Beautifying Ourselves with Faith |

Beautifying Ourselves with Faith

Undoubtedly, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was one of the most beautiful people to walk the face of the Earth. There are books dedicated to solely describing his striking characteristics like his wonderful smile, captivating speech, and delightful gestures. One can argue that he was created with a pleasant disposition to facilitate his mission of calling others to the worship of the One True God. But, aside from his physical qualities, what made him so uniquely attractive was his piety and excellent character. 

There was no one that compared to him when it came to his alluring qualities. So much so, that when people described him, they weighed his beauty against that of celestial bodies. One of the Prophet’s companions named Jabir ibn Samurah narrated:

“I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, on a clear night while he was wearing a red cloak. I turned my sight between him and the moon and, to me, he was more handsome and beautiful than the moon.” 

(Al-Shama’il al-Muḥammadiyah, 9)

Similarly, Abu Huraira reported: 

“I have not seen anyone more graceful than the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, as if the sunlight emanated from his face. I have not seen anyone quicker in his walking than the Prophet, as if the earth was folded for him. We would exert ourselves, while he would not endure any difficulty.” 

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

Enhancing Beauty According to the Quran and the Sunnah

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said: 

“Verily, Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty. He loves the loftiest of affairs and disapproves of pettiness.” 

(Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat lil-Ṭabarani, 6906)

They say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and there is no better beholder than the All-Seeing, Allah, glorified and exalted, Himself. When it comes to our inner and outward beauty, the One we must be most worried most about impressing is our Creator. Allah is Al-Jameel, the Most Beautiful, and has beautified Creation. By acknowledging the beauty around and within ourselves, we honor Allah. This is a valuable lesson we can instill in our families daily. 

Not even the most expensive cosmetics, antiaging treatments, or plastic surgeries in the world can allot us the beauty that a pure heart and sound spirit can provide. As we know, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was given these gifts and they only heightened his good looks. Indeed, the best beauty enhancement is the light of iman or faith, and taqwa or God-consciousness. 

Here are some lessons from the Quran and Sunnah to help us achieve these qualities so we can beautify ourselves inside and out. 

1. Having good character.

There is no better way to increase one’s attractiveness than having excellent character. Allah says in the Quran:

“O children of Adam! We have provided for you clothing to cover your nakedness and as an adornment. However, the best clothing is righteousness. This is one of Allah’s bounties, so perhaps you will be mindful.”

(Surah Al-A’raf, 7:26)

Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: 

“Islam is beautified by two qualities: modesty and tolerance for the sake of Allah and not for anyone one else.” 

(Al-Tamhid li-Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, 13/318)

He also said:

“Verily, obscenity and immorality are not part of Islam. Verily, the best people in Islam are those with the best character.” 

(Musnad Ahmad)

The Prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, had the best character and his companions often praised his smile and handsome appearance. 

2. Being modest.

Anas ibn Malik reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Vulgarity is not found in anything but that it disgraces it, and modesty is not found in anything but that it beautifies it.” 

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

Modesty is one of the distinct qualities of the believers. Imam An-Nawawi described modesty as a characteristic that prompts a person to refrain from what is reprehensible and bad, and prevents him from falling short in fulfilling the rights of others who have rights over him (Riyadh as-Saliheen). This type of modesty includes bashfulness in front of others but more importantly, before Allah. Uthman ibn Affan, the companion, third caliph, and son-in-law of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was known as one of the most handsome men from the Quraish, and he was also extremely shy. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said about him:

“Modesty is part of faith and the most modest of my nation is Uthman.” 

(Tarikh Dimashq, 39916)

3. Avoiding idle talk.

There is a comical, rhyming saying in Latin America, “Calladita te ves más bonita.” It means, “You look prettier when you’re quiet.” The phrase carries a double meaning, as it can be taken literally or figuratively. Maybe a person does look their best when they are serious and reserved, or they simply need to stay quiet given the circumstances. When a person remains silent, there is a lesser chance of them saying something wrong or offensive. It is also better for one who is angry to restrain their tongue and keep from retaliating. As Muslims, we know that the silent person is better than the one who insults or curses. 

There are other reasons why silence is better than speaking. I personally remember my mother used to tell me this phrase as a child whenever I was being obnoxiously loud or overly chatty. Interestingly, there is an Islamic message that can be extracted from this very Latino saying. The companion, Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said: 

“You must have good character and observe long periods of silence. By the One in whose hand is my soul, no behaviors are as beautifying as these two.” 

(Musnad al-Bazzar, 7001)

Not surprisingly, our mothers were right when they told us we really do look better when we are quiet!

4. Dressing for the sake of Allah.

I heard a story a few years back of a man who converted to Islam after observing how elegantly Muslims dressed for the Eid prayer. He described how one day he saw a group of Muslim men and women decked out in their finest clothing walking toward the mosque in his hometown. As they walked past him, he could smell the distinct scent of the men’s cologne and fresh, clean garments. The man was so impressed that he followed them to their place of worship and eventually embraced Islam. 

Cleanliness, dressing nice, and smelling good are things that Islam encourages. Just as Christians wear their “Sunday finest” to church, Muslims are encouraged to dress up when attending the masjid, for the congregational prayer on Friday, and for the two Eids. Generally speaking, we are required to look and be our best. Allah says in the Quran:

“O children of Adam, take your adornment [i.e., wear your clothing] at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.” 

(Surah Al-A’raf, 7:31)

As indicated in this verse, it is important to strike a balance between being extravagant or arrogant and looking one’s best for the sake of Allah. Abdullah ibn Masud, may Allah have mercy on him, narrated the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, once said: 

“No one will enter Paradise who has an atom’s-weight of pride in his heart.” A man (from among the companions) said, “What if a man likes his clothes to look good and his shoes to look good?” He responded, “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.” 

(Sahih Muslim)

Through his words, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, made it clear that beautification does not necessarily equate boastfulness. Allah loves beauty in all things; thus it is permissible for human beings to seek Allah’s pleasure and bounty through their appearance. In another hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: 

“Allah loves to see the effects of His blessing on His slave.” 


Additionally, it was reported that Abu’l-Ahwas al-Jashami said: 

“The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, saw me wearing old, tattered clothes, and asked me, ‘Do you have any wealth?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘What kind of wealth?’ I said, ‘All that Allah has given me of camels and sheep.’ He said, ‘Then show the generous blessings that He has given you.’” 

(Narrated by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi, and al-Nasai)

5. Being patient.

When Prophet Yaqub’s sons brought their brother Yusuf’s blood-stained shirt to their father to hide their crime of leaving him in a well, Prophet Yaqub responded by putting his trust in Allah. The words he spoke are immortalized in the Quran. He bravely said:

“˹I can only endure with˺ beautiful patience!...” 

(Surah Yusuf, 12:18)

In the Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab describes this beautiful patience as patience without complaining. When a person seeks help only in Allah’s perfect plan, they are displaying this type of unwavering forbearance. It is both meaningful and courageous, taking a person to a higher level of spiritual excellence that can only be described as beautiful.

Allah will reward the believers who patiently persevered with Paradise, where they will be wrapped in radiant garments of silk and be surrounded by everything pleasing to the eyes. They will also be beautified by the light of their faith in Paradise. When Allah speaks of the believers who patiently persevered, He says He will save them from the Hellfire:

“… and grant them radiance and joy, and reward them for their perseverance with a Garden ˹in Paradise˺ and ˹garments of˺ silk…” 

(Surah Al-Insan, 76:11-12)

Thus, human beings that display the characteristics of righteous believers will be given beauty in this life and the next. 

A Beautiful Beginning and End

The life and teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, offer profound insights into the concept of beauty as understood in Islam. His exemplary character, piety, and humility are reminders of the true essence of beauty, which transcends mere physical appearance. True beauty emanates from the purity of heart, sincerity of intention, and steadfastness in faith. The Prophet's emphasis on good character, modesty, restraint in speech, and dressing for the sake of Allah outlines the importance of refinement of character and spiritual enlightenment as the ultimate sources of attractiveness. Through patience, trust in Allah, and performing deeds of righteousness, we not only adorn our lives in this world but also secure eternal beauty and bliss in the Hereafter.

Wendy Díaz is a Puerto Rican Muslim writer, award-winning poet, translator, and mother of six (ages ranging from infant to teen). She is the co-founder of Hablamos Islam, a non-profit organization that produces educational resources about Islam in Spanish ( She has written, illustrated, and published over a dozen children’s books and currently lives with her family in Maryland. Follow Wendy Díaz on social media @authorwendydiaz and @hablamosislam.

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