We live in a world where physical beauty is exaggerated over and beyond what it should be. It is taken to a whole new level. So much so that, it is used as one of the qualifications for certain jobs in particular organizations. In my opinion, it is unfair to judge someone based on their looks. The media and society at large has brain washed humanity into zombies that walk around thinking and believing that physical beauty is the main determinant of a girl’s self-worth. It is very crucial to examine the real definition of beauty and the exact role physical beauty plays in our day-to-day lives.
Is beauty restricted to physical characteristics or is there a higher dimension to it? Is beauty an independent trait or does it shine in people with good personalities? Although the answers to these questions are very subjective, the Islamic take on beauty helps us shape our opinions, views and takes in the best manner possible.
All of Allah’s creation is beautiful. Beauty goes beyond the physical appearance that the eye sees. Qur’an verse (32:7) tells us that all creation is beautiful. This verse is clearly talking about beauty on a higher level than the mere physical dimension that our eyes try to find in what they perceive. This verse urges us to appreciate beauty in all creation and to see the beauty in Allah’s universe through observing how interconnected and orderly it is!
How does Islam perceive human beauty? Is physical beauty always seen as a positive attribute? Does it base the true definition of beauty on physical appearance or on what is in the heart? Needless to say, beauty is indeed a blessing- but according to Islamic teachings, it is a materialistic thing just like wealth, occupation or any rank.
Physical attractiveness solely has little to no worth and is given no significance in Islam if it does not go with inner beauty (piety and good moral traits). Real beauty is what we cart with us in our trip to the hereafter: our good deeds. What makes you beautiful in front of Allah are your deeds.
We often come across people who may be very good-looking but they don’t have a matching character. Their personality simply repels us from them. The opposite is also true for people who may not be so good-looking but turn out to be the most beautiful people in our lives based on their positive qualities.
A recent article by plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Tornambe, published by the Huffington Post, brings out a remarkable conclusion about how the mind judges beauty. The article “What Makes a Person Ugly?” focuses on evident positive personality traits that serve to enhance and determine how we identify physical beauty. Some characteristics that are mentioned are self-confidence, exuberance, altruism, and optimism. When it comes to judging between physical beauty and personality, our mind seems to incline towards appreciating people who possess such positive traits, desirable personalities and brighter souls.
To cut the long story short, beauty is not all about physical traits or physical appearance. We need to know someone’s character before we measure them on our beauty scale. Never make the mistake of judging someone from what you see in front of you. Many are times when we turn out to be completely off about someone. Therefore, before judging anyone learn their character, understand their personality, accept their flaws and appreciate their presence. That is when beauty truly shines through.