When order prevails result is: …

 

By: Hussein Al-Rumaithi

The title of this article can be presented as a statement or a question and since the answer is unconditionally assented and acknowledged, it would be meaningless to discuss any possible ambiguity of such statement. Abiding by order, rules and guidelines is not only an essence of showing class, it is a path to success and being able to accomplish based on outlined and set goals and progress. The holy Quran grants great importance to order and discipline, where the 4th verse of chapter 61 presents the perfect metaphor for orderly conduct and order. “as though they are a single structure joined firmly”. The holy Prophet of Islam emphasizes on the notion of order in all affairs and actions, where it seems without order the emergence of effectual results are doubtful.

The primary foundation of Islam as a religion and a path of life is solely based on orderly fashion conduct of deeds, decisions and action that includes every aspect of a Muslim’s daily affairs, whether personal, religious or interactional. Among the most repetitive advices by elders and teachers to youth, is the importance of organization and allocating time and efforts accordingly to have successful results. We all remember the famous quote, which has probably been said by majority of teachers around the world (Don’t leave your studying and projects till the last moment). The core of this statement is linked to organization and having order as a way of life, which will reflect on personality, characteristics and someone’s view before the public as well.

Imam Ali (P.B.U.H) has placed order and its importance in second place after being pious, which in addition shows that among the primary signs of being a pious person, being organized and adherent to order is given. Therefore, majority of Islamic scholars have determined that Islamic jurisprudence prohibits breaking the laws and orders of a society, such as speed limits and traffic rules. Failure to adhere with these rules, would destabilize the order and safety of a society and those two aspects are the primary essences of an innovating and smart society.

The notion of order in supplication is also among the important in Islam, where moderation and wise time allocation for supplication and prayer is necessary. Imam Al-Sadiq states in a narration that over-doing supplication would lead to reluctance from prayer and supplication, which means this spiritual and religious aspect of a Muslim’s life must abide by rules and orders of life. The five prayers/day are the obligatory prayers and anything else such as random supplications can be done during other daily tasks, as only repeating certain phrases and words are sufficient to be considered as supplication. In addition, unlike other religions granting total time and self to religion and its institutions has been disavowed by Islam, and the importance of forming family and working to provide for this family is considered among the best deeds and supplications to Allah.

Fortunately, Islam has presented the perfect means of organizing and adhering to orders and feasible rules in society, whereas as mentioned earlier the entire length of an individual can be covered by Islamic order and organization codes. Islam presents advice and solutions in maintaining order for:

  • Social interactional order
  • Personal life affairs, such as personal hygiene
  • Time management
  • Fulfilling covenants and contracts
  • Management of supplication and prayer order
  • Expenditure order and management
  • Military order and organization

There are numerous other aspect, where the lives of Prophet Mohammad and his holy household would present hundreds of examples and models for ordinary humans, where order becomes the essence of any action and decision in their lives.

Our Perception of Beauty

By: Rabab Rafery

We live in a culture that exaggerates physical beauty above and beyond where its true status lies. The media and culture have indirectly pushed people’s minds to treat beauty as one of the determinants of self-worth, especially in young girls and women. It becomes crucial for everyone of us to examine what beauty really is, and what role physical beauty has to play in our lives.

Is beauty limited 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 view of beauty helps us to shape our opinions in the best manner possible.

All Creation Is Beautiful

Although the eyes may not perceive every creation around us as beauty, the Qur’anic 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!

The Perception of Beauty

How does Islam view human beauty? Is physical beauty always looked upon as a positive trait? Needless to say, physical beauty is indeed a blessing – but according to Islamic teachings, beauty is just like any other material and perishable trait such as wealth, rank, and occupation. Physical beauty by itself has little worth and is given no significance in Islam if it does not accompany inner beauty (piety and good moral traits). Real beauty is what we carry with us in our journey to the hereafter: our good deeds. In the Holy Qur’an (3:106) we are reminded of Judgment Day when people’s deeds will determine their physical appearance: “On the day when (some) faces shall turn white and (some) faces shall turn black; then as to those whose faces turn black: Did you disbelieve after your believing? Taste therefore the chastisement because you disbelieved.”

In our everyday lives we often come across people who may be good-looking but something about their character repels us from them; the reverse is also true for people who may not be so good-looking but appear beautiful to us because of their positive qualities. A recent article by plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Tornambe, published by the Huffington Post, presents an interesting conclusion about how the mind judges beauty. The article “What Makes a Person Ugly?” focuses on certain positive personality traits that serve to enhance and sometimes even determine how we perceive physical beauty. Some characteristics that are mentioned are self-confidence, cheerfulness, altruism, and optimism. When it comes to judging between physical beauty and personality, our mind inclines towards appreciating people who possess such positive traits and brighter souls.

Actions that Enhance Beauty

Proximity to Allah and obeying His commands surely enhance one’s beauty, both inner as well as physical beauty. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said, “Beauty is in the tongue (wording)”. Good moral conduct is one basis of judging what qualifies as beauty. Ayatollah Hussain Madhahiri writes in his book Islamic Family-Life Ethics, “Sometimes speech is like the beauty spot on the face which enhances the beauty of the person.” A person with good morals is truly beautiful inside out and wins people’s’ hearts.

In addition, some recommended actions enhance inner and outer beauty. One of them is the highly recommended Night Prayer (Salat al-Layl) that, when performed on a regular basis, enhances one’s physical beauty. Allama Majlisi writes in his book on Salat al-Layl: “Salat al-Layl makes one’s face beautiful; beautifies one’s etiquette; gives a pleasant smell to one’s body and increases one’s daily sustenance. It also removes sorrow and grief and gives strength to the eyes.”

Hence, closeness to Allah creates both inner as well as outer beauty! In conclusion, below is a historic couplet that refers to the beauty of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him), whose beauty is a symbol of Allah’s most beautiful creation:

“No one has ever seen beauty like Yusuf’s, But He who created Yusuf has the true beauty.” Let us try to reflect  true eternal beauty from within ourselves!

This article was borrowed from Shia Studies where it was first published.