These words are attributed to the Prophet. But one of Allah’s ninety-nine names is
“husn” and Allah is the Creator of all that is beautiful in the universe. In Sura 67,
“Al Mulk,” we find the following opening verses (in A.J. Arberry’s translation)
“…and He is
the All-mighty, the All-forgiving —
who created seven heavens one upon another.
Thou seest not in the creation
of the All-merciful any imperfection.
Return thy gaze; seest thou any fissure?
Then return thy gaze again, and again, and thy gaze comes
back to thee dazzled, aweary.”
If we distill the meaning of all of our efforts, to which we are committed, the essence is
about restoring Beauty back into living and thinking Islam that has been
effectively destroyed by Islamists over the past century and ruined in our lifetime.
In other words, our struggle or jihad is against the Ugliness that has taken over Islam,
the Ugliness that has made a wasteland of our history and faith-tradition. Today
people around the world associate all things Muslim with Ugliness, from suicide-
bombings and terrorism to the clothes worn, the features on display, the forbidding
of arts and music, the denial of everything beautiful on the grounds that beauty
(woman’s hair, for instance, or unveiled face) is Satan’s temptation to deceive
Once this sense of beauty is lost, or suppressed, or violated, or forbidden,
then man inwardly turns ugly and the rest follows, which is ugliness then
gone to war with beauty.