By: William C. Chittick
Anyone with the vaguest knowledge of Islamic culture knows that it has produced extraordinary works of art and architecture — Persian miniatures, the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra. Few are aware, however, that this rich artistic heritage is firmly rooted in a worldview that highlights love and beauty.
The link between love and beauty is clear. We love what we find beautiful. Beauty attracts, ugliness repels. Nor are beauty and ugliness simply physical characteristics. We all know people who are outwardly attractive but personally repellent, and vice versa.
Beauty makes a massive appearance in love poetry like that of Ibn al-Farid, Rumi, Yunus Emre, and countless others. Their verses stir up wonder and delight by evoking the beautiful characteristics of the beloved.
This incident was when our Beloved Prophet of Allah SAW was 12 years old (1459 hijri years ago). The tree which shaded Rasoolullahi SAW is miraculously preserved by Allah for all this long period. It is the lonely tree available for around hundred square kilometers in that inhospitable desert north of Jordan.
The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When I say ‘Subhan Allah, wa’l-hamdu Lillah, wa la ilah ill-Allah, wa Allahu akbar (Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah, there is no god except Allah, and Allah is Most Great)’, this is more beloved to me than all that the sun rises upon.” [Muslim]
Shaykh Saleh al-Maghamsi mentions some points regarding the words: “subhanAllah, wal-hamdulillah, wa la ilah ill Allah, wa Allahu akbar. ” He (may Allah preserve him) says:
– If you say these words they bring you closer to Allah.
– They are the most beloved of words to Allah.
– Nothing will harm you if you start saying these words.
– Increasing in the remembrance of Allah is from the praised types of worship.
In the Quran Allah says in surah al Kahf verse forty six
الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًا
“Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one’s] hope.”
What are the deeds that remain and are enduring? In the commentary of ‘al baqiyaat al salihaat (the deeds which remain)’ it says that this is the speech ” subhanAllah, wal-hamdulillah, wa la ilah ill Allah, wa Allahu akbar. “.
Thumaama ibn Athaal was one of the greatest enemies of the Prophet (peace be upon him) until his close encounter with Prophet Muhammad. Afterwards, the Prophet become the most beloved human being to Thumaama.
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