Second Point: Beauties in things and events which seem ugly.


This Point elucidates one meaning of the verse:

Who has created everything in the best way, (Qur’an, 32:7.)

and is as follows:

In everything, even the things which appear to be the most ugly, there is an aspect of true beauty. Yes, everything in the universe, every event, is either in itself beautiful, which is called ‘essential beauty,’ or it is beautiful in regard to its results, which is called ‘relative beauty.’ There are certain events which are apparently ugly and confused, but beneath that apparent veil, there are most shining instances of beauty and order.

Beneath the veil of stormy rains and muddy soil in the season of spring are hidden the smiles of innumerable beautiful flowers and well-ordered plants. And behind the veils of the harsh destruction and mournful separations of autumn is the discharge from the duties of their lives of the amiable small animals, the friends of the coy flowers, so as to preserve them from the blows and torments of winter events, which are manifestations of Divine might and glory, and under the veil of which the way is paved for the new and beautiful spring.

Beneath the veil of events like storms, earthquakes, and plague, is the unfolding of numerous hidden immaterial flowers. The seeds of many potentialities which have not developed sprout and grow beautiful on account of events which are apparently ugly. As though general upheavals and universal change are all immaterial rain. But because man is both enamoured of the apparent and is self-centered, he considers only the externals and pronounces them ugly. Since he is self-centred, he reasons according to the result which looks to himself and judges it to be ugly. Whereas, if, of their aims one looks to man, thousands look to their Maker’s Names.

For example, man reckons to be harmful and meaningless thorned plants and trees, which are among the great miracles of the Creator’s power. Whereas they are the well-equipped heroes of the grasses and trees. And for example, hawks harrying sparrows is apparently incompatible with mercy, but through this harrying, the sparrow’s abilities unfold. And for example, he considers the snow to be very cold and uninviting, but under that chilly, unpleasing veil there are aims so warm and results so sweet they defy description. Also, since man is self-centred and worships the apparent and therefore judges everything according to the face that looks to him, he supposes to contrary to good manners many things that are perfectly polite and correct. For example, in man’s view, the discussion of his sexual organ is shameful. But this veil of shame is in the face which looks to man. Whereas the faces that look to creation, art, and its aims and purposes are veils which if considered with the eye of wisdom, are perfectly correct. Shame does not touch them at all.

Thus, certain expressions of the All-Wise Qur’an, the source of politeness and right conduct, are in accordance with these faces and veils. Beneath the apparent faces of creatures and events which seem to us to be ugly, are extremely fine, wise art and beautiful faces looking to their creation, which look to their Maker; so too there are numerous beautiful veils which conceal their wisdom, and moreover, great numbers of apparent instances of disorder and confusion which are most regular sacred writing.

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Third Point: The man as a viewer of the works of art in the universe; and the place of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the world of humanity.

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