are doomed to fade, wither and disappear in the end. For instance, the beauty of a beautiful person will last no more than 15 or 20 years, and that’s only if they don’t suffer from an illness or an accident that could tarnish that beauty prematurely. A fascinating bouquet of flowers will boast its splendour for about one week. A glamorous house or a car will start looking old and weathered in no time.
As these examples make it clear, all beauties are bound to fade with the passing of time. There is no beauty in this world that is not struck by the destructive force of time. If Allah willed, He could have embellished the world with never ending beauties. However this world is a place of testing and Allah created the world in such a special way; together with these beauties, there are also many weaknesses and negativities, and humans cannot help but understand the fleeting nature of it.
These negative factors not only help people understand Allah and appreciate His power but also make them feel a strong longing for Heaven, the place of never ending beauties, where they can fully satiate their desire for eternal beauty forever.