Is there an aspect of true beauty in everything, even in the things which
appear to be the ugliest?
This is to explain one meaning of the verse,
(He) has made good everything He has created. (32:7)
In everything, even in the things which appear to be the ugliest, there is
an aspect of true beauty. Everything in the universe, every occurrence, is either
in itself beautiful, which is called "beautiful by itself," or it is beautiful
on account of its results, which is called, "beautiful through others." There
are some occurrences which are apparently ugly and confused but, beneath that
apparent veil, there are most radiant instances of beauty and order.
Beneath the veil of stormy rains and muddy earth, in the season of spring,
are hidden the smiles of innumerable beautiful flowers and well-ordered plants.
Also, 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, which are the friends of the delicate, shy flowers. This is so as to
preserve them from the blows and torments of the events of winter, which are
the manifestations of Divine Majesty, and under the veil of winter the way is
prepared for the new and beautiful spring.
Beneath the veil of events like storms, earthquakes, and plagues, is the
unfolding of numerous hidden "immaterial flowers." The seeds of many potentialities
which have not developed, sprout and flourish owing to events apparently ugly.
It is as if upheavals, revolutions and general changes function as "immaterial"
rain. Nevertheless, being a superficial observer who is inclined to judge by
outward appearances and moreover self-centered, man considers only the external
and judges such events as ugly. Since he is self-centered, he reasons only according
to the result with which he is concerned and so judges them to be evil. Whereas,
if one among the aims attached to things relates to man, there are others directly
connected with their Maker’s Names.
For example, man may regard as harmful and meaningless thorny plants and
trees, which are among the great miracles of the Creator’s Power, functioning
as "well-equipped, heroic guards" of the plants and trees. Again, God’s causing
hawks to harry sparrows is apparently incompatible with Mercy. But through
this harrying the sparrow’s potentialities develop. Also man may consider snow to
be very cold and unpleasant but under the veil of cold and unpleasantness there
are purposes so warm and results so sweet that they are indescribable. Further,
since man judges ac-cording to outward appearances and, because of his egotism,
according to only those aspects with which he is concerned, he supposes to be
contrary to good manners many things that are perfectly polite and compatible
with well-manneredness. Some expressions of the wise Qur’an, which is the source
of good manners and right conduct, concerning man’s private parts and his private
affairs or relationships are perfectly polite and correct on account of the
art of their creation and the purposes intended thereby.
Likewise, beneath the apparent faces of the creatures and events which
seem to us to be ugly and worthy of disapproval, there are so many beautiful
and purposeful instances of art and aspects of beauty concerning their
creation that they are connected with their Maker. Also, there are numerous
beautiful veils which conceal many instances of wisdom, and many apparent
instances of disorder and confusion which are in reality most well-arranged
examples of sacred divine composition.