Peace, one and all…
Sachiko Murata and William Chittick’s The Vision of Islam is one of the best books ever written explaining the feel of Islam. Most introductions to Islam do exactly what they say they will do – introduce you to key terms, rituals, history, concepts and so on. This book does far more. It takes you beyond externalised descriptions into the very heart of Islam itself.
I often dip into this book when I’ve got a spare few moments, and have always found it useful and inspiring. I was reading through its exploration of the concept of ihsan and was struck by the forceful way that Murata and Chittick have translated words deriving from hasana (‘good, beautiful’). It really brought it home to me. So, I wanted to share a few with you.
Enjoy and may Allah help us all do what is beautiful in His sight.
‘It is God who made the earth a fixed place for you, and heaven a building, and He formed you, made your forms beautiful, and provided you with pleasant things’ (40:64)
‘He created the heavens and earth with Truth, formed you and made your forms beautiful and to Him is the homecoming’ (64:3)
‘Worship none but God, and do what is beautiful towards parents’ (2:83)
‘God is with those who are god-wary, and those who do what is beautiful’ (16:128)
‘Do what is beautiful. God loves those who do what is beautiful’ (2:195)
‘Pardon them and forgive; God loves those who do what is beautiful’ (5:13)
‘Have patience. God will not leave to waste the wage of those who do what is beautiful’ (11:115)
‘Those who struggle for Us – We shall guide them on Our paths, and God is with those who do what is beautiful’ (29:69)
‘The mercy of God is near to those who do what is beautiful’ (7:56)
‘To God belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, so that He may recompense those who do the ugly for what they have done, and recompense those who do what is beautiful with the most beautiful’ (53:31)
The Prophet (alaihi al-salatu wa al-salam) is reported to have said:
‘When the servant submits and his submission is beautiful, God will acquit him of every ugly thing he approached…’