Prophet Muhammad ﷺ once said, “No one who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart will enter Paradise.” A man asked, “What if a person likes his clothes to look good and his shoes to look good?” The Prophet ﷺ replied, “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.” (Reported by Muslim)
This hadith shows that Allah not only loves beauty but that He is beautiful Himself. While our vision cannot grasp Allah in this life, we can behold His beauty in three main ways: His traits, creation, and divine light.
Beauty in Allah’s Traits
The Quran and Hadith discuss the traits of Allah at length, conveying the various aspects of His divine nature and ultimate beauty. Let us ponder some of His perfect attributes. He is Al-Salam, the source of peace and tranquility; He is Al-Wadud, the Loving; and Al-Muhaymin, the true protector and guardian. He is the compassionate one whose mercy extends over all that exists, and no sin is unforgivable in His sight. He is the protecting friend of those who do good. He is the most generous, and the possessor and grantor of wisdom.
Allah provides all creatures with sustenance, and maintains the numerous forms of life on the earth and beyond. He is Al-Baari, the one who evolves creation in stages. He is Al-Musawwir, the fashioner who has designed this universe to perfection. No matter escapes His knowledge and He is aware of our deepest thoughts and most minor acts. He is supremely just, the forbearing, and the one who governs all affairs.
Beauty in Allah’s Creation
While Allah is totally different and separate from His creation, with no overlapping between the two, the beauty of His creation conveys the extent of His own divine beauty. The lush meadows, flowing streams, budding flowers, snow-capped mountains, and the vast blue ocean are all beautiful to behold. The creatures that roam the earth, swim in water, or fly in the sky – from a tiny ladybird to a giant polar bear – are similarly pleasing to look at.
In fact, there is beauty in something as simple as a sunrise or a cloud formation in the sky. Such breathtaking sights all around us constantly remind us of the divine beauty of their one and only designer – Allah. All we have to do is ponder His signs to recognize this aspect of His beauty.
Beauty in Allah’s Light
Because human faculties cannot fully grasp the divine nature of our Creator, He sometimes uses examples and parables to convey His reality. One such example is that Allah has likened Himself to a perfect light whose radiance encompasses the entire universe. The following ayah, which describes this divine light in detail, also conveys a sense of His ultimate beauty.
“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is Knowing of all things.” (Quran 24:35)
The Beauty Allah Loves
The Prophet ﷺ also stated that Allah loves beauty. Hence, wearing beautiful clothes and shoes is preferable, and the person who can afford fine possessions should dress oneself accordingly without being extravagant. However, it is important to remember that Allah does not judge us by our physical appearance, as the Prophet ﷺ said, “Allah does not look at your outward appearance and your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and deeds.”
There is also the inward beauty that Allah loves. A person inwardly beautiful cares for others, acts selflessly, does not have a sense of ego or conceited pride, stays resolute in tough times, and remains content with what he or she possesses. Such a person is never quick to judge others or find faults with them, but is entirely focused on improving oneself, and becoming closer to Allah.